No. 2 Stanford Opens 2002-03 Season Friday

Oct. 30, 2002

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Friday-Saturday, November 1-2 (6 pm/12 pm, CT)
Stanford (0-0) at Texas (1-0)/vs. USC (0-0)
Jamail Texas Swimming Center, Austin, TX

No. 2 Stanford opens the 2002-03 women's swimming and diving season by facing No. 7 Texas and No. 8 USC in a three-team dual meet at Texas this Friday-Saturday, November 1-2 ... The meet will be scored as separate dual meets with Stanford scoring separately against Texas and USC ... Stanford is coming off a 2001-02 season in which the Cardinal finished third at the NCAA Championships, won the Pac-10 Championships and posted a perfect 8-0 dual meet record to maintain a No. 1 national ranking for the entire regular season ... Stanford returns 21 letterwinners, including three NCAA champions, eight All-Americans and 11 of the 16 qualifiers for the 2002 NCAA Championships ... Stanford's Pac-10 title in 2002 was its first since 1999 and its 14th in the last 16 years ... The Cardinal knocked off five schools ranked among the nation's top 10 entering the 2002 NCAA Championships ... Stanford has won 13 straight dual meets since its last dual meet loss at Arizona (1/20/01).

Stanford features seven-time NCAA champion Tara Kirk ... Kirk currently holds four American records as an individual in the 100 and 200 breast, and as a member of Stanford's winning 200 and 400 medley relay teams at last year's NCAA Championships ... Kirk won NCAA titles in each of the four events in 2002 after winning three national titles as a freshman (100 breast, 200 medley relay, 400 medley relay) ... Kirk is undefeated in the 100 breast in 17 collegiate meets ... Lacey Boutwell and Amy Wagner return after winning NCAA titles as members of Stanford's two winning medley relay teams ... Boutwell was a five-time All-American, while Wagner earned three All-American honors ... Other returning All-Americans from 2001-02 include Sarah Jones, Tami Ransom, Ashlee Rosenthal, Erica Sorgi and Sara Watchorn ... Whitney Leatherwood, a breaststroker on Stanford's American record-setting and 1999 NCAA champion 200 medley relay team, also returns after having not competed for the past two years ... Stanford's incoming class includes five swimmers that have finaled at Senior Nationals in Kristen Caverly, Ashley Daly, Laura Davis, Carly Geehr and Dana Kirk.

Stanford has won eight NCAA titles (1983, '89, '92, '93, '94, '95, '96, '98) with six in the last 10 years and nine national titles overall, including an AIAW title in 1980 ... Stanford has finished second twice (1999, 2001) and third on the other two occasions (2000, '02) since its most recent title in 1998 ... Stanford has finished in the top three at the NCAA Championships in each of the 22 years of the event and has finished in the top three nationally for 27 consecutive years ... Stanford has won 14 Pac-10 Championships (1987-99, 2002) ... Stanford has an all-time dual meet record of 211-16 (.930) entering its 29th season of competition ... Stanford has claimed 74 individual NCAA titles, 40 NCAA relay crowns, 142 Pac-10 individual championships and 56 Pac-10 relay titles.

Stanford's current 13-meet dual meet win streak began with a victory over UCLA on January 26, 2001. The streak also includes victories over USC, Southern Methodist, Texas and California during the 2000-01 season, before wins over Pacific, Georgia, Texas, Arizona, Arizona State, UCLA, USC and California in 2001-02.

1. Auburn (5); 2T. Georgia (2); 2T. Stanford; 4. California; 5. Florida; 6. Southern Methodist; 7. Texas; 8. USC; 9. Arizona; 10. Virginia; 11. Arizona State; 12. UCLA; 13. Indiana; 14. Notre Dame; 15. North Carolina; 16. Penn State; 17. Alabama; 18. Wisconsin; 19. Miami; 20. Maryland; 21. Missouri; 22. Pacific; 23. Texas A&M; 24. Rutgers; 25. South Carolina ... First-place votes in parenthesis.

