Sports

Paly grads help Cal swimmers set U.S. mark

 

Palo Alto High graduates Liv Jensen and Colleen Fotsch put their names in the record book and helped put their California teammates in first place after the second day of the NCAA Women's Swimming and Diving Championships on Friday in Austin Texas.

Fotsch swam the third leg and Jensen swam the anchor as the Bears won the opening 200-yard medley relay in an American record of 1:35.03. That broke the previous U.S., NCAA and U.S. Open marks of 1:35.29 by Arizona in 2008.

Jensen swam a sizzling 21.11 on her final 50 free leg to bring the Bears home and get them rolling toward 166 points on the day. Cal will take 295 points into Saturday's final day while USC is second with 253, Georgia third with 275 and Stanford fourth with 192.

While the Bears scored 166 points Friday and won three events, Stanford totaled just 63 points with no victories. In fact, the Cardinal women failed to have a swimmer in the championship final of the 100 breast, 100 back, 100 fly and 200 medley relay.

Freshman Maya DiRado helped Stanford outscore Cal in the 400 IM as the fast-rising talent had her second straight top-three finish – a third place of 4:01.02 that moved her to No. 2 all-time in Stanford history and ahead of 1992 Olympic gold medalist Summer Sanders (4:02.28). DiRado also earned All-American status.

DiRado's time was three seconds slower than 2010 NCAA champion Julia Smit, who holds the American record in the event. DiRado was the runnerup in the 200 IM on Thursday to rank No. 3 all-time at Stanford.

Stanford senior Kate Dwelley was sixth in the 200 free (1:44.16) and was the only other Cardinal in a championship final. Dwelley earned All-America status in the 200 free for the fourth time in her career and it was the third time she made the A finals.

Stanford placed five women in the consolation finals, across five events --

senior Liz Smith in the 100 breast (11th), freshman Andie Taylor in the 400 IM (14th), junior Betsy Webb in the 100 back (12th) and divers Meg Hostage (13th) and Stephanie Phipps (16th) in the three-meter. They all earned All-America certificates following consolation finishes.

The championships run through Saturday with the 1650 free, 200 back, 100 free, 200 breast, 200 fly, platform and 400 free relay to conclude the three-day event. Saturday's finals are on ESPN3.com.

Katinka Hosszu of USC was the second woman ever to break four minutes in the 400 IM, pacing the field with a time of 3:59.75, behind Smit's American record of 3:58.23 at last year's NCAAs.

With Hostage and Phipps earning All-America honors, diving coach Rick Schavone has now had an All-American in 27 of the past 29 years.

Wrestling

Stanford's Nick Amuchastegui advanced to the finals of the 2011 NCAA Championships at 174 pounds with two wins on Friday in front of more than 17,000 fans at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pa.

Amuchastegui is just the second Cardinal wrestler to be an NCAA finalist. Matt Gentry is Stanford's only NCAA champion, winning the 157-pound title in 2004.

Senior Zack Giesen and sophomore Ryan Mango are also still alive in the tournament as they, along with Amuchastegui, already have secured top-six finishes and All-America honors. It marks the first time in Stanford's 95-year history of wrestling that the Cardinal will boast three All-Americans in the same season.

"I am extremely proud of our guys' performances so far," said third-year head coach Jason Borrelli. "They have handled everything like champions and stuck together as a team. I am proud of their focus and am glad to see them finally be rewarded for all of their hard work this season."

Amuchastegui, the seventh seed, moved on to the semifinals early Friday when the No. 2 seed Edward Ruth of Penn State defaulted due to injury in the quarterfinals. Amuchastegui was leading 9-2 in the second period before the match was called. Amuchastegui then upset third-seeded Mack Lewnes of Cornell, 5-2, in the semifinals to advance to the title bout in the 174 pound bracket. The Talent, Ore., native will face top-seeded Jonathan Reader of Iowa State in Saturday's final.

"Nick has been in a very good place mentally this entire tournament," said Borrelli. "He has an unorthodox wrestling style and I think that is going to help him in his final match tomorrow. His intelligence plays into his match strategy and I think he is ready to go."

Amuchastegui, an All-American in 2010, will become just the fourth wrestler in Stanford history to earn multiple All-America honors joining Chris Horpel ('73, '75), Tanner Gardner ('06, '07, '08) and Josh Zupancic ('07, '08).

Mango began his day with a loss to the No. 2 seed Matt McDonough of Iowa, 11-0, at 125 pounds. However, the St. Louis, Mo., native bounced back with wins over North Dakota State's Trent Sprenkle, 12-7, and fourth-seeded James Nicholson of Old Dominion, 7-5.

Mango, who holds a 26-5 season record, will face Utah Valley's Ben Kjar on Saturday for a chance to advance to the third-place bout. He has already secured his first career All-America honors and becomes Stanford's 15th All-American overall.

Not to be outdone, Giesen also made a run Friday in the 197 pound consolation bracket. The Grants Pass, Ore., native started the day with a 12-4 major decision win over American's Daniel Mitchell. The tournament's No. 12 seed then scraped out a 3-1 overtime win over sixth-seeded Micah Burak of Penn to secure his fist career All-America honors.

Giesen, the program's 16th All-American, finished the day with a 3-2 upset over ninth-seeded Sonny Yohn of Minnesota. The win gave Giesen his 109th of his career, tying him with Steve Buddie (1988-91) for the fourth-most in Stanford history.

Saturday marks the final day of competition of the 2010-11 NCAA wrestling season. Stanford is currently 11th in the team standings with 44 points.

-- Palo Alto Online Sports/Stanford Sports Inforamtion

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