Day 3 recap: Stanford's lead shrinks heading into final day

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Day 3 Results | PDF | Photos:

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FEDERAL WAY, Wash. - Stanford holds the lead entering the final day of competition, but a tight grouping at the top of the standings means a number of teams are still in the title hunt at the 2013 Pac-12 Women’s Swimming and Men’s and Women’s Diving Championships at the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way, Wash.

The Cardinal enters the final day of the meet with 953.5 points. USC sits in second with 945.5 and California rounds out the top three with 883.5. Arizona is fourth (775), followed by UCLA (614.5), Arizona State (572), Utah (232), Oregon State (212) and Washington State (128).

Stanford’s Maya DiRado opened the evening with a thrilling win in the 400 individual medley, clocking an automatic NCAA qualifying time of 4:00.58. It is the second Pac-12 title for the junior, who won the 200 backstroke at last year’s Conference meet. She finished second in the 400 individual medley in 2012.  Cal senior Caitlin Leverenz, the 2012 Conference champion in the event, finished second in 4:00.59 and USC junior Stina Gardell placed third with a time of 4:05.05. Both were automatic NCAA qualifying times.

USC freshman Kendyl Stewart won her first Pac-12 title, taking the 100 butterfly in 51.32. Cal freshman Rachel Bootsma finished second with a time of 51.78, and teammate Cindy Tran finished third in 52.05. All three were NCAA qualifying times.

Cal claimed its first individual victory of the evening in the 200 freestyle as freshman Rachel Acker (1:44.66) edged Stanford senior Andi Murez by six one-hundredths of a second for the win. Murez, who anchored the Cardinal’s winning 800 freestyle relay team on Wednesday night, turned in an NCAA ‘B’ qualifying time of 1:44.72. Cal sophomore Caroline Piehl finished third in 1:45.50, also an NCAA ‘B’ qualifying time.

USC junior Kasey Carlson won the 100 breaststroke in an NCAA automatic qualifying time of 59.22 to shelve her first Conference title. Arizona senior Ellyn Baumgardner (59.52) and Stanford freshman Sarah Haase (59.54) finished second and third, respectively.

Cal's Bootsma set a Conference meet record in the 100 backstroke, taking the event in 50.64. Cal junior Cindy Tran came in second in 51:43, and Stanford junior Felicia Lee finished third in 51:63.  Bootsma broke the mark established by Tran in last year’s meet, marking the third straight year that the record has fallen.

The Wildcats put an exclamation point on the night with a victory in the 400 medley relay.  Seniors Lauren Smart, Ellyn Baumgardner and Megan Lafferty and junior Margo Geer, who comprised Arizona’s winning 200 medley relay team on Wednesday, held off Leverenz and defending champion Cal. The Bears came in second with a time of 3:30.18, and USC finished third in 3:30.57.

Stanford sophomore diver Kristian Ipsen won his second Pac-12 title of the week, capturing the 3-meter with 443.40 points. Arizona freshman Rafael Quintero placed second (400.30) while ASU junior Riley McCormick placed third (392.50). On the women’s side, Arizona State freshman Morgan Weller took the 1-meter with a score of 334.35. USC sophomore Haley Ishimatsu (314.05) and Arizona junior Samantha Pickens (312.90) finished second and third, respectively.

The 2013 Pac-12 Championships conclude on Saturday with the women’s platform preliminaries kicking off the day’s action at 10 a.m. PT. The remaining swimming events are the 200 backstroke, 100 freestyle, 200 breaststroke, 200 butterfly, 1,650 freestyle and 400 freestyle relay. The men’s platform will also be featured on the final day.

Women’s Current Team Standings

1. Stanford                            953.5

2. USC                                    945.5

3. California                         883.5

4. Arizona                             775

5. UCLA                                614.5

6. Arizona State                 572

7.  Utah                                  232

8. Oregon State                   212

9. Washington State           128


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