Sports

Senior Day a big success for Cardinal women's swimming

 

It would be hard to imagine a better Senior Day as the No. 2 Stanford women's swimming and diving team capped an undefeated regular season with a 172-128 win over rival and third-ranked Cal at Avery Aquatic Center.

Nine Stanford seniors were honored prior to their final home meet -- Julia Ama, Julia Anderson, Allison Brown, Alex Clay, Sarah Haase, Kelly Markle, KC Moss, Jaynie Pulte and Lilly Hinrichs.

"Obviously it is pretty sentimental because it was our last meet, but to go out with a bang, and to beat Cal was a really good feeling," Haase said. "I'm just really happy for all the seniors right now."

Stanford (7-0, 7-0 Pac-12) bookended the meet with a win in the 200-yard medley relay (1:38.25) and the 400 free relay (3:17.56).

Junior Lia Neal anchored both of those relays, and also claimed individual victories in the 200 freestyle (1:45.39) and 100 free (48.47) to give the Cardinal an early lead heading into the first break.

Among the senior standouts, Haase once again won the 100 breast with a season-best finish of 1:00.25. She doubled up with another first-place finish in the 200 breast at 2:12.18.

On a day to honor a very successful senior class, freshman Ella Eastin emerged with a trio of victories. She topped the field in the 200 fly (1:54.60), 500 free (4:46.89) and then the 200 individual medley (1:58.23).

Gracia Leydon-Mahoney and Clay extended that lead over the Bears (6-2, 5-2 Pac-12) with a pair of 1-2 finishes in the diving events. Leydon-Mahoney won the 1-meter with a score of 306.98 and the 3-meter at 341.48.

The Pac-12 Championships are on the horizon. The diving conference championships are Feb. 24-27, and the swimming championships are set for March 2-5 in Federal Way, Wash.

Saturday's meet was also #ForTheKids as Stanford and Cal fans made donations to the Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford. A preliminary count put the total raised around $2,000.

"We really want to thank all the fans for their support of this initiative today," Meehan said of the generous donations from Cal and Stanford fans alike. "It means a lot because we know that money is going directly to health care for children and expecting mothers here at Stanford hospital."

Women's golf

Junior Casey Danielson shot a 1-under-par 70 on Saturday to help third-ranked Stanford finish second in the first round of the 21st Peg Barnard Invitational at Stanford Golf Course.

The defending national champion Cardinal posted a four-player score of 3-over-par total of 287, two strokes behind pacesetter Oregon. Cal is third at 289.

The final round will be played Sunday.

"Right about what I would have expected," said Anne Walker, Stanford's Director of Women's Golf. "One of the traits of this team is that we're pretty consistent, and that will win you a lot of golf tournaments. Great to see Casey play well."

After a strong fall season that saw Stanford win two of three stroke-play tournaments, the 13-team event marks the start of the spring season.Weather was foggy at the start, causing a slight delay, but the sun broke through, resulting in warm sunshine on the windless day.

Sparked by a 50-foot birdie putt at the par-4 second hole, Danielson carded an even-par 35 on the front nine and 1-under 35 on the back.

"Nothing came easy but nothing went terribly wrong," said Danielson, knotted in a five-way tie for first place. "I just felt really comfortable out there and it's nice starting the spring on our home course."

Danielson said putting was the key.

"I felt really confident from four, five, eight feet," she said. "That really helped knowing the birdie putts and par putts have a chance."

Like all of her teammates, Danielson enjoyed the holiday break but was excited to resume competition.

"We've had practice for three weeks, so we're ready to see how our games shape up and see how we can improve until May," said Danielson. "Being from Wisconsin (Osceola), I tried to take time off and it was snowing out. I just tried hit balls once or twice a week, just to keep my feel."

Stanford received solid performances from senior All-Americans Lauren Kim and Mariah Stackhouse.

Kim (t-5) recorded a 71, shooting 1-under on her opening nine, while Stackhouse rebounded from a tough start to fashion three back nine birdies, capped by a 15-footer at the par-4 18th, and closed with a 1-under 35 to shoot 72 (t-10).

Junior Quirine Eijkenboom and sophomore Shannon Aubert each shot 74 and are tied for 22nd. Aubert nearly sunk her approach at the par-4 18th hole and converted a short birdie putt.

Final round play on Sunday begins at 8 a.m. PST on the first tee and 8:25 a.m. on the 10thtee. The tournament is open to the public and admission is free.

— Stanford Athletics

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