Stanford's 8-0 dual meet record in 2001-02 included five victories against teams ranked in the top 10 of the CSCAA national poll heading into the 2002 NCAA Championships.

Tara Kirk has won all 17 times she has entered the 100 breast in collegiate meets, nine as a sophomore and eight as a freshman.

Freshman Lacey Boutwell won 12 of the 13 individual races she entered in Pac-10 action last year with the only blemish on her record a second-place finish to California's Natalie Coughlin in the 100 free at the Stanford-California dual meet (2/16/01).

A total of five Avery Aquatic Center pool records were broken in competition during the 2001-02 season. Tara Kirk broke the pool record in the 100 breast (1:00.23), while a Cardinal 200 medley relay team of Shelly Ripple, Kirk, Lacey Boutwell and Sara Watchorn set a new pool record with a time of 1:40.87. Both Stanford records were set versus California (2/16/02). California's Natalie Coughlin also picked up a pair of pool records in the same meet, setting new marks in the 100 free (48.89) and 100 fly (52.35). Arizona State's Agnes Kovacs set a new pool record in the 200 breast with a time of 2:10.40 in the Stanford-Arizona State dual meet (1/26/02).

Lacey Boutwell, Kirsten Gilbert, Tara Kirk, Shelly Ripple and Amy Wagner made new entries into the school's record book during the 2001-02 season. Kirk broke her own school records in both the 100 and 200 breast, while Ripple set a new 200 fly record. Wagner, Kirk, Ripple and Boutwell also set a school record in the 400 medley relay. Following is a complete list of all new record book entries from 2001-02 with events, new spot in the record book, time in the event and the date the time was recorded. All distances are short course yards.
Lacey Boutwell - 50 free (No. 6, 22.73, 2/28/02); 100 free (No. 7, 49.22, 3/23/02); 200 free (No. 9, 1:47.19, 10/24/01); 100 fly (No. 8, 53.82, 2/2/01)
Kirsten Gilbert - 100 breast (No. 7, 1:02.20, 3/22/02)
Tara Kirk - 100 breast (No. 1, 58.68, 3/1/02), 200 breast (No. 1, 2:07.36, 3/23/02)
Shelly Ripple - 100 fly (No. 2, 51.50, 3/22/01); 200 fly (No. 1, 1:53.23, 3/23/02); 200 IM (No. 2, 1:55.58, 3/21/02); 400 IM (No. 8, 4:15.04, 1/26/02)
Amy Wagner - 100 back (No. 5, 53.80, 3/21/02)
Wagner, Kirk, Ripple, Boutwell - 400 medley relay (No. 1, 3:31.74, 3/21/02)

Stanford had four divers (Kim Powers, Ashlee Rosenthal, Erica Sorgi and Alexis Sowa) qualify for the 2002 NCAA Championships for the first time in school history.

Stanford's diving season will continue at the Trojan Invite from November 7-9 (Thursday-Saturday). The swimmers and the divers will both be in action at the Stanford Invite from November 22-23 (Friday-Saturday).

Richard Quick is in his 15th year at the helm of the Stanford women's swimming and diving program. Quick's Stanford teams have won seven NCAA titles, including six in the past 11 seasons, while never finishing lower than third. He has won a total of 12 NCAA titles during his collegiate coaching career, the most in the history of Division I coaching.

Quick has also led Stanford to 12 Pacific-10 Conference crowns. He won his first 57 dual meets at Stanford and has lost only five in his Cardinal career, sporting a dual meet record of 103-5 (.954) while coaching 82 All-Americans to 672 All-American honors. In addition, Quick has helped develop 40 NCAA champions at Stanford who have captured a combined 57 NCAA individual and 29 NCAA relay titles. Along the way, he has picked up five NCAA Coach of the Year honors and four Pacific-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. Now in his 27th year as a collegiate head coach, he has compiled an overall dual meet record of 192-34 (.850) and a 160-25 (.865) record as a women's head coach. Quick has led his teams to 17 conference crowns, all on the women's side. Before coming to The Farm, Quick led 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 19 NCAA titles awarded, Richard Quick coached squads have captured 12 of them.

