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Stanford women third heading into final day of NCAAs

 

Stanford junior Sarah Haase won a national title in the 100 breast and freshman Simone Manuel chased Cal Olympian Missy Franklin to an American record in the 200 free to highlight the Cardinal's second day at the NCAA Women's Swimming and Diving Championships on Friday in Greensboro, N.C.

After setting a school record of 58.19 in the prelims, Haase came back in the finals and won in 58.32. Teammate Katie Olsen won the 'B' final in 59.28.

"I saw we were all pretty close in that last 25 and, actually, I looked over at my teammates and saw they went crazy before I even looked at the time so I was like, maybe that's a good thing?" Haase said.

The field was tight from start to finish with Haase leading eventual fourth-place finisher Laura Simon of Virginia by 0.04 seconds headed to the last 50 yards.

Alabama's Kaylin Burchell and Notre Dame's Emma Reaney were also within 0.09 midway through, but Haase held them off.

Manuel finished second in the 200 free in 1:41.45, but pushed Franklin to a 1:39.10 time that established an American, NCAA, U.S. Open and meet record. Stanford's Lia Neal was third in 1:42.65 as the Cardinal scored 33 points.

Cal, however, had 57 points in the event and took the second-day lead with 383.5 points. Two-time defending champ Georgia is second with 299.5 with Stanford third with 264.

Stanford had a shot at second, but failed to qualify for the finals of the opening 200 medley relay.

The Cardinal went 1:37.30 in the prelims, but came back to clock 1:35.10 to win the 'B' final. That time was faster than the winning time in the 'A' final, which would have been worth 40 points for the Cardinal.

Stanford's relay foursome was freshman Ally Howe from Sacred Heart Prep, Haase, freshman Janet Hu and Neal. Their ninth-place time established a pool record.

In other events, sophomore diver Kassidy Cook was third in the 3-meter board with 393.25 points; Howe was seventh in the 100 back in 51.69 after going 51.63 in the prelims; and Hu was 11th in the 100 fly in 52.01.

"I'm really excited about Kassidy's performance this year," said head coach Patrick Jeffrey. "She has come back from a lot of adversity and we all knew that she could perform the way that she did here. There's still more in the tank, we're still on the way up, but the big difference in Kassidy right now is that her confidence is back."

Cook, who has battled shoulder issues over the past two seasons, ends her first NCAA championship experience with two All-American honors. Lilly Hinrichs will represent Stanford on the platform Saturday.

To cap the evening, Stanford finished second in the 800 free relay with a team of Neal, sophomore Grace Carlson, Manuel and sophomore Nicole Stafford clocking a school record of 6:54.68, breaking last year's mark of 6:55.62.

Cal won in 6:50.99 and will take the favorite's role into Saturday's final day at the Greensboro Aquatic Center.

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