No. 2 Stanford Pulls Away For 116-89 Victory Over Washington
Nov. 3, 2007
Stanford, Calif. - Stanford (2-0, 1-0 Pac-10) pulled away from a stubborn Washington (1-2, 0-2 Pac-10) squad for a 116-89 victory in the first conference dual meet of the season for the Cardinal at the Avery Aquatic Center on Saturday. Stanford held only a slim six-point advantage after six of 11 events in the short-course yards meet before winning four of the last five races for the final margin. The victory was Stanford's 12th consecutive dual meet win, including its 10-0 mark last year and victories in its first two dual meets of the 2007-08 campaign.
'We swam a different lineup and relied on more people, and we got better as the meet went on,' said Stanford head coach Lea Maurer. 'We're obviously tired [from hard workouts], but we're finding a way to get the win box checked, and I feel that's a good place to be right now.'
Stanford's Julia Smit out swam rival Ariana Kukors of Washington in the 400 IM to highlight the individual events. Smit checked in with a fast early-season NCAA `A' time of 4:09.97 with Kukors finishing in 4:11.30. Smit was third in the event as a freshman at the 2007 NCAA Championships, while Kukors is a highly-touted freshman that is ranked fourth in the world in the 400 meter IM.
'It was exciting, because I went faster than I did in any dual meet last year,' commented Smit. 'It was a good point to start. I was also pretty happy that I beat Ariana. She's a really tough competitor, and I'm going to be racing her at the end so I need to practice racing her now.'
'Julia's a gift,' offered a smiling and laughing Maurer. 'That was a really good swim. She's been training phenomenally, and I'm happy for her that she was able to get a win against a strong candidate for the Olympic team. It was a good race, and I know she's doing it with some amazing workouts behind her so I was really proud of her.'Smit also added an NCAA `B' mark in the 200 free with a 1:47.92 leadoff split to spark Stanford to a pool record time of 7:17.08 in a winning 800 free relay effort. Brooke Bishop (1:48.07), Whitney Spence (1:50.89) and Kate Dwelley (1:50.20) finished off the relay to erase Auburn's former pool record time of 7:20.68 set in 2002.
'The record was good,' stated Maurer. 'It's always good to put Stanford on as the team for your own pool records. We feel like the 800 free relay is going to be something that we're a more formidable opponent in this year. It's nice to have our swimmers look at an event and say `okay, we can get this [record].' That's what champions do. They walk in a pool, look at the board and say `what can we erase.''
'We've been talking about it the whole week of practice, and we were pretty confident that we could get it,' added Smit about breaking the record. 'It's really cool to wipe Auburn off our pool records. Now, it's just going to say us.'
The teams split the first six races of the meet with Stanford's depth allowing for its slim six-point lead to that point.
Stanford started the meet with a victory in the 400 medley relay as a foursome of Brooke Bishop (100 back, 55.22, NCAA `B'), Caroline Bruce (100 breast, 1:03.98), Elaine Breeden (100 fly, 56.25) and Madeline Rovira (100 free, 52.56) clocked in with a time of 3:48.01.
Washington's Ashley Daly claimed the next event with a solid victory in the 1000 free. Daly checked in with a mark of 10:13.97 to lead three Washington swimmers in the top four with only a second place finish by Stanford's Elizabeth Smith breaking up the Husky contingent.
Washington took a short-lived 28-27 lead in the meet after Kim Jasmer won the third event with a time of 1:50.55 in the 200 free as the Huskies had two of the top three finishers.
Stanford rebounded with back-to-back victories by Bishop in the 50 free with an NCAA `B' mark of 22.92 and Smit's key 400 IM triumph over Kukors.After a 10-minute break in the competition, Kukors was able to come back and win the 200 fly in the an NCAA `B' time of 2:00.99 to even the meet's first six events at three victories for each team and keep the Huskies within six points.
Jasmer was able to win her second event with a victory in the 500 free (4:53.52, NCAA `B') but Stanford placed second, third and fourth in the event to prevent the Huskies from gaining any real momentum.
Stanford closed out the meet with a 200 breast victory from Bruce (2:16.63, NCAA `B') and the 800 free relay pool record win.
Stanford's divers will host California in a non-conference meet at the Avery Aquatic Center on Wednesday, November 7 (2 pm, PT), before both the swimmers and divers travel to No. 5 Georgia for a highly-anticipated non-conference dual meet on Friday, November 9 (2 pm, ET/11 am, PT).
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