Howe gets it done in two events for Stanford swimming


Sacred Heart Prep grad Ally Howe was one of three double-winners for the second-ranked Stanford women's swimming and diving team, which downed visiting UCLA, 151-92, in a Pac-12 meet Friday.

Sophomore sprinter Lia Neal and diver Kassidy Cook also each won twice for the Cardinal (5-0 in the Pac-12, 6-1 overall).

"Overall, I just think our energy was really good," Stanford coach Greg Meehan said. "It was nice to be at home, unbelievable day outside, against a really good UCLA team. It was a heightened sense of competition."

Neal won the 100 free (49.52) and the 200 free (1:48.22), while Howe took the 200-yard IM (2:01.23) and the 200 back (1:57.05) to spark nine individual wins for Stanford.

Freshman Simone Manuel won the 50 free (22.41), freshman Janet Hu took the 200 fly (1:57.12) and junior Sarah Haase claimed the 200 breast (2:13.26).

The Cardinal also registered three individual second-place showings: Hu in the 50 free, Alex Clay off the 1-meter board and freshman Heidi Poppe in the 200 back.

Clay was eight points behind Cook in the 1-meter, before Cook, a standout sophomore, won the 3-meter by more than three points.

"They did a great job across the board," diving coach Patrick Jeffrey said. "Kassidy in particular looked good, but I thought we had solid performances out of Kelly (Markle) and Alex (Clay)."

Stanford also dominated the relays to no surprise. The 400 medley relay started the meet by winning with more than three seconds to spare and the 400 free relay won by one one-hundredth short of six seconds to end the day.

Junior Katy Campbell, who won the 1,500 free title at last summer's Phillips 66 U.S. National Championships, led UCLA with wins in the 1,000 free (10:02.47) and 500 free (4:52.83).

The Cardinal returns to Avery Aquatic Center on Saturday for "Senior Day" against No. 14 USC. The Trojans (3-2, 4-2) fell, 197 1/2-102 1/2, to No. 3 California on Friday.

"I like to sit back on Senior Day and watch them perform for the last time here at Avery in front of the home crowd," Meehan added. "It's a really neat experience. And we have our hands full with USC so we have to be ready to go."

Women's tennis

Taylor Davidson won at No. 2 singles to clinch Stanford's 5-2 nonconference victory over visiting Saint Mary's on Friday.

For the second straight day, the eighth-ranked Cardinal (2-0) survived a hard-fought doubles point to take the early advantage. The No. 3 tandem of Krista Hardebeck and Lindsey Kostas clinched the point with a 6-4 win.

Stanford was the deeper team in singles play, collecting victories at four of the six spots.

The Cardinal will be challenged next weekend when it travels to South Bend to take on Notre Dame on Friday. Stanford plays Ohio State next Saturday in South Bend.

Track and field

A Stanford team of three freshmen and a junior won the women's distance medley relay going away at the Razorback Invitational indoor track and field meet Friday night.

Anna Laman (1,200 meters), Olivia Baker (400), junior Claudia Saunders (800), and Elise Cranny (1,600) ran 11:04.99 to record the No. 6 time in Stanford history. The Cardinal beat runner-up Iowa State by nearly eight seconds.

The DMR has become Stanford's trademark indoor event over the years, with the men's and women's teams combining for five NCAA titles – including one by the men last year – and 18 top-five finishes.

In the men's first indoor DMR since winning that title in Albuquerque last March, the Cardinal finished second to Oklahoma State, 9:30.65 to 9:32.08.

Sean McGorty ran 3:58.7 in 1,600 anchor leg to move Stanford from sixth into the lead, but the Cowboys rallied to victory. Stanford's team of Marco Bertolotti (2:55.6), Jackson Shumway (47.8), Luke Lefebure (1:48.9), and McGorty ran the No. 10 time in school history.

This was Stanford's first shot at establishing a time that will last among the top 16 in the country and earn a return trip to the NCAA Championships, which this year will be held on the same banked 200-meter track at University of Arkansas' Randal Tyson Track Center.

The Stanford women were second in the NCAA DMR last year, but ran only one member of that team, NCAA outdoor 800 runner-up Saunders, in their foursome Friday. The men had two returning members, Bertolotti and Lefebure.

Laman had the advantage of following teammate Jessica Tonn for much of the first leg. Tonn, running for a Stanford 'B' team took on the role of a rabbit until dropping off the track.

Laman ran 3:26 and was third at the exchange. Baker was unable to get around the Iowa State runner during her 53.0 quarter, but Saunders (2:10.4) powered into the lead.

Cranny had a 10-meter cushion at the final exchange, but quickly extended it to put the race away. She lapped two teams on the way to a 4:36.4 split.

Stanford also looked strong in the jumps with solid performances, including many improvements, across the board.

Garrett Starkey, a junior, arrived at Stanford with a 17-0 personal record only to miss last season with injuries. In his first competitions since 2013, Starkey surpassed 17-0 in each of his first two meets, clearing 17-0 ¾ for third.

Dan Emery, who also returned after a year off, cleared a personal best of 16-0 ¾, matching the height of teammate Dalton Duvio, who had a season best.

Carla Forbes won nine indoor and outdoor national championships in high school before suffering injuries as a senior that has caused her to miss nearly all of the past two seasons. She proved that she is returning to form by jumping 19-4 ¾ to finish fourth.

In addition, Estonian sophomore Jaak Uudmae jumped a personal best 23-0 for ninth in the men's competition and Dartis Willis II, at 23-10, was only 1 ½ off his best, finishing seventh.

— Palo Alto Online Sports/Stanford Athletics

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