It was an appropriate Senior Day for the No. 2 Stanford women's swimming and diving team, which capped an undefeated regular season with a 172-128 dual-meet win over rival and third-ranked Cal at Avery Aquatic Center on Saturday.
Nine Stanford seniors were honored prior to their final home meet -- Gunn grad Julia Ama, Julia Anderson, Allison Brown, Alex Clay, Sarah Haase, Kelly Markle, KC Moss, Jaynie Pulte and Lilly Hinrichs.
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. Neal, an Olympian, is the U.S. leader in the 100 free.
Among the senior standouts, Haase once again won the 100 breast with a 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.
A handful of local swimmers represented both teams well -- former Gunn teammates Rachael Acker (Cal), Jenna Campbell (Cal) and Ama (Stanford) plus Sacred Heart Prep grad Ally Howe.
In the 200 medley relay, Howe led off the Stanford A team, Acker anchored the Cal A squad to second and Ama anchored the Stanford B team to third.
In the 200 free, Acker was fourth (1:48:57), Howe was fourth in the 100 back (53.34), Ama was third in the 50 free (22.98), Acker was second in the 100 free (49.20) and Ama fourth (50.08), Howe was third in the 200 back (1:56.32) and fourth in the 100 fly (54.79). In the closing 400 free relay, Ama swam the third leg for Stanford's winning squad with Acker leading off the second-place Bears. Campbell had a pair of sixth-place finishes in the 1,000 and 500 free.
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," Stanford coach Greg 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."
Next up for both teams will be the Pac-12 Championships. The diving conference championships are Feb. 24-27, and the swimming championships are set for March 2-5 in Federal Way, Wash.