Stanford women swimmers move into third at NCAAs


Versatile freshman swimmer Ella Eastin won an individual NCAA title and helped the 200-yard medley relay team capture another title on Friday in Atlanta, improving the Stanford women's swimming and diving team to third place overall.

The Cardinal earned a total of 12 All-America honors on the third day of competition to pull Stanford within 20 points of first place heading into the final day.

Eastin led off the night by earning her second national title in as many nights. She led from the start and earned a sweep of the individual medley events with a career-best 3:58.40 in the 400 IM. Eastin is the fifth Cardinal to win the event for a combined nine national titles and she swam the sixth-fastest 400 IM in school history.

Stanford ended the night with the medley relay victory. Ally Howe, Sarah Haase, Janet Hu and Lia Neal earned the sweep in the medley relays with a winning time of 1:34.81. Stanford has now won the event 13 times, and two of the last three years. One night earlier, the same foursome won the 400 medley relay. They own the American record in both events.

Inbetween, the Cardinal piled on points and All-America honors.

Sophomores Janet Hu and Lindsey Engel combined for 20 points with a pair of career-best efforts in the 100-yard butterfly.

Hu, who earned three All-America accolades on the night, was fourth at 51.03, while Engel finished fourth in the consolation final and 12th overall at 51.84.

Neal then added to her collection of All-America awards as well. She garnered the bronze medal in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:42.58.

Moments later, Haase finished as the national runner-up with a school record in the 100-yard breaststroke. She bettered the Stanford record she set during the prelims and clocked the third-fastest time in history in the event at 57.36. She was second only to an American record time and finished her career in the event as a four-time All-American, including last year's national championship.

Hu was at it again in the 100-yard backstroke, and once again, she was joined by another All-American teammate. Sophomore Ally Howe earned the bronze medal with a finish of 50.86, and Hu came in fifth at 51.06.

Sophomore Gracia Leydon-Mahoney reached the finals of the day's diving event for the second straight night. She duplicated Thursday's All-American performance on the 1-meter with a seventh-place finish on Friday on the 3-meter. She totaled a score of 329.45 and earned another 12 points for the Cardinal.

Overall, Stanford moved up three spots in the team standings on Friday. The Cardinal have accumulated 265 points.

Georgia is in the lead with 285 points and Cal is 2 1/2 points in front of Stanford.

The meet concludes Saturday with the Cardinal seeking its 36th straight top-eight finish and 12th top-five showing in the last 13 years.

Stanford has won the NCAA title eight times, the most of any team in the nation. The Cardinal last raised a championship banner in 1998.

— Stanford Athletics

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