It took everything Liv Jensen could muster and it was worth every stressful stroke as the Palo Alto High grad won two events and swam anchor on the two winning relay teams to help No. 4 California upset top-ranked Stanford on Saturday in Berkeley.
Jensen, a former member of Palo Alto Stanford Aquatics (PASA), won the 50 free, the 100 free, and the 400 free relay by the combined total of 1.52 seconds. That's how close it was between two of the top teams in the country.
The Bears won, 155-145, and if Jensen even flinched in any of her events, the outcome may have been different.
Jensen edged Stanford's Samantha Woodward in the 50 free by .41 seconds (and Cardinal third-place finisher Kate Dwelley by .50), and nudged Stanford's Andi Murez by .41 seconds (and Dwelley by .49) in the 100 free.
Jensen and Dwelley were once again matched on the final leg of the free relay, with Jensen out-touching the Cardinal senior by .60 seconds.
Dwelley won the 200 free in 1:46.53, a mere .16 seconds before the second-place finish.
Even senior Kelsey Ditto had a close race in winning the 1,000 free with a time of 9:45.53, just ahead of Cardinal teammate Andie Taylor's 9:45.84.
Taylor came back to edge Ditto in the 500 free, 4:45.74 to 4:46.25, Maya DiRado went 1:57.08 to win the 200 back and Stanford divers Meg Hostage (1-meter) and Stephanie Phipps (3-meter) each won a diving event.
Cal ended Stanford's 33-match winning streak, which dated to 2008.
Stanford, the defending conference champions, and Cal will compete at the Pac-10 championships, which begin Wednesday, Feb. 23 in Federal Way, Wash.
There were no easy matches in Stanford's 5-2 victory over host California in a nonconference match Saturday.
The Big Slam provided comebacks, collapses and recoveries and the eight-ranked Cardinal (6-0) remained standing.
The doubles point needed a little extra from Alex Clayton and Ted Kelly, as they went to a tiebreaker to earn the first point.
Clayton had a relatively easier time winning his singles match before tough wins by Ryan Thacher and Matt Kandath clinched the match for Stanford.
The Cardinal hosts Fresno State in a nonconference match Tuesday at 1:30 p.m.
Brad Lawson had 23 kills, 16 digs and a hitting percentage of .442 as Stanford ralied by a two-set deficit to beat visiting UC Irvine, 25-18, 20-25, 24-26, 25-20, 15-11, in a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation match Saturday night.
Spencer McLachlin added 20 kills and setter Evan Barry had 54 assists as the Cardinal (6-3, 9-3) rebounded from Friday's loss.
The fifth set was tied at 6-all when freshman Brian Cook teamed first with Eric Mochalski and then Gus Ellis on consecutive block points to spark a Stanford rally.
Nebraska scored in the bottom of the ninth inning to claim a 3-2 victory over 18th-ranked Stanford at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe Saturday.
Ashley Hansen and Jenna Rich each drove in a run in the top of the seventh to tie the score. The Huskers took a 2-0 lead in the third.
The Cardinal (3-1) came back to beat Portland State, 12-4, as Danielle Miller collected three hits, including a pair of home runs, and drove in four runs.
Rich added two hits, including a home run, and drove in two runs.
Melisa Koutz also drove in a pair of runs and Sarah Hassman added two hits.
Track and field
Stanford's Kori Carter won the 60 hurdles Saturday in the Don Kirby Invitational at Albuquerque Convention Center.
Carter, who also placed eighth in the 200, raced 8.41 for the victory.
Carissa Levingston and Whitney Liehr each placed second in their events. Levingston was timed in 7.44 in the 60 and Liehr went 20-4 1/4 in the long jump.
On the men's side, Amaechi Morton and Jules Sharpe each recorded a secind-place finish.
Morton ran 21.27 in the 200 and Sharpe went 7-3 in the high jump.
At the Husky Classic, sophomore Alyssa Wisdom won the shot put with a heave of 50-4 1/2, fifth on Stanford's all-time indoor list.
Wisdom ran the 100 and 200 last year before switching to the weights this season.
Freshman Jeremy Hines was second in the men's shot put at 57-0.