STANFORD – Missy Franklin won three individual events and Anne Kastler set a school record on the 1-meter board, but No.4 Stanford pulled away from top-ranked Cal over the final five events to win their annual dual meet, 167-133, Saturday.
“There were a lot of close races, which I’m really proud of, but unfortunately, we didn’t end up on top of too many of them,” head coach Teri McKeever said. “A couple of those go the other way and I think it’s a different outcome. As we move forward, we have to look at how we can be on the other end of some of those. I think the depth in our squad is showing up. Right now, we have to stay focused on our journey and be ready in 10 days for Pac-12’s.”
The conference championships run Feb. 26-March 1 in Federal Way, Wash., which presents a different format that McKeever believes will benefit the Bears.
“I think this team is a much better championship team than it is a dual-meet team,” McKeever said. “A lot of our strengths are in the same area, which doesn’t always help you in a dual-meet situation. Right now, we need to take one day at a time, get a lot of rest, stay healthy and get ready to go when we head to Washington.”
The Bears got off to a strong start in the first swimming event when Franklin pulled away from Stanford’s Andie Taylor to claim the 1000 free in 9:53.81 to Taylor’s 9:58.02. The Bears’ Catherine Breed and Melanie Klaren were third and fourth in 10:06.18 and 10:07.79, respectively.
The 200 free followed, and Franklin came back to claim the event in 1:45.46, ahead of runner-up Lia Neal of Stanford (1:47.52). Entering the race, Franklin ranked No. 1 in the country in the event with Neil third. Caroline Piehl (1:48.13) and Rachael Acker (1:48.70) gave the Bears valuable points by finishing 3-4.
Felicia Lee of Stanford held off a late charge from Cal’s Elizabeth Pelton to just out-touch her in the 100 back, 53.02 to 53.04. The Cardinal then went 1-2 in the 100 breast, led by Katie Olsen’s 1:00.56. Kong was Cal’s top finisher in third in 1:02.59.
In another close race, Stanford’s Maya DiRado edged Cal’s Celina Li in the 200 fly, 1:57.85 to 1:58.10. As a result, the Cardinal took the lead in the team standings for the first time by a score of 58-54.
The 50 free saw Stanford’s Maddy Schaefer and Neal claim the first two places with Bing in third (22.99) for Cal before the diving break.
Kastler, the reigning Pac-12 Diver of the Month, established a school-record score of 297.30 on her way to victory the 1-meter board. She later claimed second on the 3-meter board with 299.40 points.
Back in the pool, Franklin prevailed in her third individual event with a win in a tight 100 free in 48.99. Stanford’s Neal (49.11) and Schaefer (49.16) were next, and Acker was fourth in 50.21 for the Bears.
Pelton gave Cal back-to-back wins with a dominating victory in the 200 back as she touched the wall in 1:55.35 for a nearly three-second margin over Stanford’s Annemarie Thayer. The result pushed the Bears back into the lead, 96-92.
The Cardinal, though, won the remaining races and retook the advantage in the team race by three points with a 1-2 showing in the 200 breast. Cal’s Celina Li was third in 2:15.47 by a mere .04 seconds. Stanford also placed first and second in the 500 free to move further in front.
Lee took control of the 100 fly, reaching the wall in 52.74, with Cal’s Sophia Batchelor second (54.29) and Tran third (54.62). DiRado added another Stanford win in the 200 IM in 1:57.62. Cal’s Li (1:57.96) and Pelton (1:59.74) had the next two spots. Finally, Stanford closed out the meet with a time of 3:18.06 in the 400 free relay, as Cal’s Acker, Rachel Bootsma, Bing and Franklin were timed in 3:19.28.
The meet was televised live by the Pac-12 Networks and is scheduled to be replayed Sunday at 6 p.m. and Monday at 10:30 a.m. PT.