No. 1 Stanford Women Down No. 14 UCLA, 130-105, to Remain Undefeated

STANFORD, California, January 19. NUMBER one Stanford (8-0, 4-0 Pac-10) moved one step closer to its first unbeaten dual meet regular season since the 2001-02 campaign with a 130-105 victory over No. 14 UCLA (6-2, 2-2 Pac-10) at the Avery Aquatic Center on Friday. Julia Smit highlighted the victory with her pool record, career-best and NCAA `A’ time of 1:57.43 in a 200 IM win. Smit also led off an exhibition 200 free relay team that set another pool record (1:32.18, NCAA `B’) with a 50 free split of 23.20 (NCAA `B’) and won the 100 free in 50.17 (NCAA `B’).

“It was really exciting to swim that time and break a pool record today,” said Smit about her 200 IM swim. “It was the fastest I’ve gone and to do it during the regular season just shows that hopefully I’ll be able to go a lot faster than that at the end of the season.”

“We’ve talked about trying to break some pool records today and tomorrow, so that’s been a goal,” said Stanford head coach Lea Maurer. “Any time we’ve set a challenge for Julia [Smit], she takes it seriously. She doesn’t just try to do it by a little bit, she tries to give her best effort and do what she can, and she’s answered every challenge we’ve given her.”

Six other Stanford swimmers and divers – Elizabeth Durot (1000 free), Fiona O’Donnell-McCarthy (200 free), Brooke Bishop (50 free), Cassidy Krug (1-meter diving), Elaine Breeden (200 fly) and Caroline Bruce (200 back) – added one individual win each against the Bruins.

“Our team’s performance was really exciting today,” explained Maurer. “It’s always tough to go back-to-back after swimming the Arizona schools last week. That’s a tough double and you never know how people are going to be prepared, but we showed a lot today. We were loose and happy and were able to gather energy through our collective effort.”

Bishop, Bruce, Nilasha Ghosh and Madeline Rovira were winners in the meet-opening 400 medley relay in an NCAA `B’ time of 3:40.60 with Bishop leading off the race with an NCAA `B’ 100 back split of 54.91.

Durot (9:52.53) then outswam teammate Desire&é Stahley (9:55.43) to win the 1000 free before O’Donnell-McCarthy chalked up her 200 free win in an NCAA `B’ time of 1:49.08. Whitney Spence (1:49.46) and Stahley (1:49.71) finished second and third in the 200 free and also came up with NCAA `B’ marks.

Bishop’s 50 free win (23.00, NCAA `B’) proceeded Smit’s dominating swim in the 200 IM where she smashed Mary Ellen Blanchard’s 14-year-old pool record by 2.36 seconds. Breeden also bettered Blanchard’s old mark in a second place finish with a career-best and NCAA `A’ time of 1:58.81.

After a 15-minute break in the action, Breeden came right back to record her second NCAA `A’ time of the meet by winning the 200 fly in 1:56.19 and defeating her nearest competitor by 6.56 seconds in the process.

Smit then claimed her 100 free victory before Bruce went 2:00.01 (NCAA `B’) in her 200 back win.

UCLA’s Katie Nelson finally broke through for the Bruins when she won the 500 free in 4:50.90, edging Durot (4:51.32) and Stahley (4:51.73) in an exciting race that came down to the wire. All three swimmers recorded NCAA `B’ marks.

Stanford swam exhibition in the final two events in the pool as UCLA’s Nicolette Teo claimed the 200 breast in 2:16.04 (NCAA `B’) and a Bruin 200 free relay squad of Anna Potette, Katie Arnold, Amy Thurman and Katherine Wong won the 200 free relay in 1:34.29.

Cassidy Krug won the 1-meter diving competition for the Cardinal with 282.08 points and had the highest point total (326.10) while diving exhibition in the 3-meter, which was officially won by UCLA’s Sara Clark (264.00).

Andrea Axtell (200 back, 2:01.12), O’Donnell-McCarthy (100 free, 50.91) and Danielle Gonzales (200 breast, 2:17.43) added NCAA `B’ times for the Cardinal.

Stanford’s victory avenged one of its two losses last season when the Cardinal fell at UCLA, 180-120, on January 27, 2006.

The Cardinal will host No. 11 USC (5-2, 3-2 Pac-10), a 181-99 loser at No. 4 California on Friday, in its final home dual meet of the 2006-07 regular season at the Avery Aquatic Center on Saturday (1 pm, PT). The team’s four seniors – Lauren Costella, Morgan Hentzen, Krug and Stahley – will be honored in a ceremony prior to the meet.

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