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 (1988, '96, 2000) and as a five-time member of the U.S. coaching staff at the Games.

(on the upcoming Texas/USC Meet)
'You have that first meet of the season to find out where the team is. We're going to swim two fine teams in Texas and USC. We're laying a foundation for a good season, but we haven't raced yet and should learn a lot about ourselves in the first meet. In our sport, even the meets are kind of like practice for the championship faze of the season. We're preparing for February and March when we swim the Pac-10's and NCAA's. We'll learn a lot about our strengths and weaknesses after this meet, and start working on our weaknesses in particular.'

One of the top diving instructors in the country, Dr. Rick Schavone is in his 24th year on The Farm. The 1992 and 1993 NCAA Diving Coach of the Year, Schavone serves as the head coach for both the men's and women's diving teams. Since his appointment in the fall of 1979, Schavone has led his men's and women's divers to eight NCAA championships and 63 All-American honors. Stanford divers have also won 31 individual Pac-10 titles. Schavone has been named the Pac-10 Women's Diving Coach of the Year four times in the last eight years.

'We're a young team but experienced, and that's the strength of our program. We have a strong team on paper, but we have to get up and get it done. It's still very early in the year for our divers. The Texas/USC meet will be good competition and should bring out good things for all of the divers I am taking, so I'm glad we're doing it. But, it's really early to put any pressure on them for results. They could have a great meet or a horrible meet, who knows. It's too early to make any academic decisions from it.'

Stanford extended its streak of top three finishes at the NCAA Championships to 22 consecutive years with a third-place showing in 2002, one-half point ahead of Pac-10 rival and fourth-place USC. Although the Cardinal finished well behind 2002 champion Auburn, Stanford did win more events than the Tigers or any other school with victories in five of the 21 events contested.

Tara Kirk and Shelly Ripple highlighted Stanford's individual efforts. Kirk swept the 100 and 200 yard breast, while Ripple won the 200 yard fly in her final individual collegiate race for her first career NCAA individual title. In addition, Kirk and Ripple both picked up two more NCAA championships by leading Stanford's 200 and 400 yard medley relay teams to victory. Ripple also finished fifth on the NCAA's high individual point total list with 54.

Kirk defended her NCAA title in the 100 yard breast by setting a new NCAA Meet record in 59.03, cruising ahead of her closest competitor by .91 seconds. She had previously set the American record by winning the 2002 Pac-10 Meet in a time of 58.68. Kirk then picked up her second American record in the month of March by winning the 200 yard breast at the NCAA's in 2:07.36, avenging a defeat at the hands of Arizona State's Agnes Kovacs in the event at the Pac-10 Meet.

Ripple closed out her collegiate career with a win in the 200 yard butterfly after having finished second in five previous individual events at the NCAA Championships during her four years on The Farm. Ripple set new NCAA and school records with a time of 1:53.23.

Stanford also won both the 200 and 400 yard medley relay races with identical teams of Amy Wagner, Kirk, Ripple and Lacey Boutwell. The group set new American records in both the 200 (1:37.79) and 400 (3:31.74), adding NCAA, US Open and school records in the latter.

Stanford picked up a total of 29 All-American honors from 11 different student-athletes at the NCAA Championships. Stanford was led by Ripple with six, followed by Boutwell with five. Kirk and Foschi had four each, while Wagner added three and Sara Watchorn completed the multiple winners with two. Sarah Jones, Kim Powers, Tami Ransom, Ashley Rosenthal and Erica Sorgi had one each. Stanford had a total of 16 participants at the 2002 NCAA Championships, including a school-record four divers.

Ripple had second-place finishes in both the 200 yard IM (1:55.58) and 100 yard fly (51.50) in addition to her three NCAA titles. She earned her sixth All-American honor by swimming the second leg of Stanford's eighth-place 800 yard free relay team (1:47.41/7:14.96).

