Women’s swimming cruises in Los Angeles

The fourth-ranked women’s swimming and diving team continued its torrid start to the season with a road sweep in Los Angeles, taking down No. 17 UCLA 180-120 on Friday and No. 5 USC 170-130 on Saturday to improve to 9-0 in dual meets.

In Friday’s televised meet, the Cardinal swam to victory thanks to the performances of senior Felicia Lee, senior Andie Taylor and junior Katie Olsen, who each won two or more events during the meet.

Taylor captured the two distance events with a time of 9:50.44 in the 1000-yard freestyle and a time of 4:50.62 in the 500-yard freestyle. She finished three seconds faster than any other competitor in her victory in the latter race.

Felicia Lee (left) led the Card to victories (SIMON WARBY/The Stanford Daily)

Senior Felicia Lee (left) led the Card to victories with strong performances in the 100-yard and 200-yard backstrokes, the 200-yard individual medley and the 200-yard medley relay. (SIMON WARBY/The Stanford Daily)

“It’s just about executing the race plan,” said Taylor to GoStanford.com. “I think I swam pretty well. I felt like I was able to have something at the end to finish off, so I’m happy with it.”

Lee dominated the shorter-distance swims, winning the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 53.35, the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 1:56.75 and 200-yard individual medley (IM) with a time of 2:00.42. She also swam a strong butterfly leg in the Cardinal’s victorious effort in the 200-yard medley relay.

Olsen again won both the 100-yard breaststroke and the 200-yard breaststroke for her third straight meet with times of 1:01.19 and 2:12.61, respectively.

Stanford fielded a young group for the 400-yard freestyle relay, with freshman Lia Neal, sophomore Julia Ama, sophomore Julia Anderson and junior Maddy Schaefer. The team won the relay by only seven-hundredths of a second to end the meet in dramatic fashion for the Cardinal.

With the victory, Stanford now possesses an all-time record of 30-3 against UCLA.

On Saturday, the Cardinal ventured to the home of another conference foe and took down fifth-ranked Southern California in a meet between two of the country’s top-ranked teams.

Senior Maya DiRado, Lee and Olsen led the way for the Cardinal, as Stanford stayed undefeated and improved to 34-2 all-time against USC only a day after USC upset No. 1 Cal.

“Having four meets in nine days certainly presents some challenges,” said head coach Greg Meehan to GoStanford.com. “But I’m pleased with the intensity with which we raced at all four meets no matter what the score was.”

DiRado won both the 200-yard butterfly and the 200-yard backstroke with times of 1:57.98 and 1:56.98, respectively, while Lee won the 100-yard butterfly and 100-yard backstroke with times of 52.95 and 52.65, respectively.

Olsen also contributed to shorter-distance victories, winning the 100-yard breaststroke and 200-yard breaststroke for the fourth straight meet in 1:00.70 and 2:11.61, respectively. Together, DiRado, Lee and Olsen were more than the Trojans could handle on the short-distance swims.

Senior Andie Taylor repeated as the victor in the 1000-yard freestyle, finishing in a time of 9:51.82, more than three seconds ahead of the next finisher. Taylor also finished second in the 500-yard freestyle, with her 4:51.47 time just a second and a half behind that of USC freshman and World Championship gold medalist Chelsea Chenault.

Stanford will wrap up its dual meet schedule when it faces off against current No. 1 Cal on Feb. 15 at 10:00 a.m. The match will occur at Stanford in the Avery Aquatics Center in a meet that will again be televised on the Pac-12 Networks.

Contact Michael Peterson at mrpeters ‘at’ stanford.edu.

About Michael Peterson

Michael Peterson is the football editor at The Stanford Daily. He has served as a beat reporter for football, baseball and men’s soccer and also does play-by-play broadcasting of baseball and men’s soccer for KZSU. Michael is a sophomore from Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif. majoring in computer science. To contact him, please email him at mrpeters ‘at’ stanford.edu.