Women's Swimming And Diving Opens 2001-02 Season Versus Pacific Friday

Oct. 11, 2001

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Friday, October 12 (6:00 p.m.): Pacific at Stanford
Location: Stanford, CA (Avery Aquatic Center)
Notes: Swimming Only ... Co-Ed Meet With Men

Saturday, October 13 (10:00 a.m.): Alumni at Stanford
Location: Stanford, CA (Avery Aquatic Center)
Notes: Swimming Only ... Co-Ed Meet With Men

Stanford opens the 2001-02 women's swimming and diving season by hosting Pacific on Friday, October 12 in a co-ed meet with the Stanford and Pacific men's teams to begin at 6:00 p.m. (diving will not compete) ... The Cardinal finished second at the NCAA Championships last year and has won eight NCAA titles all-time (nine national championships), including six since the 1991-92 season ... The Cardinal has finished among the nation's top three in each of the 21 NCAA Championships dating back to 1981 and has finished third or better nationally for the past 26 seasons in a row ... Stanford begins its 28th season of swimming and diving this Friday and has posted an all-time dual meet record of 203-16 (.927) ... Stanford returns three 2001 NCAA champions in seniors Shelly Ripple and Jessica Foschi, as well as sophomore Tara Kirk ... Three of last year's six NCAA champions (Siobhan Cropper, Misty Hyman, Erin Sones) have completed their eligibility at Stanford ... Stanford's roster for the 2001-02 season stands at 34, which is 15 more than last year's roster of 19 ... The Cardinal has 19 newcomers (14 swimmers, five divers), while 14 letterwinners return from last year, as does senior diver Kim Powers (redshirted 2000-01 season due to an injury) ... The Cardinal will also host its annual Alumni Meet on Saturday, October 13 (10:00 a.m.).

The 2001-02 Stanford women's swimming and diving team will be a mix of returning NCAA Champions and All-Americans with a large group of newcomers. The Cardinal hopes its can use this mix to return to the top of the NCAA heap for the first time since 1998, when the Cardinal won the NCAA title for the sixth time in the 1990's. The team's returning NCAA champions are seniors Shelly Ripple (200 yard medley relay, 400 yard medley relay) and Jessica Foschi (500 yard free), as well as sophomore Tara Kirk (100 yard breaststroke, 200 yard medley relay, 400 yard medley relay). Ripple was a seven-time All-American, while Foschi won five All-American honors and Kirk four. Two-time All-American junior diver McKenze Murphy is the team's other returning All-American. The Cardinal will have to replace a pair of NCAA champions and four All-Americans from last year in Misty Hyman (three NCAA titles, seven All-American honors), Siobhan Cropper (two NCAA titles, three All-American honors), Erin Sones (one NCAA title, two All-American honors) and Lauren Thies (two All-American honors).

'I really think our team has a chance to compete with the best teams in the nation,' said head coach Richard Quick. 'It should be a really exciting season. We need our experienced people to come through and have some of the new people step up. We have a great mix. The leadership is extraordinary and the rest of team should be able to feed off that leadership. This team seems to have a really nice chemistry and that makes a big difference.'

The Cardinal open against Pacific (October 12) before a pair of tough home dual meets against perennial national powers Georgia (October 24) and Texas (October 26). Stanford finishes its fall schedule at the Texas Invite (November 30 - December 2). The Cardinal open its Pac-10 season with a pair of home meets against Arizona (January 25) and Arizona State (January 26). The team will then travel to Los Angeles for a pair of Pac-10 meets at UCLA (February 1) and USC (February 2) before concluding its regular season schedule by hosting California (February 16). The Pac-10 Championships (February 28 - March 2) and NCAA Championships (March 21-23) highlight and conclude the team's season. The divers will also compete in the Stanford Invite (November 2-3), the Trojan Invite (November 8-10) and the NCAA Zone Meet (March 14-16).

Following is an event-by-event look at the 2001-02 Stanford Women's Swimming and Diving team.

Stanford hopes to improve tremendously in its sprint freestyle events from a year ago when the Cardinal failed to qualify an NCAA swimmer in the 50 and had no finalists in the 100. The team has more potential in both events this year, led by Hawaii transfer Sara Watchorn. Last year, Watchorn qualified for the NCAA in both sprint freestyle events after winning a pair of Western Athletic Conference titles. Freshman Lacey Boutwell is also a big threat in the 100 yard free after finaling in the 100 meter free at the 2001 Senior Nationals. Boutwell currently ranks 58th in the world in the 100 meter free (55.95) in the short course 25-meter pool rankings. Sophomore Kelly Bennett was Stanford's top performer in the 50 yard free last year and is looking to earn a spot in the NCAA's. Sophomore Megan Baumgartner should also be a factor in both the 50 and 100, while freshmen Sarah Jones, Allison Kirkwood and Crystal Rawlings are all teaming with potential. Jones finished 20th in the 100 meter free at the 2001 Senior Nationals, while Kirkwood was the 50 yard free high school national champion as a senior.

