#3 Stanford Women's Swimming & Diving Looking To Regain Pac-10 Championship Beginning February 22

Feb. 21, 2001

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UPCOMING STANFORD MEETS
Thu.-Sat., February 22-24 - #3 Stanford at Pac-10 Championships (All Day)
Sun., February 25 - #3 Stanford at Federal Way Invitational (All Day)

#3 Stanford participates in the Pac-10 Championships this Thursday-Saturday, February 22-24. The event will be hosted by Washington State and held in Federal Way, Washington. Stanford won the event 13 consecutive times from 1987-99 before finishing second to Arizona last season. Stanford swimmers and divers have dominated the meet as they claim Pac-10 meet records in 13 of 21 events. This year's event will feature five of the nation's Top 10 teams in #2 Arizona, #3 Stanford, #4 California, #8 USC and #10 UCLA. Stanford defeated California, USC and UCLA in dual meets this season but was defeated by Arizona. The Cardinal finished the dual meet season with a 6-1 overall record and was 4-1 against Pac-10 schools. The Cardinal will also compete at the Federal Way Invitational on February 25.

PREVIEW OF STANFORD AT THE 2001 PAC-10 CHAMPIONSHIPS
The Stanford women's swimming and diving team will be looking to regain the Pac-10 championships this season after a 13-year Cardinal run was ended by Arizona at the 2000 Pac-10 Championships with the Cardinal finishing second. Stanford will rely upon a few of the nation's top swimmers in 2000 Olympic Gold Medal winner Misty Hyman, Jessica Foschi, freshman sensation Tara Kirk, Shelly Ripple and freshman sensation Tara Kirk, as well as divers McKenze Murphy and Erin Sones. The Cardinal is talented but arguably lacking in depth.

'I like this team a lot. I like their attitude and they way they compete,' said Stanford head coach Richard Quick. 'I'm looking forward to the conference meet and the NCAA's.' Following is an event-by-event look at the Stanford team in the 2001 Pac-10 Championships...

SPRINT FREESTYLE (50, 100)
The Cardinal has been hampered in the sprint freestyle events during the 2000-01 campaign, primarily because of a shoulder injury that top sprinter Siobhan Cropper has been nursing throughout the season. The Cardinal hope that Cropper will still be able to play a major role in the Pac-10 Championships, both individually and on the relays, but the team doesn't expect her to be able to make the contribution it had hoped for at the beginning of the season due to her injury. Freshmen Megan Baumgartner and Kelly Bennett will also compete for the Cardinal in the event. Misty Hyman (23.65) swam the team's best time in the 50 freestyle this year, leading off the 200 freestyle relay (12/1). Shelly Ripple (51.14) posted the team's best mark in the 100 freestyle, leading off the 400 freestyle relay (12/3). Stanford has no athletes ranked among the NCAA's Top 25 in either the 50 or 100 freestyle.

'The sprint freestyle is by far our weakest area,' admitted Quick. 'We just don't have that cornerstone sprinter that you need at the collegiate level.'

DISTANCE FREESTYLE (200, 500, 1000, 1650)
The Cardinal is unquestionably led by Jessica Foschi in the distance freesytle events. Foschi has the NCAA's top time this season in the 500 freestyle (4:42.53), while ranking #11 in the 1650 freestyle (16:28.52), #17 in the 1000 freestyle (9:57.25) and #22 in the 200 freestyle (1:48.61). Misty Hyman (1:47.80) has the team's top time in the 200 freestyle (#13 NCAA), while Shelly Ripple (1:48.72) and Lauren Thies (1:49.62) have also posted NCAA 'B' Qualifying Standards in the event. Thies also hopes to contribute in the 500 freestyle, while Jessie Carr should help in the 1650 freestyle.

'We do have a lack of depth in this area as well, but we do have Jessica Foschi,' emphasized Quick. 'She has a chance to win some of the events at the Pac-10 level and should also be in the upper echelon nationally, particularly in the 500 and 1650 freestyle events.'

BACKSTROKE (100, 200)
Stanford boasts two of the nation's top backstrokers in Misty Hyman and Shelly Ripple. Hyman currently owns the NCAA's third-best time in the 100 backstroke (53.66) and is sixth in the 200 backstroke (1:58.01). Ripple is #18 in the 100 backstroke (55.32) and #23 in the 200 backstroke (2:00.13). Alexis Oakland may also be a factor in both events, while Megan Baumgartner is expected to contribute in the 100 backstroke.

