Women's Swimming And Diving Hosts 2001 NCAA Champ Georgia Wednesday
Oct. 24, 2001
THIS WEEK'S STANFORD MEETS
Wednesday, October 24 (2:00 p.m.) - Georgia (1-1) at Stanford (1-0)
Friday, October 26 (12:00 p.m.) - Texas (1-0) at Stanford
*Both meets to be held at the Avery Aquatic Center
STANFORD WOMEN'S SWIMMING AND DIVING ESSENTIAL QUICK NOTES
Stanford continues its fall women's swimming and diving season by hosting defending national champion Georgia (Wednesday, October 24, 2:00 p.m.) and perennial national power Texas (Friday, October 26, 12:00 p.m.) in a pair of meets at the Avery Aquatic Center ... Stanford began its 2001-02 season with a dual meet victory (143-117) over Pacific on October 12 ... The Cardinal finished second at the NCAA Championships last year and has won eight NCAA titles all-time (nine national championships), including six since the 1991-92 season ... The Cardinal has finished among the nation's top three teams in each of the 21 NCAA Championships dating back to 1981 and has finished third or better nationally for each of the last 26 seasons ... Stanford is in its 28th season of women's swimming and diving and has posted an all-time dual meet record of 204-16 (.927) ... Stanford has three returning 2001 NCAA champions on this year's team in seniors Shelly Ripple and Jessica Foschi, as well as sophomore Tara Kirk ... Three of last year's six NCAA champions (Siobhan Cropper, Misty Hyman, Erin Sones) have completed their eligibility at Stanford ... Stanford's roster for the 2001-02 season stands at 34, which is 15 more than the 19 members of last year's team ... The Cardinal has a total of 19 newcomers (14 swimmers, five divers), while 14 letterwinners return from last year, as does senior diver Kim Powers (redshirted 2000-01 season due to an injury).
UP NEXT FOR THE CARDINAL
Following this week's home dual meets against Georgia and Texas, the Cardinal swimming team will be out of action for over a month before finishing the fall portion of its 2001-02 schedule at the Texas Invitational from November 30 - December 2. The diving team will have two meets prior to the Texas Invitational, hosting the Stanford Invite (November 2-3) and travelling to the Trojan Invite (November 8-10) hosted by USC. Both teams begin their respective spring schedules by hosting Arizona in a Pac-10 opener on Friday, January 25 (12:00 p.m.).
STANFORD TOPS PACIFIC IN 2001-02 SEASON-OPENER, 143-117
Stanford opened the 2001-02 campaign with a 143-117 home victory over Pacific on October 12. Stanford senior Shelly Ripple won three events (200 yard fly, 100 yard fly, 200 yard IM) in her first meet of the season, while senior Jessica Foschi (500 yard free, 1000 yard free) and freshman Sara Jones (50 yard free, 100 yard free) won two events each. Pacific had two-time individual winners in Heidi Schmidt (100 yard breast, 200 yard breast) and Sarah Marshall (100 yard back, 200 yard back). Robin Errecart (200 yard free) was Pacific's other individual winner. The Tigers also won both relay events (400 yard medley relay, 400 yard free relay) as the teams each won seven of the 14 events contested.
SHELLY RIPPLE WINS THREE EVENTS AND PICKS UP NCAA 'A' QUALIFYING STANDARD IN FIRST MEET OF SEASON
Senior Shelly Ripple started off her final collegiate season with a bang by winning three events (200 yard fly, 100 yard fly, 200 yard IM) and becoming the first Stanford swimmer of the season to record an NCAA 'A' Qualifying Standard when she clocked a 1:58.67 in the 200 yard butterfly versus Pacific. Four other NCAA 'B' Qualifying Standards were set by Stanford swimmers. Ripple set a pair of 'B' marks in the 100 yard fly (55.09) and 200 yard IM (2:03.05), while Jessica Foschi set a 'B' standard in the 500 yard free (4:53.69) and as a second-place finisher in the 200 yard free (1:49.91).