'We hope to be greatly improved in the sprint freestyle,' said Quick. 'We will have much more depth and we just need a couple of swimmers to emerge out of the pack.'

DISTANCE FREESTYLE (200, 500, 1650)
Stanford's distance freestyle group is anchored by senior Jessica Foschi, winner of the 500 yard free (4:37.81) at the 2001 NCAA Championships. Foschi is a 10-time All-American and also finished second in the 1650 yard free (16:03.47) and fifth in the 200 yard free (1:46.40) at the NCAA's last year. Foschi's times at the 2001 NCAA Championships rank her as the No. 2 all-time performer at Stanford in the 500 yard free, as well as No. 4 in the 1650 yard free. Foschi currently ranks among the world's best in the 50 meter pool long course rankings in the 400 meter free (29th, 4:14.13), 800 meter free (45th, 8:46.00) and 1500 meter free (51st, 16:51.2.

Foschi should be strongly supported in the 200 yard free primarily by a freshmen in Lacey Boutwell, currently ranked 87th in the world in the 25-meter pool short course rankings in the 200 meter free. Evins Cameron should be the primary support for Foschi in the 500 and 1650 yard free. Cameron currently ranks among the world's best in the 50-meter pool long course rankings in the 400 meter free (131st, 4:20.17), 800 meter free (112th, 8:54.37) and 1500 meter free (98th, 16:51.21). Others expected to provide support are junior Jessie Carr, as well as sophomores Katy Blakemore and Sarah Umetsu. Freshmen Erin Glenn and Claire Henderson should also contribute.

'Jessica Foschi competes at the highest level in the distance freestyle events and is our leader in this area,' said Quick. 'She will have excellent support this year by a large group of swimmers led by Evins Cameron.'

BUTTERFLY (100, 200)
The Cardinal may need Shelly Ripple most in the butterfly events as she set to emerge from the shadows of 200 yard butterfly NCAA champion Misty Hyman this season. Ripple is currently ranked among the world's best in the 1 finished second to Hyman in the 200 yard fly at the NCAA Championships last year despite not swimming the event at the Pac-10 Championships. Ripple's time of 1:54.95 at last year's NCAA's makes her the fourth-best performer in the event in Stanford history. Ripple is also Stanford's No. 8 all-time performer in the 100 yard fly with a time of 53.92 recorded at the Texas Invitational in December of 2000. Ripple currently ranks No. 8 in the world in the 100 meter butterfly (59.40) and No. 12 in the 200 meter butterfly (2:10.62) in the 50-meter pool long course rankings. Ripple's top three supporters in the 100 yard fly look to be sophomore Haley Champion, as well as incoming freshmen Lacey Boutwell and Amy Wagner. Champion placed 22nd in the event at the Pac-10 Championships last season. Boutwell and Wagner both participated in the 100 fly at last year's Senior Nationals. Sophomore Courtney Brigham and freshmen Katie Ladewski are looking to contribute in the 200 fly. Other possible contributors in either or both fly events are senior Alexis Oakland and freshman Allison Kirkwood.

'Shelly Ripple is obviously the leader of our butterfly event,' said Quick. 'However, we will use her where we need her the most in either the butterfly or the backstroke.'

BACKSTROKE (100, 200)
The Cardinal backstroke may be led by versatile senior Shelly Ripple depending upon her role in the butterfly events. Ripple was fourth at the NCAA's in the 100 yard backstroke as a junior and freshman, as well as second in the 200 meter back as a sophomore. She ranks third all-time at Stanford in the 200 yard back (1:57.29) and is fourth in the 100 yard back (53.05). Three other returnees should play key roles in the backstroke events as well. Sophomore Haley Champion, who recorded the team's third-best performance (55.38) in the 100 yard back last year should be a factor in that event. Oakland (55.69) and Baumgartner (56.68) recorded the team's next best times in the 100 yard back a year ago by finishing seventh and eighth in the Pac-10 Championships, respectively. Freshman Amy Wagner should play a major role in the 100 yard back after finishing fifth in the 100 meter back (1:03.53) at the 2001 Senior Nationals, while freshman Sarah Jones has excellent potential in the event. Oakland should be Ripple's primary support in the 200 yard back after finishing eighth at the Pac-10 Championships last year (2:03.70).

'We have good potential in the backstroke,' said Quick. 'But, it is an unsettled area depending upon whether we need to use Shelly Ripple more in this event or in the butterfly. Right now, we are much better in the 100 yard backstroke than the 200. We need to have some of our freshmen that have been good in the 100 move up to the 200 as well.'

