Stanford, Cal Open With Relay Victories

Feb. 23, 2005

Pac-10 Women's Swimming Championships
at King County Aquatics Center
By George Edgar

FEDERAL WAY - The Pacific 10 Conference women's swimming championships got underway at the King County Aquatics Center, as Stanford and California opened with relay victories.

Stanford won the 200 yard medley relay, the first event of the meet, as Amy Wagner, Caroline Bruce, Dana Kirk, and Brooke Bishop, swam the event in 1 minute, 39.69 seconds. They followed up their medley relay victory with a second place showing in the 800 freestyle relay.

Lacey Boutwell anchored the Cardinal's 800 relay, as Bishop, a freshman, replaced her on the anchor leg in the 200 medley relay.

'Winning the first relay gives lots of energy for the team,' said Kirk, who swam the butterfly leg, and is from nearby Bremerton. 'For us, scoring in the 800 was huge. To get first and second in the first two events gives us momentum and starts everything rolling.'

California won the 800 yard freestyle relay, as Ashley Chandler, Erin Reilly, Emily Silver, and Lauren Medina, outdueled both Arizona and Stanford in a time of 7:08.37. Both Arizona and Stanford stayed close to Cal in the first two legs, but Silver pulled away in the third leg to give the Golden Bears a comfortable margin of victory.

'We had four solid swims,' said Cal coach Teri McKeever. 'They all did a good job.'

The men's diving championships are also being contested at Federal Way. In the 1-meter springboard event, Joona Puhakka of Arizona State University repeated as Pac-10 champion, as he led the competition most of the way.

Puhakka, a junior for the Sun Devils, scored 387.05 points en route to the championship. He led the preliminaries with 328.70 points. Mike Hilde and Kenny Jenkins of the University of Southern California finished second and third, respectively, behind Puhakka.

'He did a solid job out there,' said Arizona State diving coach Mark Bradshaw. 'He stepped up and did it; that's good to see. He's been struggling with his confidence lately, but he was up to the job today.'

Bradshaw added that Puhakka took some time off after the 2004 Olympics, when he competed for his native Finland, which affected his training, but he showed that he was up to the challenge after the layoff.

'It was definitely solid, nothing spectacular,' Puhakka said afterwards. 'I'm still working on coming back up from the time I took off. But I'm getting in shape so I can make the NCAA's.'

Pac-10 Women's Swimming Championships
at King County Aquatics Center, Federal Way

200 yard medley relay
1, Stanford (Amy Wagner, Caroline Bruce, Dana Kirk, Brooke Bishop),1:39.69;
2, Arizona, 1:40.32;
3, UCLA, 1:40.75;
4, Arizona State, 1:40.90;
5, California, 1:40.98;
6, USC, 1:42.62;
7, Washington (Desiree Johnson, Caitlin Shortt, Maggie Bever, Brittany Epperson),1:42.90;
8, Oregon State, 1:43.51.

800 yard freestyle relay
1, California (Ashley Chandler, Erin Reilly, Emily Silver, Lauren Medina),7:08.37;
2, Stanford, 7:10.50;
3, Arizona, 7:10.53;
4, USC, 7:12.21;
5, Arizona State, 7:15.43;
6, UCLA, 7:15.60;
7, Oregon State, 7:24.27;
8, Washington State (Erin McCleave, Lina Daugvilaite, Maegan Wood, Kayli Christensen), 7:29.15.

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