American swim records pace Stanford women at NCAAs


It was a night of resiliency and records for the Stanford women's swimming and diving team during the second day of the NCAA Championships in Atlanta, Ga.

After a demoralizing start to Thursday's finals at McAuley Aquatic Center, the Cardinal rebounded for two national championships, two American and NCAA records, and two other All-America honors.

It seemed as though Stanford had claimed the national championship in the 200 free relay to start the evening. The Cardinal finished first, but was disqualified for a lane violation after a long review.

However, the Cardinal remained unfazed, and quickly regrouped behind the first record-setting performance of the night. Freshman Ella Eastin broke every record available in her first individual final at the national championships. The Irvine native set the American, NCAA, school, meet and pool records with a finish of 1:51.65 in the 200-yard individual medley.

She was second after the fly and back, but propelled ahead in the breast and pulled away with a 26.94 split in the free. She broke the all-time record in the event of 1:51.77 by former Cal star Caitlin Leverenz in 2012. The old Stanford mark was 1:52.31 by Julia Smit in 2010.

Eastin's race led to back-to-back All-American efforts from Gracia Leydon-Mahoney and Olympian Lia Neal.

In the first diving event, Leydon-Mahoney earned her first career All-America honor. She qualified for Thursday night's finals on the 1-meter with a fifth-place finish in the prelims, and then earned eighth overall with a score of 283.15.

Meanwhile, Neal earned a spot in the NCAA finals of the 50-yard freestyle for the first time in her career with the second-fastest time in school history (21.78) in the prelims. She then garnered 13 points for the Cardinal with a sixth-place finish of 21.83.

Neal then helped Stanford end the night with another American and NCAA record. The400 medley relay team of Sacred Heart Prep Ally Howe, Sarah Haase, Janet Hu and Neal broke their own records set at the Pac-12 Championships in February. They shaved 11-hundreths of a second off that time with a finish of 3:26.14.

The NCAA Championships continue on Friday.

— Stanford Athletics/Palo Alto Online Sports

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