Senior Day turns into big celebration for Cardinal women

Highlights available here.

Maya DiRado won the 200 IM to clinch No. 4 Stanford's 167-133 swim victory over visiting California in the Big Splash at Avery Aquatic Center on Saturday.

DiRado, Felicia Lee and the other six seniors helped end the regular season on a high note against last year's national runner-up.

"It was a surreal experience," Lee said. "I remember being a freshman thinking this moment would never come. To have my family here was special and the crowd was energetic and everybody was into it."

Stanford heads to the Pac-12 championships beginning Feb. 26 in Federal Way, WA with a chance to defend its conference title.

The NCAA meet will be competed in Minnesota beginning March 20 and Lee thinks the Cardinal can surprise people.

"I think the meet will be very exciting," Lee said. "People will be shocked."

The Cardinal (7-0 against the Pac-12, 10-0 overall) survived three individual wins from Cal freshman and Olympic gold medalist Missy Franklin with key efforts from Katie Olsen, Maddy Schaefer, Andie Taylor and diver Stephanie Phipps.

The diving events and the 1,000 free were contested before the televised portion of the meet. Franklin won in 9:53.81 and Taylor finished second for Stanford.

Lee, Olsen, freshman Nicole Stafford and Schaefer got the Cardinal off to a good start with a victory, by .09, in the 200 medley relay.

The meet ended with Stanford's Olympian, Lea Neal, holding off Franklin the final leg of the 400 free relay. Schaefer, Julia Anderson and DiRado, who also won the 200 fly, combined to put the Cardinal in the lead.

"Meets like this is why I swim," Franklin said. "Getting up on the block for the final leg of the relay with the size of the crowd who were going crazy."

In between, Phipps won the 3-meter diving event over reigning Pac-12 Diver of the Month Ann Kastler, with Stanford's Alex Clay finishing third.

Lee won the 100 back and 100 fly, Taylor won the 500 free, with DiRadi finishing second, Olsen won the 200 breast, with Cardinal Sarah Haase finishing second, and Schaefer added a win the 50 free.

— Palo Alto Online Sports


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