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Pac-10 women


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Cardinal men make another historic splash at Pac-10s Depth and talent win out once again in record-breaking 30th consecutive conference meet swimming championship by Rick Eymer umber 30 was just as sweet as number one for the Stanford men’s swimming team last weekend as the Cardinal successfully defended its Pac-10 Conference meet title for the 29th consecutive time. With Chad La Tourette successfully defending his title in the 1,650 free and the Cardinal having 13 swimmers score in the finals, Stanford won its 30th straight conference title, a streak unmatched by any NCAA team in any NCAA sport. Austin Staab, Curtis Lovelace, Matthew Swanston and Matt Thompson all finished in the top three in their respective events as the Cardinal accumulated 911 points to Cal’s 86 points in Long Beach. La Tourette won the 1,650 free with a time of 14:38.13, leading three other Cardinal swimmers among the top eight. Michael Zoldos finished third in 14:58.38. Swanston and Thompson finished second and third, respectively, in the 200 back. Bollier was the runnerup in the 200 fly in the final individual event, swimming 1:41.60 in the finals. Staab was third in the 100 free, recording a time of 42.46. Lovelace was third in the 200 breast with a time of 1:54.71. Lovelace joined John Criste in the championship finals. Staab, who left school for personal reasons last season, was crucial to Stanford’s success during the weekend. He scored in seven events, winning the 100 fly on Friday in 44.66 and taking the 200 IM on Thursday with a school record of 1:42.01, breaking the previous school record of 1:43.82 set by Nate Cass in 2009. In winning the 100 fly, Staab joined John Ferris (1969-71), Pablo Morales (1984-86) and Jay Mortensen (1987-89) as Stanford’s threetime winners in the event. Staab’s efforts also were critical on four relays that placed second. He helped finish off Stanford’s historic title by anchoring the 400 free relay team to a sizzling school record of 2:48.51. Ironically, the only relay that Staab did not swim on — the 800 free — won. As was the case in all the previous conference meet championships for head coach Skip Kenney and associate head coach Ted Knapp, Stanford won with talent and depth. The Cardinal won only five races, with Thompson winning his first Pac-10 title in the 400 IM (3:45.01) to add to the victories by Staab, La Tourette and the 800 free relay. Stanford finished second in seven events, including Swanston in the 200 back (1:41.47), Bobby Bollier in the 200 fly (1:41.60) and Jake Allen in the 200 free (1:34.28.). Should the Stanford women or men’s swimming teams fare very well at their respective NCAA Championships in the coming


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and it’s a great situation for us,” said VanDerveer, who was voted Pac-10 Coach of the Year earlier in the week, the 11th time she’s been so honored. Stanford enters the weekend as the tournament favorite and Oregon State coach Scott Rueck sees no reason to argue with that. “As good as the teams are in this conference, they are an elite team,” Rueck said. “They don’t have a weakness and they are so relentless. They are gearing up for a long run this month. It is March Madness and you do have to play the game. But, I think they are that much better.” Staples Center becomes the fourth venue to host the women’s basketball championships, following Oregon’s MacArthur Court, the HP Pavilion in San Jose and the Galen Center. The week-long break (it’s also dead week on the Stanford campus) can only help a player like junior Nnemkadi Ogwumike, who returned to the lineup in the regular season finale after missing a couple of games with a sprained ankle. “Nneka is ready for a breakout tournament,” said VanDerveer. Those are not exactly the words opposing coaches want to hear. Ogwumike was the Pac-10 Player of the Year last season, though she joined Freshman of the Year Chiney Ogwumike, and seniors Jeanette Pohlen and Kayla Pedersen on the 15-player all-Pac-10 team. Pohlen was voted the conference Player of the Year this time around. “First and foremost Jeanette has really improved,” VanDerveer said. “She’s still working on a lot but she has come a long way with her leadership and her ability to run the offense.” Pohlen, who was turned into a point guard last year after injuries depleted the position, rose to the occasion this season. She helped freshmen like the younger Ogwumike and Toni Kokenis blend into the system and got them involved. “Chiney and Toni are two freshmen who have stepped up,” VanDerveer said. “Melanie Murphy and Lindy La Rocque have also im-