JESSICA FOSCHI CONTINUES 500 YARD FREE WIN STREAK AND BEGINS SEASON WITH A PAIR OF VICTORIES
Senior Jessica Foschi began her final collegiate season by winning the 500 yard free (4:53.69) and 1000 yard free (10:01.95). The victory in the 500 yard free was Foschi's 10th in a row after winning all nine times she entered the 500 yard free a year ago.
FRESHMAN SARAH JONES WINS TWO SPRINT FREESTYLE EVENTS IN COLLEGIATE DEBUT
Freshman Sarah Jones had an impressive collegiate debut with a pair of victories in the 50 yard free (24.16) and 100 yard free (52.75) versus Pacific.
DIVERS TO MAKE SEASON DEBUT
The Stanford diving team will make its season debut versus Georgia this Wednesday after not participating in the first dual meet of the season versus Pacific. The divers will compete in one-meter and three-meter diving events versus Georgia and Texas. For a full review of the Stanford diving team, please read the diving section of the season preview on the following pages.
HEAD COACH RICHARD QUICK
Richard Quick is in his 14th year at the helm of the Stanford women's swimming and diving program. Quick's Stanford teams have won seven NCAA titles, including six in the past 10 seasons, while never finishing lower than third. He has won a total of 12 NCAA titles during his collegiate coaching career, the most in the history of Division I coaching.
Quick has led Stanford to 11 Pacific-10 crowns. He has lost only five dual meets while at Stanford, sporting a 96-5 dual record mark (.950) while coaching 75 All-Americans to 644 All-American honors. In addition, Quick has helped develop 38 NCAA champions at Stanford who have captured a combined 54 NCAA individual and 27 relay titles. Along the way, he has picked up five NCAA Coach of the Year honors and four Pac-10 Coach of the Year awards, most recently being honored by the Pacific-10 in 2000-01.
Quick's success is not limited to the Stanford campus. In 25 years as a collegiate head coach, he has compiled an overall dual meet record of 185-34 (.845) and a 153-25 (.860) record as a women's head coach. Quick has led his teams to 17 conference crowns, all on the women's side. Before coming to The Farm, Quick led the University of Texas to a then-unprecedented five straight NCAA titles (1984-1988), a string he extended to six straight in his first season with the Cardinal. To put things in perspective, of the past 18 NCAA titles awarded, Richard Quick coached squads have captured 12 of them.
Quick is also arguably the top women's swimming coach in the world with three stints as the Olympic head coach for the U.S. Women's Swimming Team and as a five-time member of the U.S. coaching staff at the Games.
STANFORD WOMEN'S SWIMMING AND DIVING HISTORY
The Stanford women's swimming and diving program has been the most successful in NCAA Division I history. Stanford has won the most NCAA Division I titles with eight and has finished in at least third place throughout the entire 21-year history of the NCAA Championships. Stanford women's swimmers and divers have claimed 71 individual NCAA titles and 38 NCAA relay crowns.
2000-01 STANFORD SEASON REVIEW
Stanford nearly won its ninth NCAA title (10th national) in 2000-01 when the Cardinal finished a mere 1.5 points behind first-place Georgia in the closest NCAA Championships ever. The Cardinal led the meet heading into the final event (800 yard free relay) thanks to an incredible effort from only nine NCAA qualifiers. The second-place finish was one spot better than in 2000 and extended Stanford's run of top three finishes at the NCAA Championships to 21, a streak that has spanned the entire history of the event.
Stanford had a great deal of individual success at the 2001 NCAA's as three of the top five individual high point scorers were from Stanford. Misty Hyman placed third with 54 points, while Jessica Foschi (51) and Shelly Ripple (49) were fourth and fifth.
