Pac-12 Women's Swimming Championships day 1: Stanford, Cal split pair of relays

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FEDERAL WAY, Wash. – In true rivalry fashion, Bay Area counterparts and national powerhouses Cal and Stanford split the first two events of the 2014 Pac-12 Women’s Swimming Championships at Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatics Center on Wednesday, finishing day 1 tied for first with 120 points apiece.

[Related: 2014 Pac-12 Women's Swimming Championships results, photos, tweets and more]

No. 1 Stanford, set up by a blistering 23.67 50 back split by senior Felicia Lee, claimed the 200 medley relay in 1:35.74, followed closely by No. 5 Cal (1:36.06) and No. 2 USC (1:36.54).

The Cardinal contended for the 800 free relay, the second and final event of the short evening, but Cal would not allow a Stanford sweep as junior Caroline Piehl, the third leg of Cal’s relay team, pulled away to give anchor Elizabeth Pelton about a 15-meter head start on the field. The Bears finished a full five seconds ahead of Stanford at 6:53.57 and 6:58.23, respectively. USC came in third at 7:01.65.

Also of note: Cal freshman and 2012 Olympic sensation Missy Franklin made her Pac-12 Championships debut Wednesday, anchoring the second-place 200 medley relay and swimming the first leg of the winning 800 free relay.

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Was Cal’s dominant nightcap the beginning of a pattern here in Federal Way? Not likely, according coach Teri McKeever.

 “This might have been it,” she said of the coasting finish.

Stanford coach Greg Meehan isn’t bowing down to Cal – the top-ranked Card did defeat the Bears in a Feb. 15 dual meet in Palo Alto, after all – but he gave Cal the credit McKeever withheld, calling his squad's rival “the team to beat” on a Pac-12 and national level:

“They’ve won three of the last five national championships, and you don’t get there lightly. They’re a great squad and obviously Missy [Franklin] does what she does, but they have a lot of talent on that team and that’s a testament to their coaching staff.”

“On paper, they’re loaded.”

Complete day 1 results can be found on the 2014 Pac-12 Women’s Swimming Championships page.

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