FEDERAL WAY, WA, February 27. STANFORD expanded on its big lead on the third day of competition Friday at the 2005 Pac-10 Women's Swimming and Diving Championships being held at the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center, per Stanford sources.
The defending champion Cardinal has scored 1060 points through 14 of 21 events over the first three days of the four-day meet that concludes on Saturday and holds a 235-point lead over second-place Arizona.
"I actually didn't think we swam all that spectacular in the prelims this morning," said Stanford head coach Richard Quick. "But, I'm really proud of the way the team battled back and raced tonight, and we finished it off nicely with a great 400 relay."
Caroline Bruce won her second individual Pac-10 title, as well as her third and fourth conference crowns overall by taking the 400 IM and swimming the breaststroke leg on Stanford's winning 400 medley relay team.
Bruce clocked a personal-best NCAA "A" time of 4:10.31 that now ranks her the No. 3 all-time performer at Stanford this season and gives her the fourth-best time in the nation this season in the 400 IM.
Stanford's 400 medley relay team of Brooke Bishop, Bruce, Dana Kirk and Lacey Boutwell turned in the third-best time in the country this season with an NCAA "A" mark of 3:35.87.
Bruce had another resounding performance in a 100 breast exhibition swim when she recorded a personal-best and NCAA "A" time of 1:00.03 that ranks her as the second-best performer in Stanford history and second in the nation in the event this season. The time was actually the fastest swam in the nation this season for short-course yard but trails a converted short-course meters time of 59.26 turned in by Georgia's Sarah Poewe.
Kristen Caverly (400 IM, 4:10.83) picked up an NCAA "A" times Friday with her second-place finish behind Bruce, as did Lacey Boutwell (1:47.25) and Elizabeth Durot (1:47.49) to take fourth and fifth in the 200 free.
ASU’s freshman Caitlin Andrew won the 100 fly with a interesting twist in strategy. In the prelims she went out hard at :24.9 and finished with a lifetime best, NCAA “A” cut of :53.21. Sounds like you try to do it the same way again, right? Apparently Caitlin and Coach Mike Chasson had other ideas as she went out over half a second slower at :25.52 but was enough fresher to finish at :52.64, changing from a morning :28.3 on the back half to :27.12 in the final. And he needed the extra juice coming home as Stanford’s butterfly Olympian Dana Kirk at :52.90 and UCLA’s Kim Vandenberg at :53.30 were also under the :53.75 “A” cut.
The women’s 200 free actually had seven “A” cuts (1:47.61), with three by Cal Golden Bears, including another freshman champion in Emily Silver (1:46.71) who made the fastest last 50 (:26.91) pay off in moving by Arizona’s Jessica Hayes by .06 seconds. Cal’s Lauren Medina was third at 1:46.83 and teammate Ashley Chandler sixth at 1:47.51. Finally, the defending champion, Florencia Szigeti of ASU was seventh but still under the “A” standard at 1:47.60. Only .89 seconds separate the top eight.
Cal got another win and the Sun Devils another “A” standard in the 100 breaststroke when sophomore Anne Babicz touched first at 1:01.12 and ASU great Agnes Kovacs led at the 50 but tired a bit on the last leg to touch at 1:01.31 after a 1:00.96 prelim swim. (“A” cut – 1:02.00)
The 100 back was a fun event for the fans as UCLA freshman and Arizona junior Marshi Smith touched in a dead heat at :53.22, with ASU’s Caitlin Andrew picking up her second “A” standard of the day at :54.10. Jenna Gresdal, Arizona-:54.34, and USC senior Jo Fargus at :54.44 also going “A.”
Cassidy Krug's was second behind USC junior Blythe Hartley (543.20) with a personal-best point total of 536.65 to lead three Stanford divers among the first five finishers in the 3-meter springboard. Ashlee Rosenthal (469.30) and Sara Bowling (personal-best 469.30) were fourth and fifth.
"We have a good day tomorrow, so hopefully we should be in pretty good shape," said Quick.
Stanford has won 15 of the 18 Pac-10 Championships contested since the meet began in 1987, including the first 13 in a row (1987-99).
TEAM SCORES – AFTER DAY 3 OF 4 (14 OF 21 EVENTS)
1. Stanford 1060, 2. Arizona 825, 3. California 748, 4. UCLA 660, 5. Arizona State 616.5, 6. USC 595, 7. Oregon State 358.5, 8. Washington 293, 9. Washington State 227
• Caroline Bruce now ranks among Stanford's all-time performers in the 100 breast (No. 2, 1:00.03), 200 breast (No. 3, 2:11.08), 400 IM (No. 3, 4:10.31) and 200 IM (No. 5, 1:58.15) with personal-best times in all four events this season
Cassidy Krug recorded a personal-best 294.85 points for 1-meter diving championship format during Thursday's prelims