Plenty of swim showdowns in annual meet | June 29, 2007 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

Sports - June 29, 2007

Plenty of swim showdowns in annual meet

by Rick Eymer

Stanford grad Tara Kirk may get her rematch with world recordholder Leisel Jones of Australia in the 100 breast on Saturday. Stanford grad Ben Wildman-Tobriner can continue to show his ability in the 50 free on the same day.

Kirk and Wildman-Tobriner are among the highlighters at the Santa Clara International meet which continues through Sunday at the George Haines International Swim Center.

The meet is the fifth stop on the Toyota Grand Prix series and comes a week after the Pan Pacific Invitational at Stanford's Avery Aquatic Center. That's where Jones and Kirk swam an incredibly competitive 100-meter breast, with Jones out touching Kirk, 1:07.27 to 1:07.62.

Jones holds the world record in the 200 breast (2:20.54), while Kirk won four straight NCAA titles in the 100-yard breast and is the No. 2 all-time American swimmer in the 100-meter breast at 1:06.82.

Kirk won the 100 breast at the Mare Nostrum Series in Barcelona two weeks ago, swimming a 1:07.37. She and Jones will compete in the 200 breast on Friday.

Wildman-Tobriner, after setting three American records at the NCAA championships in May, became the world champion in the 50 free at the World Championships in Australia the following week.

Wildman-Tobriner will face off against some of the top sprinters in the world in South Africa's Ryk Neethling and Roland Schoeman.

Kirk and Wildman-Tobriner are both training for the 2008 Olympic Team trials.

Kirk has become involved in a number of causes, including the Special Olympics and the "Engines of Change" program, which allows her to support the Bremerton (WA) school system.

Other Stanford swimmers entered this weekend: Chris Ash (100 breast; 200 breast); Andrea Axtell (100 free; 200 free; 100 fly; 100 back; 200 back); Danny Beal (200 free; 100 fly; 100 free; 200 fly; 400 free); Karl Boehringer (100 breast; 50 free; 100 fly; 200 breast); Olympian Caroline Bruce (200 breast; 100 back; 200 back; 100 breast; 200 IM); Olympian Dana Kirk (100 fly; 200 fly); Michelle Liu (50 free; 100 free; 100 back; 200 back); Cydney Siggins (400 IM; 200 back; 100 back); Hongzhe Sun (100 back; 200 back); and Paul Zaich (100 breast; 100 fly; 200 IM; 400 IM; 200 breast).

Preliminaries are at 9 a.m. and finals at 5 p.m. today through Sunday.


Recent graduate Ryan Seawell received a call from the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday, caught a flight early Wednesday morning to the Tigers' spring training facility in Lakeland, Fla., and signed a contract Thursday morning.

Seawell will be assigned either to the Oneonta Tigers in the New York-Penn League or to the Lakeland Tigers of the Gulf Coast League.

Men's volleyball

Stanford grads Kevin Hansen and Gabe Gardner are helping the United States national team in its quest to earn a FIVB World League title.

Team USA (8-2) is two matches up in Pool B with two matches to play before the medal round begins.

The Americans meet Italy on Friday in Napoli and again on Sunday in Avellino.

The U.S. defeated Japan, 25-23, 25-22, 25-22, last Sunday in Kumamoto.

Gardner, a member of the 1998 U.S. Olympic team, ranks eighth in the World League with 51.19 percent success rate in spiking. He's 22nd with 106 points.

Hansen, Stanford's all-time leader with 392 games played, is ranked 18th among the 78 setters.

Women's volleyball

The United States National Team swept all five matches in pool play at the Pan American Cup in Colima, Mexico to earn a bye into Friday's semifinals against Brazil.

Stanford junior Cynthia Barboza scored a team-high 13 points as the Americans beat host Mexico, 25-18, 25-12, 25-11, in front of a capacity crowd on Wednesday night.

Barboza had nine kills, three aces and a block.

The win also guaranteed the U.S. a spot in the FIVB World Grand prix next year.

The Americans hit .314 as a team, with a 42.9 kill percentage against Mexico.

"Our focus was to play USA volleyball," U.S. team captain Ah Mow-Santos said. "We are happy that we came out on top."

Women's beach volleyball

Fresh off their victory in the shadows of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Stanford grad Kerri Walsh and partner Misty May-Treanor earned a bye into the second round of elimination play at the $600,000 ConcocoPhillips Grand Slam in Stavanger, Norway with three wins in pool play.

Walsh and May-Treanor play Friday against either a team from Austria or The Netherlands.

The American duo claimed the top prize at the $600,000 Henkel Grand Chelem on Sunday, beating China's Jia Tian and Jie Wang, 21-15, 21-12, in the finals.

"Kerri did a great job at the net that allowed me to defend behind her block," May-Treanor said. "We were pointing to this match since Jia and Jie eliminated us in Austria last year. They are a great team but we put a lot of pressure on them."

Men's beach volleyball

Stanford grad Mike Lambert and his partner Stein Metzger are seeded sixth in the ConcocoPhillips Grand Slam in Stavanger, Norway while Stanford grad Matt Fuerbringer and teammate Sean Scott were also entered.


Stanford sophomores Alissa Haber and Rosey Neill each contributed to the United States Under-21 national team's 6-2 victory over Venezuela in the first round of the World Junior Championships in Enschede, Netherlands on Thursday.

Haber walked and eventually scored the first run of the game while Neill caught the combined three-hitter.

The Americans finished pool play unbeaten in seven games, winning their final two, 18-0 over Russia on Tuesday, and 11-0 over Italy on Wednesday.

Haber was 3-for-4 with two doubles and two RBI against the Russians. Neill had a RBI double.

Women's soccer

Stanford grad Julie Foudy, a three-time Olympian, will be inducted into the CoSIDA Academic All-America Hall of Fame along with four others on Sunday in San Diego.

Foudy will also be inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame later in the summer.

Foudy was a four-time All-American while at Stanford and the 1991 National Player of the Year.

She played 17 years with the national team, bringing home two Olympic gold medals, an Olympic silver medal and was on two World Cup title teams. Her 271 lifetime caps ranks third in world soccer history.

Men's golf

Stanford incoming freshman Steven Ziegler finished 29th, the second highest American score, at the Junior Golf World Cup last weekend at Chukyo Golf Course, Ishino Course, in Japan.

Ziegler shot a three-round 5-over-par 289 as the United States finished seventh. Sweden won the team title.


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