The Cardinal won six of the 21 events at the NCAA Championships, more than any other school. Six different athletes were crowned NCAA champions 12 times. Four Stanford athletes won individual NCAA titles with victories by Jessica Foschi (500 yard free, 4:37.81), Misty Hyman (200 yard butterfly, 1:53.63), Tara Kirk (100 yard breaststroke, 59.18) and Erin Sones (platform diving, 463.05). Stanford also won the 200 (1:38.43) and 400 (3:32.43) yard medley relays with a team of Shelly Ripple, Kirk, Hyman and Siobhan Cropper in both events. The Cardinal set new NCAA, NCAA Meet and U.S. Open records in the 400 yard medley relay.
Stanford won 13 of the 21 events contested at the 2001 Pac-10 Championships (February 22-24 in Federal Way, Washington) but still finished fourth due to a lack of depth on the squad, the lowest the team had ever finished in the event. UCLA won the event with 1338.00 points, followed by Arizona (1289.50), USC (1112.50), Stanford (1085.50), California (1001.50), Arizona State (853.00), Washington State (432.00), Washington (365.00) and Oregon State (285.00).
Misty Hyman led Stanford with six Pac-10 individual championships. Hyman won the 100 and 200 yard fly, as well as the 100 yard back, and was also on Stanford title teams in the 200 yard medley relay, 400 yard medley relay and 800 yard freestyle relay. Shelly Ripple (200 yard IM, 200 yard medley relay, 400 yard medley relay, 800 yard freestyle relay) and Tara Kirk (100 yard breaststroke, 200 yard breaststroke, 200 yard medley relay, 400 yard medley relay) won four titles each. Jessica Foschi (500 yard freestyle, 1650 yard freestyle, 800 yard freestyle relay) and Lauren Thies (400 yard medley relay, 200 yard freestyle relay, 800 yard freestyle relay) followed with three each. Haley Champion (200 yard medley relay) and Erin Sones (platform diving) had one each.
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 regular season, defeating Texas (190.50 - 181.50) on February 2-3 and California (151-149) in the regular season finale on February 10.
2001-02 STANFORD WOMEN'S SWIMMING & DIVING PREVIEW
The makeup of the 2001-02 Stanford women's swimming and diving team will include a mix of returning NCAA Champions and All-Americans with a large group of talented newcomers. The Cardinal, which finished second at the NCAA Championships with a valiant effort last season, hopes its can use this mix to return to the top of the NCAA heap for the first time since 1998. The Cardinal won six NCAA titles in the 1990's, including five in a row from 1992-96. Stanford, which has never finished lower than third in the 21 years of the NCAA Championships, hopes a much larger roster than last year with a squad of 34 swimmers and divers can help it achieve its goal.
'I really think our team has a chance to compete with the best teams in the nation,' said head coach Richard Quick. 'It should be a really exciting season. We need our experienced people to come through and have some of the new people step up, but we have a great mix. The leadership is extraordinary and the rest of team should be able to feed off that leadership. This team seems to have a really nice chemistry and that makes a big difference.'
'Obviously, our team is led by Shelly, Jessica and Tara,' said Quick. 'We will rely upon the leadership that we know they will provide. Not only are all three of them great athletes, but they are great leaders and great examples of doing what it takes to get it done as well. If the rest of the team can feed off that leadership, it will make a big difference.'
'With great leadership from our experienced veterans and the rest of the team doing its job by getting as many people in the finals of the NCAA Championships as possible, I really think this team has a chance at the NCAA's,' continued Quick. 'Just as last year, the people we are counting on will have to come through, and then we have to have some new people step up.'
Ripple is an extraordinary leader that was a seven-time All-American in 2001, running her career All-American honors total to 17 in her first three years. The four-time NCAA champion was a member of both the 200 and 400 yard medley relay title teams in 2001, the same feat she accomplished as a freshman in 1999. Ripple added All-American performances at the NCAA's last year in the 200 yard IM (second), 200 yard fly (second), 800 yard free relay (second), 100 yard back (fourth) and 400 yard free relay (fourth). Ripple is primed to capture her first individual NCAA title this year and take over in a role as the team's top swimmer following the graduation of 28-time All-American Misty Hyman.