Boutwell's other three All-American honors came as the leadoff leg of both the seventh-place 200 (23.01/1:30.96) and eighth-place 800 (1:49.12/7:14.96) yard free relay teams. She also finished eighth in the 100 yard free (49.52, 49.22 prelims). Kirk won NCAA titles in each of the four events she earned All-American honors. Foschi finished second in the 500 yard free (4:41.10), as well as 11th in both the 200 (1:46.86) and 1650 (16:21.84) yard free. She was also a member of Stanford's eighth-place 800 yard free relay team (1:46.54/7:14.96).

After winning NCAA titles with both the 200 and 400 yard medley relay teams, Wagner picked up an individual All-American honor with a ninth-place finish in the 100 yard back (54.16).

Watchorn anchored both the 200 (22.41/1:31.27) and 800 (1:51.89/7:14.96) yard relay teams.

Jones (22.52 split) and Ransom (23.13 split) swam the second and third legs of the seventh-place 200 yard free relay team (1:31.27) to earn All-American honors. Sorgi (11th, platform, 394.35), Powers (12th, platform, 380.85) and Rosenthal (14th, three-meter, 475.85) all earned All-American diving honors.

At the Pac-10 Championships, Stanford returned to the top of the standings for the first time in three seasons. The Cardinal, who won 13 straight conference titles from 1987-99, finished with 1320.5 points to easily outdistance second-place USC (1197.5). The Cardinal won a meet-high seven of the 21 events, including six individual titles.

Ripple led the way by winning four Pac-10 titles, including three individual events. Ripple captured the 100 (52.16) and 200 (1:53.50) yard fly with new career-best times in both, setting a new Pac-10 Meet record in the latter. Ripple also set a new Pac-10 Meet record with her victory in the 200 yard IM (1:56.64) and was part of Stanford's winning 400 yard medley relay team (51.47/3:36.54). Kirk was the only other multiple champion, winning the 100 yard breast (58.68) with a new American record and swimming on the winning 400 yard medley relay squad (58.96 breast split). Foschi and Boutwell were Stanford's other two individual winners with victories in the 1650 yard free (16:08.46) and 50 yard free (22.73), respectively. Jones (50.94 free split) and Wagner (55.17 back split) were also members of the winning 400 yard medley relay squad.

Stanford had an extremely successful regular season, debuting at No. 1 in the first poll of the season released November 1 and staying there until the NCAA Championships by posting a perfect 8-0 dual meet record and running its dual meet win streak to 13. The Cardinal won five dual meets against teams ranked in the nation's top 10 heading into the NCAA Championships. The Cardinal opened the campaign with a victory over local opponent Pacific (143-117) on October 12. A couple of key home wins over 2001 NCAA champion Georgia (158.5-141.5) and perennial national power Texas (168-132) on October 24 and 26 vaulted the Cardinal to the top spot in the first CSCAA national poll of the season. After finishing second at the Texas Invitational with 598 points, the Cardinal rolled to five consecutive Pac-10 victories. Stanford began Pac-10 action by sweeping then No. 3 Arizona (182-118) and No. 7 Arizona State (188-112) at home January 25-26. The next Friday and Saturday (February 1-2), the Cardinal swept then No. 11 UCLA (142-101) and No. 9 USC (167-133) in Los Angeles before closing out an undefeated regular season with a 159.5-140.5 victory over California on February 16.

The 2002-03 Stanford women's swimming and diving team is a young, talented and intriguing team that figures to look for its identity during the early portion of the season. A year ago, the Cardinal finished third at the NCAA Championships to extend its perfect streak of finishing in the top three at the event to 22 consecutive years. Stanford also won the Pac-10 Championships for the 14th time in 16 years after a two-year hiatus, posted an 8-0 dual meet record and spent the entire regular season as the nation's top-ranked team. However, Stanford lost three All-Americans from last year's team, including a pair of swimmers in Shelly Ripple and Jessica Foschi that earned 10 of Stanford's 29 All-American honors a year ago.

