STANFORD, California, February 15. IN front of a huge crowd at the Avery Aquatic Center, the No. 4 Stanford Cardinal sent their seniors out winners with a 167-133 victory over top-ranked California during Senior Day festivities.
Stanford Press Release
It was an ideal atmosphere for Stanford on Saturday morning. With rival Cal in the building, the Cardinal’s seniors won six individual events to lead Stanford to a 167-133 win in front of a large crowd during the team’s final home dual.
“It’s a tribute to the kind of people and the kind of competitors they are,” said head coach Greg Meehan of the senior class.
Seniors Felicia Lee and Maya DiRado each accounted for two of the individual wins, while classmates Andi Taylor and diver Stephanie Phipps picked up one apiece.
Lee said afterwards, “It has been a great four years with my class and couldn’t have ended up on a better note, but we still have more to go.”
Meehan echoed Lee’s thinking towards the future, saying, “It wasn’t pretty, in a lot of senses. I think both teams are struggling through some fatigue and are still working hard as we gear up towards the end of the season. But regardless it was great racing.”
Stanford’s first win of the morning came in an exciting 200 medley relay which the Cardinal won by .09 seconds in 1:39.14. The energy from the near capacity crowd could be felt during the first race of the Pac-12 Networks broadcast and continued throughout.
Maddy Schaefer barely touched ahead of Cal’s Kaylin Bing to bring home the victory between a pair of first-place showings from the Bears’ Missy Franklin.
Franklin, a four-time Olympic gold medalist, won three events on the day, the 100, 200 and 1,000 freestyles, to help Cal keep pace. After Franklin’s third win, Stanford had totaled five victories with Cal at four through nine races.
After that, it was all Cardinal. Katie Olsen, who won both breaststroke races, started a streak of five straight Stanford wins by taking the 200 breast (2:11.23).
Three consecutive Stanford seniors followed Olsen in the top spots, as Taylor (500 free, 4:49.06), Lee (100 fly, 52.74), and DiRado (200 IM, 1:57.62) propelled the Cardinal.
“The meet was really back-and-forth and it never really felt like we took control or they gave up,” noted DiRado. “To look up and see that score is really rewarding.”
Phipps’ claimed the three-meter competition around the same time the trio was putting together its run on the other side of the stands. She totaled a 323.25 after finishing second in the one-meter.
“The divers did well overall,” said diving coach Dr. Rick Shavone. “Cal’s diver Anne (Kastler) is an excellent diver – a national-level diver – so losing to her on one-meter was not a big surprise, but coming back on three-meter was very important going into the championship season. Stephanie will be facing her again at (the Pac-12 meet) and Zones, so believing she can beat her is important.”
Maddy Schaefer and Lia Neal also highlighted the front half of the meet with a 1-2 showing in the 50 free.
Fans from Stanford and Cal raised nearly $2,000 for the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford during the meet. The organization accepted donations on the concourse during most of the action.
The Cardinal, which finished 10-0 in dual meets, moves on to the championship portion of the season. Next up is the Pac-12 meet Feb. 26-March 1 in Federal Way, Wash.
California Press Release
Missy Franklin won three individual events and Anne Kastler set a school record on the 1-meter board, but No.4 Stanford pulled away from top-ranked Cal over the final five events to win their annual dual meet, 167-133, Saturday.
“There were a lot of close races, which I’m really proud of, but unfortunately, we didn’t end up on top of too many of them,” head coach Teri McKeever said. “A couple of those go the other way and I think it’s a different outcome. As we move forward, we have to look at how we can be on the other end of some of those. I think the depth in our squad is showing up. Right now, we have to stay focused on our journey and be ready in 10 days for Pac-12’s.”
The conference championships run Feb. 26-March 1 in Federal Way, Wash., which presents a different format that McKeever believes will benefit the Bears.
“I think this team is a much better championship team than it is a dual-meet team,” McKeever said. “A lot of our strengths are in the same area, which doesn’t always help you in a dual-meet situation. Right now, we need to take one day at a time, get a lot of rest, stay healthy and get ready to go when we head to Washington.”
The Bears got off to a strong start in the first swimming event when Franklin pulled away from Stanford’s Andie Taylor to claim the 1000 free in 9:53.81 to Taylor’s 9:58.02. The Bears’ Catherine Breed and Melanie Klaren were third and fourth in 10:06.18 and 10:07.79, respectively.
The Cardinal then edged the Bears by a mere .07 seconds in the 200 medley relay with the Cal foursome of Cindy Tran, Yvette Kong, Farida Osman and Kaylin Bing finishing second in 1:39.23.
The 200 free followed, and Franklin came back to claim the event in 1:45.46, ahead of runner-up Lia Neal of Stanford (1:47.52). Entering the race, Franklin ranked No. 1 in the country in the event with Neil third. Caroline Piehl (1:48.13) and Rachael Acker (1:48.70) gave the Bears valuable points by finishing 3-4.
Felicia Lee of Stanford held off a late charge from Cal’s Elizabeth Pelton to just out-touch her in the 100 back, 53.02 to 53.04. The Cardinal then went 1-2 in the 100 breast, led by Katie Olsen’s 1:00.56. Kong was Cal’s top finisher in third in 1:02.59.
In another close race, Stanford’s Maya DiRado edged Cal’s Celina Li in the 200 fly, 1:57.85 to 1:58.10. As a result, the Cardinal took the lead in the team standings for the first time by a score of 58-54.
The 50 free saw Stanford’s Maddy Schaefer and Neal claim the first two places with Bing in third (22.99) for Cal before the diving break.
Kastler, the reigning Pac-12 Diver of the Month, established a school-record score of 297.30 on her way to victory the 1-meter board. She later claimed second on the 3-meter board with 299.40 points.
Back in the pool, Franklin prevailed in her third individual event with a win in a tight 100 free in 48.99. Stanford’s Neal (49.11) and Schaefer (49.16) were next, and Acker was fourth in 50.21 for the Bears.
Pelton gave Cal back-to-back wins with a dominating victory in the 200 back as she touched the wall in 1:55.35 for a nearly three-second margin over Stanford’s Annemarie Thayer. The result pushed the Bears back into the lead, 96-92.
The Cardinal, though, won the remaining races and retook the advantage in the team race by three points with a 1-2 showing in the 200 breast. Cal’s Celina Li was third in 2:15.47 by a mere .04 seconds. Stanford also placed first and second in the 500 free to move further in front.
Lee took control of the 100 fly, reaching the wall in 52.74, with Cal’s Sophia Batchelor second (54.29) and Tran third (54.62). DiRado added another Stanford win in the 200 IM in 1:57.62. Cal’s Li (1:57.96) and Pelton (1:59.74) had the next two spots. Finally, Stanford closed out the meet with a time of 3:18.06 in the 400 free relay, as Cal’s Acker, Rachel Bootsma, Bing and Franklin were timed in 3:19.28.
The meet was televised live by the Pac-12 Networks and is scheduled to be replayed Sunday at 6 p.m. and Monday at 10:30 a.m. PT.