'Shelly Ripple can do it all,' said Quick. 'She is so versatile and having an athlete like her on the team really improves everybody's performance. Having her be so strong in the butterfly, backstroke and individual medley will allow us to use her in the spots where we need her most depending upon the development of the rest of the team.'
Foschi won the 500 yard freestyle in front of a hometown New York crowd at the NCAA Championships last year and was a five-time All-American, including a second-place finish in the 1650 yard free. Foschi has 10 career All-American credits.
'Jessica Foschi is one of the finest distance freestyle swimmers ever at Stanford and one of the nation's best right now,' said Quick. 'We are looking for an even better senior season from her.'
Kirk had an incredible freshman season, bursting onto the collegiate swimming scene by winning the 100 yard breast and finishing second in the 200 yard breast at the NCAA Championships. She set school records and had the nation's best time of the year in both events, swimming a 2:08.54 in the 200 yard breast to win at the Pac-10 Championships that would have been good enough to win the NCAA's.
'I already consider Tara Kirk the best breaststroker in the nation, and she's on a great improvement curve,' said Quick.
Two-time All-American junior diver McKenze Murphy is the team's other returning All-American.
'McKenze is coming off a very good collegiate season where she made tremendous improvement,' said Stanford head diving coach Rick Schavone. 'She is the most experienced leader of a strong diving nucleus.'
The versatile Alexis Oakland is the team's other senior and looks to play a big factor in the fate of the 2001-02 Cardinal.
'Alexis Oakland is one of the keys to our team,' said Quick. 'She's a versatile athlete and an experienced swimmer. If she has a great year, it will make a huge difference in our squad.'
Stanford has 10 other letterwinners returning and a large incoming group of newcomers totaling 19 swimmers and divers that will have the opportunity to play a huge role on the squad.
'There are so many athletes that need to play potentially big roles,' said Quick. 'I don't know which ones are going to come through and do that yet.'
'It's an interesting incoming class,' continued Quick. 'They are very talented and have a great work ethic, and they work well together. But, most of them still need to show they can have success at the highest level. It reminds me of several classes we've had here at Stanford and those classes improved, stepped up and put together a string of NCAA championships. We're hoping this class can take a run at that same kind of thing.'
The incoming group will have big shoes to fill as it looks to replace a pair of NCAA champions and four All-Americans from last year in Misty Hyman (three NCAA titles, seven All-American honors), Siobhan Cropper (two NCAA titles, three All-American honors), Erin Sones (one NCAA title, two All-American honors) and Lauren Thies (two All-American honors).
'Replacing someone like Misty Hyman is a quite a chore,' said Quick of the 12-time NCAA champion who finished her collegiate eligibility at the 2001 NCAA Championships. 'Our other graduated seniors have also made huge contributions in the past.'
'I see this team really beginning to develop late in the season,' added Quick. 'Our goal is to peak at the NCAA Championships for two reasons. First, that's the way to approach any season and, second, we have so many young people that we'll be developing by leaps and bounds throughout the season. We may be a little vulnerable early in the year, especially with the tough meets we have early on our schedule. But having tough meets early is a wonderful way to get an idea of who can step up later in the year at the national level. I think we'll be pretty solid by the end of the season.'
The Cardinal opens its 2001-02 campaign against Pacific (October 12) before a pair of tough home dual meets against perennial national powers Georgia (October 24) and Texas (October 26). Stanford finishes its fall schedule at the Texas Invite (November 30 - December 2). The Cardinal opens its Pac-10 season with a pair of home meets against Arizona (January 25) and Arizona State (January 26). The team will then travel to Los Angeles for a pair of Pac-10 meets at UCLA (February 1) and USC (February 2) before concluding its regular season schedule by hosting California (February 16). The Pac-10 Championships (February 28 - March 2) and NCAA Championships (March 21-23) highlight and conclude the team's season. The divers will also compete in the Stanford Invite (November 2-3), the Trojan Invite (November 8-10) and the NCAA Zone Meet (March 14-16).
