After Day One of the Pac-12 Championships, No. 4 Stanford women’s swimming and diving (7-2, 4-1 Pac-12) finds itself leading an elite field that includes three top ten teams and five top 25 schools.
The Cardinal kicked off the championship meet by finishing third in the 200-yard medley relay with the time of 1:36.54, just a little over two tenths of a second behind event-winner Arizona. Junior standout Felicia Lee swam the fastest backstroke leg among all the teams competing, but Arizona, USC and Cal were all able to overtake Stanford after the butterfly leg. But senior Andi Murez, anchoring with a blistering time of 21.46 in the freestyle portion, caught Cal’s freshman Rachel Acker to ensure a third-place finish for the Cardinal.
Stanford then followed up with a victory in the 800-yard freestyle relay, beating the rest of field by almost two seconds. Lee set the tone with a 1:44.96 opening leg and the team looked back, with Murez, who clocked in at 1:43.16, holding off Cal’s Elizabeth Pelton down the stretch. The Cardinal missed the Pac-12 Championship record by less than three tenths of a second.
Stanford amassed 118 points, just ahead of second-place Arizona and third-place USC, who have 116 and 110 points, respectively. Defending national champion Cal currently sits in fourth place with 108 points.
With three days of competition remaining, the Cardinal hopes to hold on to its slim lead and win its third conference title in four years.