Sports

Stanford women hope to unseat Cal as swim champs

 

Pac-12 Championship Week has arrived. The top-ranked Stanford women's swimming and diving team will head to Federal Way, Wash., in search of its second conference title in the past four years. Competition from Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center begins on Wednesday and a champion will be crowned on Saturday.

Stanford (7-0, 7-0 Pac-12) has won a record 19 conference championships, most recently in 2013, and just completed an unbeaten regular season with a 172-128 win over No. 3 Cal on Feb. 13. The team also earned the No. 1 ranking in the final regular-season coaches poll, and is one of five Pac-12 teams in the Top 25.


"I'm happy for our Senior Class to finish their dual-meet careers in this fashion," Stanford head coach Greg Meehan said of the undefeated campaign and top ranking. "They have been incredible leaders for us. As great as it is to be recognized by our peers, we still have our biggest meets in front of us. Our goals haven't changed and we are continuing to work to be the best version of ourselves as we head to Pac-12's and NCAA's."

Entering the Pac-12 meet, Lia Neal is tops in the conference (and the nation) in the 100 free (47.74), Sarah Haase has the top time in the Pac-12 this year in the 100 breast (58.27), and sophomore Janet Hu leads the Pac-12 in the 100 back (51.45). Meanwhile, freshman Ella Eastin has posted the conference's top time in the 200 fly (1:53.34), 200 individual medley (1:54.53) and 400 individual medley (4:01.04). As a team, the Cardinal ranks atop the league in four of five relay events.

Stanford finished second to Cal at the 2015 conference meet. The Bears went on to win the NCAA crown, as well, behind Olympian Missy Franklin.

The Cardinal return several individual Pac-12 champions. Haase will attempt to defend her title in the 100 breast and senior Alex Clay will enter the meet as defending champion in three-meter diving. Stanford was also tops in the 400 freestyle and 400 medley relay last year.

Men's gymnastics

Stanford's Akash Modi was named the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Gymnast of the Week, as announced by the conference Tuesday.

Modi posted another phenomenal all-around with a combined score of 175.300 to propel him to a second-place finish at the Winter Cup in Las Vegas, Nev. With the finish, Modi secured a spot on the U.S. Senior National Team.

On the weekend, Modi placed second in high bar (29.950), seventh in parallel bars (29.100), 10th on pommel horse (29.250) and rings (29.050) and 18th in floor (28.550) and vault (29.400).

Modi has earned 13 individual event victories against NCAA teams this season: all-around (3), parallel bars (3), floor (3), pommel horse (2) and high bar (2).

The award is the second of the season for Modi and his 10th career MPSF Gymnast of the Week honor.

Stanford and Modi will look to keep their momentum going on Saturday, when the Cardinal will host the International Collegiate Challenge. Competing teams include Japan, Finland, Canada and California. Meet time is set for 4 p.m. at Burnham Pavilion.

— Stanford Athletics/Palo Alto Online Sports

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