Stanford will get a good look at some of the teams it will have to contend with for the national title by seeing Georgia and Texas during the regular season, while Quick expects Arizona and USC to be among the best in the Pac-10.
Following is an event-by-event look at the 2001-02 Stanford women's swimming and diving team.
SPRINT FREESTYLE (50, 100)
Stanford hopes to improve tremendously in its sprint freestyle events from a year ago when the Cardinal failed to qualify an NCAA swimmer in the 50 yard freestyle and had no finalists in the 100 free. The team has more potential in both events this year, led by Hawaii transfer Sara Watchorn. Last year, Watchorn qualified for the NCAA's in both sprint freestyle events after winning a pair of Western Athletic Conference titles. Freshman Lacey Boutwell is also a threat in the 100 yard free after finaling in the 100 meter free at the 2001 Senior Nationals. Boutwell currently ranks 58th in the world in the 100 meter free (55.95) in the short course 25-meter pool rankings.
Sophomore Kelly Bennett was Stanford's top performer in the 50 yard free last year and is looking to earn a spot in the NCAA's this season after narrowly missing the mark last year. Sophomore Megan Baumgartner should also be a factor in both the 50 and 100.
There is also a group of freshmen teaming with potential led by Sarah Jones, Allison Kirkwood and Crystal Rawlings. Jones finished 20th in the 100 meter free at the 2001 Senior Nationals, while Kirkwood was the 50 yard free high school national champion as a senior.
'We hope to be greatly improved in the sprint freestyle,' said Quick. 'We will have much more depth. Now, we just need a couple of swimmers to emerge out of the pack. If one or more of the newcomers can step up and be a finalist at the NCAA level then we should be in great shape.'
DISTANCE FREESTYLE (200, 500, 1650)
Stanford's distance freestyle group is anchored by senior Jessica Foschi, winner of the 500 yard free (4:37.81) at the 2001 NCAA Championships. Foschi is a 10-time All-American and also finished second in the 1650 yard free (16:03.47) and fifth in the 200 yard free (1:46.40) at the NCAA's last year. Foschi's times at the 2001 NCAA Championships rank her as the No. 2 all-time performer at Stanford in the 500 yard free, as well as No. 4 in the 1650 yard free. Foschi currently ranks among the world's best in the 50-meter pool long course rankings in the 400 meter free (29th, 4:14.13), 800 meter free (45th, 8:46.00) and 1500 meter free (51st, 16:51.2).
Foschi should be strongly supported in the 200 yard free primarily by freshman Lacey Boutwell, currently ranked 87th in the world in the 25-meter pool short course rankings in the 200 meter free. Evins Cameron should be the primary support for Foschi in the 500 and 1650 yard free. Cameron currently ranks among the world's best in the 50-meter pool long course rankings in the 400 meter free (131st, 4:20.17), 800 meter free (112th, 8:54.37) and 1500 meter free (98th, 16:51.21). Others expected to provide support are junior Jessie Carr, as well as sophomores Katy Blakemore and Sarah Umetsu. Freshmen Erin Glenn and Claire Henderson should also contribute.
'Jessica Foschi competes at the highest level in the distance freestyle events and is our leader in this area,' said Quick. 'She will have excellent support this year by a large group of swimmers led by Evins Cameron.'