'The backstroke is a tremendous event for us because of Shelly Ripple and Misty Hyman,' said Quick. 'They should both contend to win the event(s) they swim in this area.'

BREASTSTROKE (100, 200)
Freshman sensation Tara Kirk has an opportunity to win the NCAA championship in both the 100 and 200 breaststroke. Kirk's most recent time of 59.51 at California (2/10) in the 100 backstroke is the best in the NCAA this season, set new Stanford and Pac-10 records, and is only 0.46 from the American record in the event. Her top time of 2:11.70 in the 200 breaststroke ranks second in the NCAA's in that event.

'Tara Kirk is extraordinary and has been the total package this season,' said Quick. 'She reminds me of a Summer Sanders, a Jenny Thompson or a Misty Hyman. She works hard, has a great attitude and is a great competitor. At the most critical time, her best seems to come out. She is on such an improvement curve it's almost scary. I really look for her to have an exceptional meet at the Pac-10's and then take a step up at the NCAA Championships. She has a chance to win both of the breaststroke events at the Pac-10's and the NCAA's.'

Amber Rais may also be a factor in both breaststrokes

BUTTERFLY (100, 200)
The story with the butterfly is almost identical to that of the backstroke with Misty Hyman and Shelly Ripple leading the Cardinal. Hyman ranks second in the NCAA's this year in both the 100 butterfly (52.68) and the 200 butterfly (1:56.25), trailing California's Natalie Coughlin in both events. Ripple ranks #6 in the 100 butterfly (53.92) and #8 in the 200 butterfly (1:58.70).

'We have two of the top butterfly participants in the nation in Hyman and Ripple,' said Quick.

INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY (200, 400)
The individual medley events have a potential to be a strength for the Cardinal dependent upon who the team decides to swim in the events. Once again, Hyman and Ripple rank among the nation's best in both events but may not participate at the Pac-10 level due to event restrictions. In fact, one of the two events will probably not have either Hyman or Ripple participating. For the record, Hyman ranks #3 in the 200 IM (1:59.90) and #5 in the 400 IM (4:13.29), while Ripple is #10 in the 200 IM (2:00.87) and #13 in the 400 IM (4:15.75). Jessie Carr will be counted upon in the 400 IM, as may Jessica Foschi and Lauren Thies.

RELAYS (200, 400, 800 FREESTYLE RELAY/200, 400 MEDLEY RELAY)
'I think we're going to have four very good relays,' said Quick. 'The medley relay teams are definitely capable of winning the Pac-10 championships.'

A wide variety of athletes may participate in all four relays but the relays should be built around the foursome of Misty Hyman, Shelly Ripple, Jessica Foschi and Tara Kirk.

DIVING
The Cardinal diving team made a significant impact on the team's fortunes during the regular season and should continue to do so at the Pac-10 Championships. McKenze Murphy has had a standout season, recording the team's top marks in the one-meter championship (274.85), one-meter dual (281.40), three-meter dual (288.375) and platform (438.30) scoring formats. Erin Sones, the 2000 Pac-10 Diver of the Year, has the team's top point total in the three-meter championship scoring format (507.80).

'Diving will be a real strength of ours at the Pac-10 meet,' said Quick. 'We relied a lot on our divers during the dual meet season, and we look forward to doing that at the Pac-10 meet.'

A BRIEF LOOK BACK AT THE 2000-2001 STANFORD DUAL MEET SEASON
Stanford finished the dual meet season with a 6-1 record and was 4-1 against five Pac-10 opponents. The Cardinal's only loss of the season came at the hands of #3 Arizona. The Cardinal rebounded six days later with a dominating 168-132 victory over then #2 UCLA. The Cardinal pulled out two wins in dramatic fashion over its final two weeks of the season, defeating Texas (190.50 - 181.50) on February 2-3 and California (151-149) in the regular season finale on February 10.

STANFORD AT THE 2000 PAC-10 CHAMPIONSHIPS
Despite the second-place finish last season, the Cardinal did win nine of the 21 events contested. An 800 freestyle relay team of Jessica Foschi, Gabrielle Rose, Shelly Ripple and Lauren Thies set a new Pac-10 meet record (7:10.79). Catherine Fox (50 freestyle, 100 freestyle), Foschi (500 freestyle, 1650 freestyle) and Ripple (100 backstroke, 200 butterfly) were all dual individual winners. The Cardinal also won the 400 freestyle relay with a group of Rose, Siobhan Cropper, Ripple and Fox (3:17.78). Erin Sones rounded out the Cardinal winners with a victory in the three-meter diving competition and was named the Pac-10 Diver of the Year.

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