Big Day For No. 1 Stanford's Relays Thursday At Texas Invitational
Nov. 30, 2006
Austin, Texas - No. 1 Stanford swept the 200 free and 400 medley relays to highlight the squad's first day of action at the Texas Invitational on Thursday. The Cardinal set a school record in the 200 free relay when a team of Julia Smit, Madeline Rovira, Fiona O'Donnell-McCarthy and Brooke Bishop clocked in with a time of 1:30.01 to nip the previous Stanford record set in 1999 by .04 seconds. Smit, Caroline Bruce, Elaine Breeden and Bishop then closed out the meet with a time of 3:35.00 to win the 400 medley relay.
Both of Stanford's winning relay teams met the NCAA 'A' standard, which automatically qualifies Stanford for the two relay events at the 2007 NCAA Championships.
'The two relay wins were right in line with our goals for this meet,' said Stanford head coach Lea Maurer. 'Getting those NCAA 'A' cuts in the two relays today is what we were aiming for.'
The Cardinal has 296 points and is in second-place behind Arizona (321), the nation's No. 2 ranked squad, in the team standings with two days remaining in the meet being held at the Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center. Host Texas (171), Wisconsin (147) and USC (120) round out the top five teams in the standings.
Stanford did not win any of the five individual events contested on Thursday but did have several outstanding performances with six additional NCAA 'A' performances and three runner-up showings.
Elaine Breeden (100 fly, 53.10, 52.78 prelims) and Julia Smit (200 IM, 1:57.94) put up back-to-back NCAA 'A' times and second-place showings to Arizona's Whitney Myers that made each the No. 6 all-time performer at Stanford in their respective event. Smit's time was also a personal-best, while Breeden's was the top time of her collegiate career. Smit added an NCAA 'A' mark in the 100 back with her 54.14 leadoff leg of Stanford's winning 400 medley relay team.
'Both Elaine and Julia did exactly what they have done all season today, which is to race their best in the biggest arena,' explained Maurer. 'This is the culture we want at Stanford. They rode the momentum of the team in terms of swimming well in both their individual events and as members of the relays.'
Cassidy Krug was second in the 3-meter diving event, finishing with 365.80 points to be narrowly edged by winner Nastia Bozdniakova of Houston (383.10).
Stanford's three other NCAA 'A' performances came in third-place finishes by Desireé Stahley (500 free, 4:44.85), Bruce (200 IM, 1:59.64) and Bishop (50 free, 22.62, 22.60 prelims).
The Cardinal added 10 NCAA 'B' efforts from Breeden (200 IM, 7th, 2:01.99, 2:01.48 prelims), Elizabeth Durot (500 free, 4th, 4:46.45), Nilasha Ghosh (100 fly, 54.99, 17th-T; 200 IM, 2:03.16, 22th), Kelley Hug (100 fly, 55.05, 19th), Fiona O'Donnell-McCarthy (50 free, 10th, 23.09; 100 back leg of 400 medley relay, 55.52), Madeline Rovira (50 free, 20th, 23.49, 23.41 prelims), Smit (50 free leg of 200 free relay, 22.76) and Whitney Spence (500 free, 8th, 4:51.58, 4:46.87 prelims).
'We have a chance to swim some good times in this meet,' said Maurer. 'But, the main thing is that this meet gives us a good idea of what we can do in March [at the NCAA Championships]. I think we're going to be better in March. This is a win-win situation, and we're taking advantage of it.'
Arizona's Lacey Nymeyer joined her teammate Myers as a double winner by taking the 50 (22.13) and 500 (4:42.68) yard free.
Stanford will continue at the meet on Friday with seven more events (200 medley relay, 400 IM, 200 free, 100 breast, 100 back, 1-meter diving, 800 free relay). Prelims start at 10 am, CT, with the finals set to begin at 6 pm, CT.