Cardinal Men Take A Lead Into The Final Day Of Pac-10 Championships

March 4, 2005

Long Beach, Calif. - The Stanford men's swimming and diving team continue to lead the field as they crowned three individual champions and one relay on Friday night at the Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool in Long Beach, Calif. The Cardinal now have 643.5 points, followed by Cal (575), USC (374), Arizona (327), Arizona State (200.5) and Washington (150).

Stanford had three swimmers in the finals of the 400 IM tonight as junior Mark Stephens and junior Tobias Oriwol finished second and third respectively. Stephens turned in an NCAA automatic qualifying time of 3:46.46 to edge teammate Oriwol (3:46.47) by .01 seconds. Stephens time is the fifth fastest in school history while Oriwol's ranks sixth. USC's Ous Mellouli won the event in a Pac-10 meet record time of 3:42.01. Senior Thomas Brown placed eighth in the final with an NCAA consideration time of 3:53.22. Freshman swimmer Noa Sakamoto took second in the consolation final (10th overall), touching the wall in 3:56.52.

The next event of the evening was the 100 butterfly where seniors Jayme Cramer and Matt McDonald joined sophomore Ben Wildman-Tobriner in the finals. In a close race for the top three spots, Cramer finished third, posting an NCAA qualifying time of 46.67. Cal's Duje Draganja took top honors in a time of 45.63. Wildman-Tobriner placed fifth overall in an NCAA qualifying time of 47.07 while McDonald was seventh with a NCAA consideration time of 47.63. McDonald qualified for NCAAs in this event in the prelims in the morning with his time of 46.62. Cramer's time of 46.67 ranks seventh in school history but did not eclipse his personal best of 46.65 set in 2003. Wildman-Tobriner's time also ranks in the top 15 at Stanford (9th) as did McDonald's time (10th). McDonald's fastest time in this event is 46.50 swam in 2002. Freshman Peter Carothers took second in the consolation final (10th overall) with an NCAA consideration time of 47.87.

The 200 freestyle was the next event on the docket as sophomore Andy Grant was crowned Pac-10 Champion with his NCAA qualifying time of 1:34.38 in a hotly contested race where the top four finished within .10 seconds of each other. Fellow sophomore Shaun Phillips took fourth, clocking in at 1:34.99. Teammate Michael McLean placed fifth right behind Phillips, touching the wall in 1:36.01. Freshman Danny Beal finished sixth for the Cardinal in an NCAA consideration time of 1:36.59 (He qualified for NCAAs in the prelims with his time of 1:36.10). Grant's time in the 200 free is the fourth fastest time in school history while Phillips is fifth.

Stanford crowned another Pac-10 Champion in the 100 breaststroke as senior Gary Marshall broke his own Pac-10 record in this event with a winning time of 52.55 (Marshall broke the existing record earlier today in the prelims with a time of 52.60 - a record set by Stanford's Michael Bruce in 2001). Teammate Rick Eddy turned in an NCAA consolation time of 54.09 in the finals to place fifth (Eddy qualified for NCAAs in the prelims of the 100 breast with his time of 53.69). Marshall's electrifying time was also a school record, eclipsing the old mark of 52.76 held by Anthony Robinson (2001). Eddy's time ranks ninth in the Cardinal books as well.

In the final individual event of the day, the Cardinal recorded one more Pac-10 Champion as senior Jayme Cramer beat out a tough field with his NCAA qualifying time of 46.30. Joining Cramer in the final were sophomore Hongzhe Sun, who placed third (46.83), and senior Matt McDonald who took fifth (48.29). Cramer's time is the fifth fastest time in school history and a personal best. Sophomore Kyle Ransom finished fifth in the consolation final (13th overall) with his time of 49.94.

The Cardinal wrapped up the day's action in the 400 medley relay where the quartet of Jayme Cramer, Gary Marshall, Matt McDonald and Ben Wildman-Tobriner took top honors in a Pac-10 record time of 3:06.69. Their mark betters that of teammates Peter Marshall, Michael Bruce, Dan Westcott and Randall Bal (3:06.81) in 2002.

Action at the conference championships wraps up tomorrow at the Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool with the 1,650 freestyle, 200 backstroke, 100 freestyle, 200 breaststroke, 200 butterfly and 400 freestyle relay. Prelims begin at 11 a.m. while the finals get underway at 6 p.m.

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