Stanford’s first team All-Pac-10 performers included (L-R) Chiney Ogwumike, Neka Ogwumike and Kayla Pedersen. proved and we’re getting contributions from Sarah Boothe and Josyln Tinkle.” With the possibility of up to five teams with at least 20 wins, the

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Stanford’s Jeanette Pohlen (23) was named Pac-10 Player of the Year while Tara VanDerveer was named Coach of the Year. Page 42ÊUÊ>ÀV…Ê££]ÊÓ䣣ÊUÊ*>œÊÌœÊ7iiŽÞ

semifinals could be a little more competitive than a quick glance would indicate. As for any Pac-10 team other than Stanford and UCLA reaching the NCAA party, VanDerveer said Arizona State, Arizona and USC are all worthy. “It depends on who wins the tournament,” VanDerveer said. “UCLA and ourselves are a lock, Arizona State has some good wins, Arizona is coming on strong and USC is certainly deserving. I don’t know what others say but the Pac-10 has done a great job of preparing us for the NCAA tournament. We have good teams in our conference.” California has a legitimate chance to reach the WNIT tournament, though the Bears likely would need to win at least one game in Los Angeles this week. After securing its 11th consecutive Pac-10 regular-season title and its second straight undefeated conference season with a 74-51 victory over California, VanDerveer gave her team three days off before refocusing on the road ahead. “We’re rested, excited and working hard,” VanDerveer said. “We’re looking forward to the tournament.” N

weeks, a handful of Cardinal divers may have a say in just how high those finishes will be. Stanford began competition Thursday at the three-day Zone Regional Championships. The Cardinal women are looking to secure at least one of the six spots for the NCAA Championships that start on March 17 in Austin, Texas, while the men are looking for one of eight spots for the championships in Minneapolis starting on March 24. There are 10 men’s teams competing and 20 women’s squad equating to 27 men and 53 women diving over the three-day competition. Stanford head coach Dr. Rick Schavone has placed a diver in the top 16 at the national meet in 26 of the past 28 years. Softball Stanford sophomore pitcher Teagan Gerhart was selected as the Pacific-10 Conference Pitcher of the Week. Gerhart went 3-0 last weekend and boasted a 1.33 ERA. She racked up 33 strikeouts, averaging 11 per contest. In three complete games, Gerhart allowed just four earned runs and issued just four walks. Offensively, Gerhart also recorded four hits on the weekend, including a double and a home run. Women’s soccer Freshman goalkeeper Emily Oliver returned from La Manga, Spain, where she split time in the United States Under-20 national team lineup at the Ten Nations Tournament. The U.S. finished with a 2-0 victory over Norway on Tuesday, during which Oliver played the second half. Synchronized swimming Stanford hosts an exhibition swim Saturday at 11 a.m., a final tuneup before competing in the U.S. Collegiate Nationals, which begins next Friday in Buffalo. Stanford is coming off a win at the West Regional over the University of Arizona and Arizona State in Tempe last week. The Cardinal placed first in all four competitions, including a season-high score in the team swim. Wrestling The NCAA championship pairings were announced Wednesday in advance of the March 17-19 meet at Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Arena. Here are the Stanford’s first-round matchups: At 125, Ryan Mango will wrestle in a play-in round against Purdue’s Camden Eppert. At 133, Justin Paulsen wrestles Boston University’s Fred Santaite. At 174, Nick Amuchastegui received the seventh seed and wrestles Wisconsin’s Benjamin Jordan. At 197, Pac-10 champion Zack Giesen received the No. 12 seed. N

Palo Alto Weekly 03.11.2011 - section 1  

Section 1 of the March 11, 2011 edition of the Palo Alto Weekly

Palo Alto Weekly 03.11.2011 - section 1  

Section 1 of the March 11, 2011 edition of the Palo Alto Weekly