BUTTERFLY (100, 200)
The Cardinal may need the versatile Shelly Ripple most in the butterfly events as she is set to emerge from the shadows of NCAA 200 yard butterfly champion Misty Hyman this season. Ripple is currently ranked among the world's best in both the 100 (8th, 59.40) and 200 (12th, 2:10.62) meter butterfly for the 50-meter long course pool rankings. She finished second to Hyman in the 200 yard butterfly at the NCAA Championships last year despite not swimming the event at the Pac-10 Championships. Ripple's time of 1:54.95 at last year's NCAA's makes her the fourth-best performer in the event in Stanford history. Ripple is also Stanford's No. 8 all-time performer in the 100 yard fly with a time of 53.92 recorded at the Texas Invitational in December of 2000. Ripple's top three supporters in the 100 yard butterfly look to be sophomore Haley Champion, as well as incoming freshmen Lacey Boutwell and Amy Wagner. Champion placed 22nd in the event at the Pac-10 Championships last season. Boutwell and Wagner both participated in the 100 fly at last year's Senior Nationals. Sophomore Courtney Brigham, as well as freshmen Katie Ladewski and Erin Glenn are looking to contribute in the 200 fly. Other possible contributors in either or both fly events are senior Alexis Oakland and freshman Allison Kirkwood.
'Shelly Ripple is obviously the leader of our butterfly event,' said Quick. 'However, we will use her where we need her the most in either the butterfly or the backstroke.'
BACKSTROKE (100, 200)
The Cardinal backstroke may be led by versatile senior Shelly Ripple depending upon her role in the butterfly events. Ripple was fourth at the NCAA's in the 100 yard backstroke as a junior and freshman, as well as second in the 200 meter back as a sophomore. She ranks third all-time at Stanford in the 200 yard back (1:57.29) and is fourth in the 100 yard back (53.05). Three other returnees should play key roles in the backstroke events as well. Sophomore Haley Champion, who recorded the team's third-best performance (55.38) in the 100 yard back last year should be a factor in that event. Oakland (55.69) and Baumgartner (56.68) recorded the team's next best times in the 100 yard back a year ago by finishing seventh and eighth at the Pac-10 Championships, respectively. Freshman Amy Wagner should play a major role in the 100 yard back after finishing fifth in the 100 meter back (1:03.53) at the 2001 Senior Nationals, while freshman Sarah Jones has excellent potential in the event. Oakland should be Ripple's primary support in the 200 yard back after finishing eighth at the Pac-10 Championships last year (2:03.70).
'We have good potential in the backstroke with Shelly Ripple being one of the best in the country,' said Quick. 'But, it is an unsettled area depending upon whether we need to use Shelly more in this event or in the butterfly. Our strategy will be to use Shelly wherever the team needs her most. Right now, we are much better in the 100 yard backstroke than the 200. We will need to have some of our freshmen that have been good in the 100 move up to the 200 as well.'
BREASTSTROKE (100, 200)
The Cardinal boasts arguably the nation's top breaststroker in sophomore Tara Kirk, who stormed onto the collegiate scene a year ago by winning the 100 yard breaststroke (59.18) and finishing second in the 200 (2:09.18) at the NCAA Championships. Kirk actually had the nation's best times in both events as her 2:08.54 in the 200 yard breast at the Pac-10 Championships was the best in the country last year. She also set new Stanford records in both events. Kirk was undefeated in her eight 100 breaststroke races last season won seven of nine times in the 200 breaststroke.
Returning juniors Amber Rais and Jessie Carr hope to be factors in both breaststroke events. Rais posted a NCAA Qualifying 'B' Standard in the 100 yard breast last year with a 1:03.67 in the Pac-10 Championships to finish 10th.
The Cardinal also looks to have a strong group of incoming breaststrokers in freshmen Tenley Bick, Emily Carter and Kirsten Gilbert - all competitors in the 2001 Senior Nationals. Carter won the championship in the 200 breast at the 2000 Junior Nationals, while Bick (Indiana) and Gilbert (Arizona) were both high school state champions in the 100 breast last year as prep seniors. All three newcomers will be looked upon to contribute in both events.
'We're obviously led by Tara Kirk in both breaststroke events,' said Quick. 'This year, she also has a wonderful supporting class of freshmen. Our breaststroke is in good shape because of Tara Kirk and the leadership that she will provide for our talented group of newcomers. This could be one of our strongest events.'
INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY (200, 400)
Shelly Ripple also leads Cardinal swimmers in the individual medley events after finishing second at the NCAA Championships last year in the 200 yard IM, clocking a 1:56.24 that makes her the No. 2 performer all-time at Stanford in the event. Ripple is also the school's No. 8 all-time performer in the 400 yard IM (4:15.75) but did not swim the event at either the NCAA's or Pac-10's last year.
In addition, the Cardinal will also boast one of the nation's top newcomers in both events in freshman Tami Ransom, who finished fourth in the 200 meter IM at the Senior Nationals in 1999 and sixth last year. She also has three Top 20 Senior National finishes in the 400 meter IM.
Senior Alexis Oakland is also expected to contribute in the 200 yard IM, while freshman Evins Cameron should swim the 400 IM. Junior Jessie Carr also made a strong contribution in the 400 yard IM last season, finishing sixth at the Pac-10 Championships with an NCAA Qualifying 'B' Standard time of 4:19.96 and should be a factor if she can recover from shoulder surgery this fall.
'I think the individual medley events may be one of our best areas and once again we are led by Shelly Ripple,' said Quick. 'Shelly had phenomenal improvement in the individual medley last year. Our individual medley is in pretty good shape with Shelly and a strong cast of supporters.'
FREESTYLE RELAYS (200, 400, 800)
The Cardinal expect to be much improved in the freestyle relays with an influx of new sprint freestylers. Shelly Ripple will be the core of nearly every relay team depending upon where she is needed most. Sophomore returnees Kelly Bennett, Megan Baumgartner and Haley Champion figure to be in the mix. Newcomers expected to provide immediate impact include junior Sara Watchorn, as well as freshman Lacey Boutwell. Other incoming freshmen that could be a factor include Sarah Jones, Allison Kirkwood and Crystal Rawlings.
Stanford hopes this group will give the team even higher finishes than the second-place (800 yard free relay) and fourth-place (400 yard free relay) than the Cardinal had at last year's NCAA Championships. Stanford did not field a 200 yard relay team at the NCAA's a year ago.
'I think we could be among the nation's best in the 400 and 800 yard freestyle relays,' said Quick. 'Our 200 relay will be better this year, too.'
MEDLEY RELAYS (200, 400)
The Cardinal won both medley relay events at the NCAA Championships last season with a finals team of Shelly Ripple (back), Tara Kirk (breast), Misty Hyman (fly) and Siobhan Cropper (free). The 400 yard medley relay performance by the Cardinal set new NCAA, NCAA Meet and U.S. Open records. Ripple and Kirk expect be the anchors of the Cardinal medley relay teams this season with Ripple expected to replace Hyman in the butterfly. The two open spots will be competitive with freshman Amy Wagner a leading candidate in the backstroke and junior Sara Watchorn in the freestyle.
The diving team is both extremely talented and deep this season. The Cardinal should be one of the NCAA's best in diving and may be one of the best diving teams ever at Stanford. Junior McKenze Murphy returns after earning a pair of All-American honors in the one-meter (5th, 299.25) and platform (7th, 403.00) events last year. Five-time All-American senior Kim Powers comes back from a shoulder injury that kept her out of action last year and senior Alexis Sowa also returns after showing excellent improvement last season. The Cardinal will need to replace Erin Sones, the 2001 NCAA champion in platform diving (463.05).
A large freshman class of five divers is led by six-time Senior National champion Erica Sorgi, one of the finest young divers ever in the United States. Other incoming freshmen include Katie Berglund, Lauren Donovan, Erin Lashnits and Ashlee Rosenthal.
'Diving is absolutely one of our strongest events,' said Quick. 'We may have the best diving team in the NCAA in terms of quality and depth. We're very excited about this group.'
'I think we have a chance to take four divers to the NCAA Championships this year,' added head diving coach Rick Schavone. 'We've taken three before but never four. That kind of depth helps spread out the pressure. We will have two or three people at every event that is capable of winning. This is potentially the best diving team I've ever had at Stanford.'
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