Cardinal Head to Pac-10s as No. 1 Team

Feb. 22, 2010

Cardinal Head to Long Beach
The No. 1 Stanford Cardinal will try to win their 17th conference title since 1987 and first since 2005, when they head to the Pac-10 Conference Championships from February 24 to 27 at Belmont Plaza Pool off of second street in the Belmont Shore area of the City of Long Beach.

Upcoming Schedule
The Cardinal women will compete in the Pac-10 Championships in Long Beach February 24-27 and the NCAA Championships at Purdue on March 18-20. The Pac-10 Diving Championshiops are February 25-27, 2009 in Federal Way, WA, while the Zone E Regional Championships are March 11-13 in Columbus, OH.

Maurer at the Helm
Former Stanford Olympian and All-American backstroker Lea Maurer ‘94 is in her fifth year as the Cardinal’s head coach. Over the first four seasons, the Cardinal have finished second (2007, 2008) or third (2006, 2009) at the conference meet and fifth (2006), fourth (2007, 2009) or third (2008) at the national meet. Maurer, then Loveless, was a part of the great Stanford swim teams in the mid 1990s, when the Cardinal won three-straight national titles from 1992 to 1994.

Cardinal Ranked No. 1
Stanford women’s swimming, following an undefeated dual season (9-0) were ranked No. 1 nationally, joining the University of Georgia, as the nation’s top teams, according to a vote of the nation’s coaches. Stanford, which has been ranked in the national top-five all season, moved up from No. 4. Georgia and Stanford each received 12 first place votes, 24 of the possible 34 votes for 734 points. The Cardinal have defeated three top-10 teams this season (USC, Arizona and Florida).

All-American Divers

Dr. Rick Schavone is in his 32nd year as the team’s diving coach. This year’s team features four All-Americans, Carmen Stellar and Meg Hostage, for the women, and Dwight Dumais and Brent Eichenseer for the men. He has coached an All-American female diver for 15 consecutive years and at least one All-American in 26 of the last 27. Hostage has won nine events this year, Stellar another four.

Speed Demons
The Cardinal’s bread and butter this season is in the sprints. Four 50 freestylers, five in the 100 and two in the 200 are ranked amongst the national top-20. In comparison, the entire Pac-10 features nine athletes ranked in those three displinces, compared to 11 just from Stanford. Julia Smit and Betsy Webb are ranked 2-3 in the 50, while Kate Dwelley has top-five times in the 100 (2nd) and 200 (4th) freestyles. The team’s 200 freestyle relay team also has the nation’s fastest time. The quartet of Smit, Webb, Dwelley and Sam Woodward also have four of the top-10 time all-time at Stanford.

World and American Records
Senior Julia Smit, a 19-time All-American, set two short course world records in the 200 IM and 400 IM this past December in the Duel in the Pool in Manchester. At last year’s NCAA meet, she set the American, NCAA and school records in both events. Smit also has five individual school records (200 IM, 400 IM, 100 fly, 50, 100, 200 back). Smit leads the nation in both the 200 IM and 400 IM.

Reigning Champions
Senior Julia Smit swept the 200 IM and the 400 IM in both 2007 and 2009 at the Pac-10 Championships. In 2008, the year she was shutout, she lost to Washington’s Ari Kukors in both events, finishing third in the 400 IM behind Kukors and teammate, Breeden. She recovered to win her first NCAA title in the 400 IM that same sophomore season.

Breeden Flys By Competition
Senior Elaine Breeden, also a 19-time All-American, is the three-time defending Pac-10 Champion in the 200 fly and the reigning 2009 conference champion in the 100 fly. The senior owns both school records in the event.

From a Long Distance...
Junior and University of Georgia transfer Kelsey Ditto has stepped right in to rank amongst the nation’s best in the 500, 1000 and 1650 discplines. Ditto is looking to return to the NCAAs for the first time since her freshman year. Ditto also ranks fifth all-time in the 500 and ninth all-time in the 1650.

Defending Champions
The Cardinal have a number of reigning and returning conference champions, including: Elaine Breeden (200 fly-2007, 08, 09; 100 fly-2009; 200 medley relay-2009), Julia Smit (200 IM-2007, 2009; 400 IM-2007, 2009; 200 back-2007), Kate Dwelley (200 free-2008), Meg Hostage (3-meter-2008) and Carmen Stellar (platform-2009). Smit is a three-time NCAA champion (200 IM-2009; 400 IM-2008, 2009), while Elaine Breeden won the NCAA 200 fly in 2007 and 2009.

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