Stanford takes a Staab at another Pac-10 title


Senior Austin Staab won his third career Pac-10 title, set a meet record and established a school record all at the same time as the Stanford men's swimming team opened a bigger lead Thursday at the Pac-10 championships in Long Beach.

The Cardinal takes 323 points into Friday's competition, 72 more than current runnerup California.

Stanford will compete in the 400 IM, 100 fly (a Staab specialty), 200 free, 100 breast, 100 back and 400 medley relay at the Belmont Plaza Center. The meet wraps up Saturday, which normally is Stanford's strongest day. The Cardinal is seeking a record 30th straight conference meet title this weekend.

Staab accomplished his conference title, the meet record and school mark in the 200 individual medley, in which he won with a time of 1:42.01. That broke the previous school record of 1:43.82 set by Nate Cass in 2009. Matt Thompson finished fifth in the event as the Cardinal had five swimmers among the top 16.

Stanford had six swimmers score in the 500 free, led by Bobby Bollier's second-place finish in 4:16.72 and Morgan Priestley's third-place finish in 4:17.76.

Chad La Tourette made it three of the top five for the Cardinal with his fifth-place finish in 4:19.02.

Cal's Nathan Adrian, an Olympian, won the 50 free but Stanford made it a mute point with four scoring swimmers, with Aaron Wayne finishing third in 19.51, to match the Bears' 46 points in the event.

Stanford further added points, 39, with last week's finishes in the one-meter diving, placing three divers in the top 10.

Women's tennis

Here's more proof that computers can never be smarter than human beings. Stanford remained unbeaten (12-0) after beating visiting USF, 5-2, Thursday in a nonconference match.

The NCAA defending national champion Cardinal played that match as the second-ranked team in the country according to a supposedly complicated computer rating system.

These are the same computer rankings that generated a No. 8 ranking for Stanford heading into last year's NCAA team tournament.

Meanwhile, the computer spit out Florida as the nation's top team. The Gators are certainly worthy of high praise and reached the national title match last season before losing to Stanford.

Florida (11-1) had not played since losing to the Cardinal in the championship match of the National Team Indoor Championships in Virginia on Feb. 21. Stanford won a pair of matches since then.

Stanford could probably care less at the moment. The Cardinal is facing another tough test at home as sixth-ranked California visits Taube Tennis Center at noon Saturday.

The Bears are the last team to beat Stanford on its home court, and the current Cal players were still in grammar school when it happened. They've improved their tennis game since.

Stanford, playing without two of its top players, extended its NCAA record home winning streak to 172 consecutive matches, recognized as the longest active home winning streak among all sports in Division I athletics.

Stanford clinched the victory when Mallory Burdette, Nicole Gibbs, Kristie Ahn and Jennifer Yen won their singles' matches in orderly fashion. Singles play was contested first.

Amelia Herring and Natalie Dillon made their season debuts at the Nos. 5 and 6 spots of the lineup.

Stanford swept the three doubles matches for the extra point.

No. 1 singles player Hilary Barte and Stacey Tan did not compete in singles play Thursday. Ahn and Gibbs played No. 1 doubles and Burdette played No. 1 singles and skipped doubles play.

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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