Despite a 2002-03 squad that features only one fourth-year senior among its 33 roster members, the Cardinal does have experience at the national level. Stanford has a total of four NCAA champions, nine All-Americans, 13 NCAA Championships participants and 20 letterwinners on its roster. The Cardinal features a seven-time NCAA champion in junior Tara Kirk, the American record holder in the 100 and 200 yard breast. Sophomores Amy Wagner and Lacey Boutwell are the team's other top returnees after both won national titles as members of Stanford's 200 and 400 medley relay teams last year. Both also earned individual All-American honors in the 100 free and 100 back, respectively. Boutwell ended up with five All-American honors, the most of any Cardinal returnee, while Wagner had three.

'This year's team is quite a bit different than any team we've had in the last several years,' said Stanford head coach Richard Quick. 'We really don't have a senior presence at the national level. We have Tara Kirk and then we're a sophomore and freshman dominated team. It's a team that's looking for its identity and leadership. We have relied upon some people an awful lot over the last couple of years and those people are no longer here. It's a team with some question marks, but it's also a very talented team. I see a really bright future, but it may not develop until late in the season.'

Part of that bright future is what many consider the best freshman class in the nation with four Olympic Trials finalists from the freshman class in Kristin Caverly (San Clemente, CA/San Clemente HS), Ashley Daly (Lilburn, GA/Parkview HS), Laura Davis (Concord, CA/Clayton Valley HS) and Dana Kirk (Bremerton, WA/Bremerton HS). Kirk is the younger sister of Tara Kirk.

'Our freshman class has been reported by Swimming World as the No. 1 recruiting class in the nation, and we're very excited,' said Quick. 'It's a wonderful, talented and experienced freshman class, but NCAA competition is tremendously tough. There's nothing on this team that's slam dunk, but there's a lot of talent and a lot of potential in the group that we have brought in.'

'We recruited what we thought was the best recruiting class, and they're better than what we thought,' continued Quick. 'They are a versatile group and should give us many more options this year than last season.'

But, the story of this team could be the Kirk sisters. Tara continues to establish herself as one of the top breaststrokers in the world. Last year, she followed her four NCAA titles (100 breast, 200 breast, 200 medley relay, 400 medley relay) with an excellent summer of competition, highlighted by her silver medal performance in the 100 meter breast at the 2002 Pan Pacific Championships. Dana also earned a spot on the Pan Pacific team after finishing second and fifth in the 100 and 200 meter fly at the 2002 Summer Senior Nationals.

'I'm tremendously excited to have Dana join her sister and the rest of our team,' said Quick. 'The sisters have been wonderful. They are both great competitors, and great teammates to each other and everyone else. Our medley relays could be very exciting with Kirk going off of Kirk. If Dana comes along like Tara has, we have a chance to have two sisters move to the top of the world.'

'Tara has made enormous progress as a competitor,' continued Quick. 'When she came to Stanford, she was primarily a 100 yard breaststroker. Not only has she developed that talent, she has really become a wonderful 200 yard breaststroker as well and is learning how to be a great long-course swimmer. She's already a national force and on her way to becoming an international force.'

'Dana is one of the brightest young swimmers in this country,' added Quick. 'She has been on a tremendous improvement curve, and we are really hoping for big things from her.'

Stanford's other returning All-American swimmers include senior Sara Watchorn (200 free relay, 800 free relay), as well as sophomores Sarah Jones (200 free relay) and Tami Ransom (200 free relay).

The Cardinal is hoping that a strong diving team will enhance its chances at the 2003 NCAA Championships. The Cardinal has three All-American divers on its roster in senior McKenze Murphy (a three-time All-American), as well as sophomores Ashlee Rosenthal and Erica Sorgi.

'We are not quite as deep as we were last year, but we do have some divers who can get the job done,' said Stanford head diving coach Dr. Rick Schavone.

