Weekend Showdown Should be Close

Jan. 18, 2010

STANFORD, Calif.-- In a key and likely close national matchup, No. 2 Arizona (6-0, 3-0 Pac-10), will visit the No. 3-ranked Stanford women (4-0, 0-0 Pac-10) on Friday at 2 p.m., before the women host Arizona State (6-3, 2-2 Pac-10 prior to swimming at Cal) on Saturday at 11 a.m. Both are meets with the men's team.

To guess that Friday's showdown between the Stanford women and Arizona will be close, would be an understatement. Four points separate the two programs in the national polls, and four points separated the two when they last met in January. The two also finished 3-4 in the NCAA Championships.

The final event decided their last dual meet on January 24, 2008, a 150.5-147.5 Stanford win in Tucson. In last year's matchup, after falling behind early, the Cardinal made up ground and took home the win when Julia Smit touched the wall .16 seconds ahead of her competitors in the 400 relay. The Cardinal won four of the final five events, as Liz Smith won the the 200 breast and 400 IM, and Elaine Breeden won the 100 fly.

Smit, Betsy Webb and Kate Dwelley each have some of the nation's fastest 50 times, while Sam Woodward joins the group in the 100 free as the Cardinal boast four the nation's top-10, 100 times. Dwelley has the NCAA's second-fastest 100 and 200 times, joined in the top-20 by Arizona's Justine Schluntz. ASU's Jess Perazzo was an All-American last year in the 50 as a sophomore.

The Cardinal relay team of Dwelley, Webb, Woodward and Smit have the nation's fastest 200 time at 1:29.22, nearly a second and a half faster than Arizona (1:30.87). As expected the event that decided last year's dual meet, the 400 relay, has Arizona and Stanford separted by .21 seconds, with Arizona posting a time of 3:17.07 and Stanford at 3:17.28.

In the longer distances, five swimmers from Arizona and Stanford make up the top-20 in the 500, led by Arizona's Alyssa Anderson (fifth) and Stanford newcomer Kelsey Ditto (10th). Ditto also has the nation's eighth-fastest 1650 time, one of three Pac-10 swimmers in the top-10. Paige Schultz and Cassie Morrice are Canadian National teammates from Canada, swimming for ASU.

Stanford also has the nation's third-fastest 800 relay time, at 7:08.70, while Arizona's time of 1:38.54 is the third-fastest 200 medley relay time. Stanford's time is eighth. In the 400 medley relay, Arizona's time of 3:34.34 tops the charts, while Stanford's is fourth at 3:38.06.

In the backstroke, Ana Agy has the nation's second-fastest 100 time, while Betsy Webb is fourth in the event. In the 200 event, Smit's time of 1:52.83 is second-best, as Agy (fifth) and fellow Wildcats Hannah Ross (sixth) and Jennifer Forster (10th) also have top-10 times. Jamie Martinez is ASU's school-record holder in the event.

Arizona's Ann Chandler is amongst the nation's top breaststrokers, ranking fourth in the 100, as Smith and fellow Cardinal Alisa Finn have top-20 times in the longer event.

Breeden is the defending champion in the 200 butterfly, as she along with teammates Kelley Hug and Woodward will have to contend with Arizona's Agy, Whitney Lopus and Erin Campbell. Eight members of the two schools make up the top-20 list in the 100 fly. ASU's Ashton Aubry is the Sun Devils top flyer.

Smit, who set the shortcourse world record in both the 200 and 400 IM in December, garnering Pac-10 Swimmer of the Month honors, not surprisingly has the nation's top 200 IM (1:55.45) and 400 IM (4:03.31) times. Jennifer Forster is Arizona's top utilty swimmer, having top-20 times in both events. Schultz is an accomplished junior Canadian individual medler for ASU.

In the diving competion All-American Meg Hostage is coming off a season-best of 308.55 at the Bruin Invite last weekend, while Carmen Stellar has an overall best of 313.58 in the one-meter event. In the three-meter, both All-Americans produced season-bests in Westwood, posting marks of 310.95 and 319.05, respectively. Arizona's divers include Ashley Herrera, a member of the junior national team, while ASU, a relatively young squad, features junior Brittany Jumer, who placed fourth at the Pac-10 three-meter last year.

Schedule of Events – Arizona
200 Medley Relay
1000 Free
200 Free
100 Back
100 Breast
200 Fly
50 Free
1-meter diving
100 Free
200 Back
200 Breast
500 Free
100 Fly
3-meter diving
200 IM
400 Free Relay

Schedule of Events – Arizona State
200 Medley Relay
1000 Free
200 Free
100 Back
100 Breast
200 Fly
50 Free
1-meter diving
100 Free
200 Back
200 Breast
500 Free
100 Fly
3-meter diving
400 IM
200 Free Relay

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