The Cardinal boasts arguably the nation's top breaststroker in sophomore Tara Kirk, who stormed onto the collegiate scene a year ago by winning the 100 yard breaststroke (59.18) and finishing second in the 200 (2:09.18) at the NCAA Championships. Kirk actually had the nation's best times in both events as her 2:08.54 in the 200 yard breast at the Pac-10 Championships was the best in the country last year. Her best times in both events set new Stanford records a year ago. Returning juniors Amber Rais and Jessie Carr hope to be factors in both events. Rais posted a NCAA Qualifying B Standard in the 100 breast last year with a 1:03.67 in the Pac-10 Championships to finish 10th. The Cardinal also looks to have a strong group of incoming breaststrokers in freshmen Emily Carter, Tenley Bick and Kirsten Gilbert -- all competitors in the 2001 Senior Nationals. 'We're obviously led by Tara Kirk in both breaststroke events,' said Quick. 'This year, she also has a wonderful supporting class of freshmen. Our breaststroke is in good shape because of Tara Kirk and the leadership that she will provide for a talented group of newcomers. This could be one of our strongest events.'

Shelly Ripple also leads Cardinal swimmers in the individual medley events after finishing second at the NCAA Championships last year in the 200 yard IM, clocking a 1:56.24 that makes her the No. 2 performer all-time at Stanford in the event. Ripple is also the school's No. 8 all-time performer in the 400 yard IM (4:15.75) but did not swim the event at either the NCAA's or Pac-10's last year.

The Cardinal will also boast one of the nation's top newcomers in both events in freshman Tami Ransom, who finished fourth in the 200 meter IM at the Senior Nationals in 1999 and sixth last year. She also has three Top 20 Senior National finishes in the 400 meter IM.

Senior Alexis Oakland is also expected to contribute in the 200 yard IM, while freshman Evins Cameron should swim the 400 IM. Junior Jessie Carr also made a strong contribution in the 400 yard IM last season, finishing sixth at the Pac-10 Championships with an NCAA Qualifying 'B' Standard time of 4:19.96 and should be a factor if she can recover from shoulder surgery this fall.

'I think the individual medley area may be one of our best events and, again, we are led by Shelly Ripple,' said Quick. 'Our individual medley is in pretty good shape with Shelly and a strong cast of supporters.'

FREESTYLE RELAYS (200, 400, 800)
The Cardinal expect to be much improved in the freestyle relays with an influx of new sprint freestylers. Senior Shelly Ripple can be the core of about any relay team depending upon where she is need most. Sophomore returnees Kelly Bennett, Megan Baumgartner and Haley Champion figure to be in the mix. Newcomers expected to provide immediate impact include junior Sara Watchorn, as well as freshman Lacey Boutwell. Other incoming freshmen who could be a factor include Sarah Jones, Allison Kirkwood and Crystal Rawlings.

'I think we could be among the nation's best in the 400 and 800 yard freestyle relays,' said Quick. 'Our 200 will be better this year, too.'

MEDLEY RELAYS (200, 400)
The Cardinal won both events at the NCAA Championships last season. Shelly Ripple and Tara Kirk (breaststroke) will be the anchors of the Cardinal medley relay teams this season with Ripple expected to replace Misty Hyman by swimming the fly this year, moving from her role as a backstroker last year.

'It's a challenge to replace a swimmer like Misty Hyman in the medley relays,' admitted Quick.

The other two spots will be competitive with freshman Amy Wagner a leading candidate in the backstroke and junior Sara Watchorn in the freestyle.

The diving team is both talented and deep this season. Junior McKenze Murphy returns after earning a pair of All-American honors in the one-meter (5th, 299.25) and platform (7th, 403.00) last year. Five-time All-American senior Kim Powers comes back from a shoulder injury that kept her out of action last year. Senior Alexis Sowa also returns after showing excellent improvement last season.

A large freshman class of five divers is led by six-time Senior National champion Erica Sorgi, one of the finest divers ever in the United States. Other incoming freshmen include Katie Berglund, Lauren Donovan, Erin Lashnits and Ashlee Rosenthal.

'Diving is one of our very strongest events,' said Quick. 'We may have the best diving team in the NCAA in terms of quality and depth. We're very excited about this group.'

'I think we have a chance to take four divers to the NCAA Championships this year,' said head diving coach Rick Schavone. 'This is potentially one of the best diving teams I've ever had at Stanford.'

Stanford won six of the 21 events contested at the 2001 NCAA Championships and finished second as a team with 387.5 points. The Cardinal led the meet until the final event when Stanford was passed by Georgia (389) in the closest finish in NCAA history. Texas, Auburn and Arizona rounded out the Top 5.