Stanford's run for a ninth NCAA title and its first since 1998 will be difficult once again. Defending champion Auburn, who did not lose a point from last year's NCAA squad, and 2001 NCAA champion Georgia are among the top teams to beat nationally. California, USC and Arizona all have the potential to win the conference meet and are also among the nation's best.

'We're going to be in a fight nationally with five or six different teams to be up front,' said Quick. 'If we put together an unbelievable meet who knows were we may be able to finish. We're an exciting team that's going to be in the mix for a high-level finish at both the Pac-10 and NCAA Championships.'

The Cardinal opens its 2002-03 campaign in a double-dual meet at Texas and versus USC on November 1-2. The divers will then compete at the Trojan Invite (November 7-9) before the Cardinal finishes its fall schedule by hosting the Stanford Invite (November 22-23). Stanford returns to the pool in January with a non-conference meet versus Pacific (January 11) and the divers will have a final tune-up for conference action at the Bruin Invitational (January 17-18). Stanford then opens its Pac-10 season with a pair of road meets at Arizona (January 24) and Arizona State (January 25) before hosting UCLA (January 31) and USC (February 1) in a busy stretch. Stanford finishes its regular season at California on February 15.

Stanford begins post-season action at the Pac-10 Championships (February 27-March 1). The divers will attempt to qualify for the NCAA's at the Zone E Meet (March 13-15) and the 2003 NCAA Championships will be hosted by Auburn (March 20-22).

SPRINT FREE (50, 100, 200)
Stanford is anchored in the sprint free events by sophomore All-American Lacey Boutwell. Last year, Boutwell finished eighth in the 100 and 24th in the 200 free at the NCAA's. Boutwell also won the 50, finished second in the 100 and eighth in the 200 at the Pac-10 Championships. Boutwell broke into Stanford's all-time top 10 list in all three events a year ago (50, No. 6, 22.73; 100, No. 7, 49.22; 200, No. 9, 1:47.19). Others expected to contribute in this area include sophomore Sarah Jones and junior Sara Watchorn. Jones finished sixth at the Pac-10's and 31st at the NCAA's in the 50 last year. She was also the team's second-best performer in the 50 a year ago with a season-best time of 23.18. Watchorn was a solid competitor in both the 50 and 100 last season, ranking third on the team in both events. Watchorn scored for the Cardinal at the Pac-10's in both events with a ninth-place showing in the 50 and a 16th-place finish in the 100. At the NCAA's, she was 36th and 38th, respectively. Juniors Megan Baumgartner and Haley Champion, as well as sophomore Tami Ransom return with collegiate sprint free experience. Freshmen Ashley Daly and Jackie Goldman could also factor into Stanford's sprint free equation.

'We have the potential to be considerably better in the sprint free events than we were last year,' said head coach Richard Quick. 'It's very tough to have a great team and not have a great freestyler. We are working to improve that and hope that Lacey Boutwell can lead our team in this area.'

DISTANCE FREE (500, 1650)
Sophomore Evins Cameron looks to become Stanford's leader in the distance free events. Cameron was the primary support for graduated All-American Jessica Foschi during her rookie collegiate season in 2001-02 and qualified for the NCAA's in both events, finishing 33rd in the 500 and 35th in the 1650. Cameron also scored in both events at the Pac-10 Championships with a seventh-place showing in the 500 and a ninth-place finish in the 1650. Freshman Dana Kirk, who is expected to be the team's top butterflier, also has the potential to become Stanford's best 500 freestyler and is expected to train for that role. Freshman Anna Strohl has career-bests in the 500 (4:48.13) and 1650 (16:32.24) faster than any returnee for the Cardinal. Other competitors should include junior Katy Blakemore, as well as sophomores Erin Glenn and Claire Henderson.

'We lost a great distance freestyler and a great leader with the graduation of Jessica Foschi,' said Quick. 'Evins Cameron has looked good early, and we hope that she will become Jessica's successor at the top of this group. We are also very pleased that we will be able to develop Dana Kirk in the 500 free. We have a long ways to go in the distance free events, and it may be one of our least established areas, but we are improving. The people that we put in these events must find a way to contribute, even if it's by committee.'

