Cardinal Men Win 24th Consecutive Pac-10 Championship
March 5, 2005
Long Beach, Calif. - The Stanford men's swimming and diving team won their unprecedented 24th consecutive Pac-10 Swimming and Diving Championship tonight at the Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool in Long Beach, Calif. The 24 straight league titles is the longest streak by any team in any sport in conference history. The Cardinal ended the night with 932.5 points to outdistance the competition by a substantial margin. California finished second (882) followed by USC (579), Arizona (450), Arizona State (311.5) and Washington (224).
Stanford's Gary Marshall was named 'Swimmer of the Meet' after breaking his third Pac-10 record of the meet. Marshall completed the 200 breaststroke in 1:52.71, less than one-tenth of a second away from the American record.
Stanford got things started with a victory in the 1650 freestyle as sophomore Shaun Phillips took top honors, clocking in with an NCAA qualifying time of 14:47.70. Teammate Michael McLean placed fifth (15:18.12) with an NCAA consideration time. Freshman Noa Sakamoto took 10th (15:28.30). Phillips time is the second fastest time on the books in Cardinal history.
Sophomore Hongzhe Sun was crowned conference champ in the 200 backstroke, touching the wall with an NCAA qualifying time of 1:41.61 - a nearly three seconds margin of victory. Sophomore Andy Grant recorded a fourth place finish with his time of 1:44.93. Teammate Tobias Oriwol placed fifth (1:45.07). Sun's time is the sixth fastest in school history while Grant's ranks 14th.
Sophomore Ben Wildman-Tobriner set a school record as he led the Cardinal with a third place finish in the 100 freestyle (42.59) with an NCAA qualifying time in a hotly contested race. Teammate Kyle Ransom finished seventh in the finals, clocking in at 44.00. Cal's Duje Draganja won the event with a time of 42.30. Wildman-Tobriner's time eclipses the mark of 42.84 in 1994 held by Joe Hudepohl.
The fourth event of the evening was the 200 breaststroke where senior Gary Marshall picked up his second Pac-10 title with a win in a conference record time of 1:52.71. His time also shattered the Stanford school record in this event held by Michael Bruce (1:54.81 in 2002). Senior Thomas Brown placed fifth in the consolation final (13th overall), touching the wall at 2:02.16 while teammate Nick Wolfe was sixth (14th overall) at 2:02.81. Ricky Eddy was seventh (15th overall) at 2:09.07.
'We expected Gary to swim well this weekend, but he was just unbelievable,' exclaimed Stanford head coach Skip Kenney.
Senior Jayme Cramer broke the Pac-10 meet record in the 200 butterfly as he clocked in with an NCAA qualifying time of 1:43.09 - the second fastest time in school history to successfully defend his 2004 title. Fellow senior Matt McDonald finished fourth 1:44.77, also in an NCAA qualifying time. Freshman Peter Carothers took fifth (1:45.77) while junior Mark Stephens placed eighth (1:46.85). Freshman Daniel Beal won the consolation final (ninth overall) in a time of 1:46.41.
In the men's platform diving event, which took place last week at the women's conference championships, senior diver Jesse Fonner led the Cardinal with a fourth place finish (464.90) while sophomore Kevin McLean placed seventh (368.10).
The final event of the meet was the 400 freestyle relay, won by California in a Pac-10 meet record time of 2:49.77. The Stanford quartet of Andy Grant, Ben Wildman-Tobriner, Kyle Ransom and Matt Crowe finished third, touching the wall in 2:55.51.
The Cardinal now prepare for the 2005 NCAA Championships, March 24-26 in Minneapolis, Minn. Stanford automatic qualifiers include Daniel Beal (200 free), Jayme Cramer (100 fly, 100 back, 200 fly), Ricky Eddy (100 breast), Andy Grant (200 free, 500 free), Gary Marshall (100 breast, 200 breast), Matt McDonald (100 fly, 200 fly), Michael McLean (200 free, 500 free), Tobias Oriwol (200 IM, 400 IM), Shaun Phillips (200 free, 500 free), Mark Stephens (200 IM, 400 IM), Hongzhe Sun (200 IM, 100 back, 200 back) and Ben Wildman-Tobriner (50 free, 100 fly, 100 free).