Stanford Closes Out Perfect Dual Season with Win Over Cal

Feb. 13, 2010

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STANFORD, Calif.-- On senior day at the Avery Aquatics Center, it was a freshman who had the team's best showing.

English rookie Natalie Durant won the 500 freestyle to propel No. 4-ranked Stanford (9-0, 5-0 Pac-10) to a perfect dual season, beating No. 5-ranked California (5-2, 3-2 Pac-10), 167-131 on Saturday afternoon.

The team's nine seniors lost just once from 2006-10, going a combined 46-1 (.978) for head coach Lea Maurer.

Not be outdone, seniors Julia Smit (200 freestyle, 200 backstroke and 200 IM) and Elaine Breeden (100 and 200 butterfly) combined to win five events in their final time in the Stanford water. Junior Meg Hostage swept both diving events, ahead of teammate and senior Carmen Stellar, who was second in both events.

Durant posted a season-best 4:45.17 in the 500, beating out Cal's accomplished distance swimmers, Beijing Olympian Sara Isakovic and Lauren Boyle, taking first ahead of teammate Kelsey Ditto (4:46.11) by nearly a second.

Cal took the early lead in the battle of Bay Area rivals, paced by Caitlin Levernz' win in the 100 breaststroke and Liv Jensen's win in the 50 to lead 68-63.

The results from the one-meter, led by Hostage (296.18) and Stellar (277.38), gave the Cardinal back the lead at 78-72, before Kate Dwelley's win in the 100 (49.59), one of four “B” standard times in that event, gave the Cardinal the lead for good.

Smit followed with a win in the 200 back (1:57.15) before Leverenz paced six “B” standard times in the 200 breast to keep the Bears to within 112-95.

Durant, though, followed with her unexpected win, taking over the lead at the three-quarter mark to lead five “B” standard marks. Breeden (100 fly) and Smit (200 IM) closed out the meet with wins to close out the regular season.

Post-season begins on February 24-27 in Long Beach for the Pac-10 Championships, while the Pac-10 Diving Championships will take place in Federal Way, WA, February 25-27. Zone E Diving and NCAA Championship events will take place in mid-March.

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