BACK (100, 200)
All-American Amy Wagner is expected to lead the Cardinal's backstroke efforts in 2002-03. The sophomore had an excellent rookie season a year ago and finished ninth at the NCAA's in the 100. She also recorded a season-best time of 53.80 in the 100 as a member of Stanford's American record-setting 400 medley relay team at the NCAA Championships to rank fifth on Stanford's all-time top 10 list. Wagner, who was 18th in the 200 at the NCAA's last year, is also expected to step to the forefront in that event with the graduation of Shelly Ripple. Sarah Jones finished 18th at the NCAA's in the 100 last year and is expected to be Wagner's primary support in the event, while freshman Kristin Caverly could be a factor in the 200. Megan Baumgartner and Haley Champion should also contribute, primarily in the 100.

'Amy Wagner is our leader in the backstroke,' said Quick. 'She has established herself in the 100 as one of the best in the country and is developing in the 200. Kristin Caverly and many others should also play a role in our backstroke efforts. This is an area of a strength, but we can get much better.'

BREAST (100, 200)
Seven-time NCAA champion Tara Kirk leads Stanford in its strongest event area as the Cardinal boasts eight breaststrokers that have been under 1:03.00 in the 100. Kirk set a new American record in the 100 with a time of 58.68 to win the Pac-10's last year and also won the NCAA Championships for the second straight year. The junior has won the event all 17 times she has entered during her collegiate career. Kirk set her American record in the 200 last year with a victory at the NCAA's in a time of 2:07.36. Senior Whitney Leatherwood returns to the team after not competing for the last two years and brings a resume that includes a career-best 100 time of 1:01.64 swam in 1999 to rank her fourth on Stanford's all-time top 10 list. Leatherwood finished 10th in the 100 at the 1999 NCAA Championships and was 18th in 2000. Sophomore Kirsten Gilbert is also a returning NCAA breaststroker. Gilbert just missed out on scoring in the 100 at last year's NCAA Championships with a career-best time of 1:02.20 while finishing 31st in the 200. Gilbert finished eighth in both events at the Pac-10 Championships. Kristin Caverly, Laura Davis and Ashley Daly are all NCAA hopefuls in both events, while sophomores Emily Carter and Tenley Bick also return for the Cardinal.

'The breaststroke should be the strength of this team and where much of our character lies,' said Quick. 'We have some amazing breaststroke talent and tons of depth. Tara Kirk is obviously one of the top breaststrokers in the world, while newcomers Kristin Caverly, Laura Davis and Ashley Daly should all help as well. Toss in Whitney Leatherwood and Kristin Gilbert and that's quite a talented group. The depth of this group will really help our team, because it allows us to move people around to other events to help in the overall scoring.'

FLY (100, 200)
Dana Kirk should lead Stanford in both the fly events. Kirk competed in the 2002 Pan Pacific Swimming Championships and the previous year won the 100 meter fly while finishing second in the 200 meter fly at the 2001 Summer Senior Nationals. At the 2002 summer event, she was second and fifth, respectively. Kirk currently ranks among the world's best in both the 100 (16th) and 200 (20th) meter fly. In the yard distances, Kirk has recorded career-best times of 52.92 in the 100 and 1:56.00 in the 200, both faster than any Stanford returnee. Lacey Boutwell is the team's top returnee in the 100 and should provide support. Last year, Boutwell recorded an NCAA 'A' qualifying standard with a season-best time of 53.82 but did not swim the event at the NCAA's. Laura Davis should also be one of Kirk's primary supporting cast members in both the 100 and 200. The versatile Davis is a member of the 2003 Pan American Games team and recently finaled in four events at the 2002 Spring Senior Nationals. Haley Champion and freshman Andrea Swaney are also expected to swim the 100, while Anna Strohl should be a factor in the 200.

'In the last two years, we've lost Misty Hyman and Shelly Ripple, but we're still in good shape in the fly,' said Quick. 'We're not worried because Dana Kirk has the potential to be as good as either Misty or Shelly, and that's saying a lot. She is better than we thought, and we thought she was an awesome.'