Misty Hyman (200 yard butterfly, 200 yard medley relay, 400 yard medley relay) and Tara Kirk (100 yard breaststroke, 200 yard medley relay, 400 yard medley relay) led the Cardinal with three NCAA titles each. Shelly Ripple and Siobhan Cropper had a pair of each, both as members of the 200 and 400 yard medley relay teams. Jessica Foschi (500 yard free) and Erin Sones (platform diving) both won one individual title.

Stanford won 13 of the 21 events contested at the 2001 Pac-10 Championships but still finished fourth due to a lack of depth on the squad, the lowest the team had ever finished in the event. UCLA won the event , followed by Arizona , USC, Stanford, California, Arizona State, Washington State, Washington and Oregon State.

Misty Hyman led Stanford with six Pac-10 titles. Hyman won the 100 and 200 yard fly, as well as the 100 yard back, and was also on Stanford title teams in the 200 and 400 yard medley relays, as well as the 800 yard freestyle relay. Shelly Ripple (200 yard IM, 200 yard medley relay, 400 yard medley relay, 800 yard freestyle relay) and Tara Kirk (100 yard breaststroke, 200 yard breaststroke, 200 yard medley relay, 400 yard medley relay) won four titles each. Jessica Foschi (500 yard freestyle, 1650 yard freestyle, 800 yard freestyle relay) and Lauren Thies (400 yard medley relay, 200 yard freestyle relay, 800 yard freestyle relay) followed with three each. Haley Champion (200 yard medley relay) and Erin Sones (platform diving) had one each.

Stanford finished the dual meet season with a 6-1 record and was 4-1 against five Pac-10 opponents. The Cardinal's only loss of the season came at the hands of No. 3 Arizona. The Cardinal rebounded six days later with a dominating 168-132 victory over then No. 2 UCLA. The Cardinal pulled out two wins in dramatic fashion over its final two weeks of the season, defeating Texas (190.50 - 181.50) on February 2-3 in a three-way meet with SMU, as well as California (151-149) in the regular season finale on February 10.

Pacific opened its 2001-02 women's swimming and diving season with a tri-meet versus California and Fresno State in Fresno on October 6. The Tigers split the meet with a 170-109 win over Fresno State and a 153-109 defeat to California. Pacific did win six of the meet's 16 events with victories in the 200 yard medley relay, 200 yard freestyle, 100 yard breaststroke, 200 yard breaststroke, 500 yard freestyle and 100 yard butterfly.

Stanford will host three more meets in October before being out of competition for over a month. The Cardinal begins the stretch by hosting its Alumni (October 13) before welcoming perennial national powers Georgia (October 24) and Texas (October 26) the week after next. Stanford's final meet of the fall season is a trip to the Texas Invite (November 30 - December 2). The women's diving team, which will not compete against Pacific or the Alumni, also has a pair of diving only events in the Stanford Invite (November 2-3) and the Trojan Invite (November 8-10).

One of the most respected names in swimming throughout the world, Richard Quick begins his 14th year at the helm of the Stanford University women's swimming and diving program in 2001-02. Quick's Stanford teams have won seven NCAA titles and six in the past 10 seasons, while never finishing lower than third. Quick has won a total of 12 NCAA titles during his collegiate coaching career, the most in the history of Division I coaching.

Quick is also arguably the top women's swimming coach in the world with three stints as the Olympic head coach for the U.S. Women's Swimming Team and as a five-time member of the U.S. coaching staff at the Games.

In his 13 years on the Farm, the 58-year-old Quick has also led Stanford to 11 Pac-10 Conference crowns. He has lost only five dual meets while at Stanford, sporting a 95-5 dual record mark (.950) while coaching 75 All-Americans to 644 All-America honors. In addition, Quick has helped develop 38 NCAA champions at Stanford who have captured a combined 54 NCAA individual and 27 relay titles. Along the way, he has picked up five NCAA Coach of the Year honors and four Pac-10 Coach of the Year awards, most recently being honored by the Pac-10 in 2000-01.

Quick's success is not limited to the Stanford campus. In 25 years as a collegiate head coach, he has compiled an overall dual meet record of 184-34 (.844) and a 152-25 (.859) record as a women's head coach. Quick has captured 12 national titles and 17 conference crowns, all on the women's side. Before coming to The Farm, Quick led the University of Texas to a then-unprecedented five straight NCAA titles (1984-1988), a string he extended to six straight in his first season with the Cardinal. To put things in perspective, of the past 18 NCAA titles awarded, Richard Quick coached squads have captured 12 of them.

Quick is also known for the 57 consecutive dual meet victories that he led the Cardinal to in his first eight seasons (1988-96) before finally dropping his first match as the Cardinal head coach to USC on January 27, 1996.

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