The trio of Kristin Caverly, Ashley Daly and Laura Davis has extensive national and international experience that should make individual medley a strong area for Cardinal. Davis finished fourth in the 200 meter IM at the 2002 Summer Senior Nationals, while Caverly was fifth and Daly seventh. Caverly won the 200 meter IM at the Summer Senior Nationals in both 1999 and 2001. Caverly is also expected to lead the team's efforts in the 400 IM. She finished fourth at the 2002 Summer Senior Nationals in the 400 meter IM after winning the event in 2001. Tara Kirk also swims the 200 IM as her third event and could be a factor after finishing 25th at the NCAA's last year. Tami Ransom should also contribute in both IM events. Ransom placed fourth in the 400 meter IM at the Summer Senior Nationals in 1999 and sixth in 2001. Tenley Bick and Evins Cameron should also be used in the individual medley events.

'The individual medley events are definitely a strength of this team,' said Quick. 'The freshman threesome of Kristen Caverly, Laura Davis and Ashley Daly should lead our group. Tami Ransom could also be a big factor.'

FREE RELAYS (200, 400, 800)
Stanford has added depth in its free relay events but is still looking to make tremendous improvements in all three relays. Lacey Boutwell and Sara Watchorn both swam in all three freestyle relays at last year's NCAA's but the Cardinal was disappointed in its results -- seventh in the 200, eighth in the 800 and ninth in the 400. Sarah Jones and Tami Ransom both swam on Stanford's 200 medley relay squad a year ago to earn All-American honors. Plenty of others could also play a role in Stanford's free relay efforts, including the freshman quartet of Kristin Caverly, Ashley Daly, Laura Davis and Dana Kirk.

'We really need to improve on our performance this year in the free relays,' said Quick. 'We'll pretty much be using the same people in these events. We may not have a lot of people out front yet, but there's a ton of competition to be on these relays teams, and we're hopeful that will enhance everybody's performance.'

MEDLEY RELAYS (200, 400)
Stanford looks to be loaded in the medley relays once again. The defending NCAA champions in both the 200 and the 400 have lost only butterflier Shelly Ripple from last year's squad as Amy Wagner (back), Tara Kirk (breast) and Lacey Boutwell (free) all return. Stanford set new American records in both events last season, clocking in at 1:37.79 in the 200 and 3:31.74 in the 400. The Cardinal plans on replacing All-American Ripple with one of the nation's best young talents in Dana Kirk. Depth is also not a problem for the Cardinal in the medley relay where the likes of Kristin Caverly, Ashley Daly, Laura Davis, Whitney Leatherwood and Tami Ransom all have the potential to challenge for spots on the medley relay teams.

'I am so happy with our medley relay situation,' said Quick. 'We have lots of versatility and talent. I am confident that we have the ability to defend our NCAA titles in both the 200 and 400 relays.'

Stanford looks to have a strong core of divers once again in 2002-03, though possibly not quite as deep as last year's squad when the Cardinal sent four divers to the NCAA Championships for the first time in school history. Senior McKenze Murphy will look to return to the form that earned her a total of three All-American honors in her first two seasons before failing to qualify for the NCAA's last season. Sophomore Erica Sorgi, one of the top youth divers in the history of the United States, is also a returning All-American after finishing 11th in the platform last year. Sophomore Ashlee Rosenthal has turned herself into one of the top divers in the nation and is expected to be a leader for the Cardinal in 2002-03. Rosenthal earned an All-American honor last year by finishing 14th in the three-meter at the NCAA's. Others returning for Stanford include sophomores Katie Berglund, Lauren Donovan and Erin Lashnits. The team's two incoming freshmen are Sara Bowling and Michaela Skloven.

'We were a bit disappointed with our performance at the NCAA's last year and hope that this group of divers can step up and really contribute at that level this season,' said head diving coach Dr. Rick Schavone.

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