The No. 5 Stanford men’s swimming team showed a promising ability to hang with No. 3 Cal, the defending NCAA runners-up, as it claimed victories in two of the six tri-events in the unofficial triple-distance meet — its final non-invitational meet of the fall. Although the results of the meet did not count towards either team’s record, it gave each team a chance to evaluate the other’s 2013-14 talent before the end of the fall season.
Sophomore Tom Kremer and junior David Nolan respectively claimed victories in the butterfly and backstroke tri-events, while sophomore Ryan Arata, senior Mason Shaw and freshmen Max Williamson and Justin Buck all contributed second-place finishes.
In the triple-distance meet format, each of the swimmers was assigned to one of six tri-events — butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, sprint freestyle, distance freestyle and individual medley (IM) — and swam three different distances; these times were summed to give the swimmer’s total for the tri-event. In this way, each of the swimmers was tested in his ability to not only swim quickly over shorter distances, but also in his ability to maintain endurance through longer races.
Although Kremer was only the third-fastest sprinter in the 50-yard butterfly (22.45) and finished second in the 100-yard event (49.55), his strong first-place performance in the 200-yard butterfly, with a time of 1:47.64, was enough to carry him over Cal freshman Long Gutierrez with a cumulative time of 2:59.64.
Nolan, meanwhile, was dominant throughout the backstroke tri-event in which he competed, coming in first in both the 50-yard (22.60) and 200-yard (1:49.29) events while being out-touched by only four-hundredths of a second in the 100-yard event (50.26) for a total time of 3:02.15 and a 1.3-second victory over Arata, the second-place finisher in the tri-event. Senior Will Gunderson also swam a solid time as the Cardinal swept the top three spots in the event.
The Cardinal’s one more significant weakness was shown to be in the sprint freestyle tri-event, in which none of its swimmers finished in the top three. Junior Thomas Stephens was top among Stanford’s swimmers with his cumulative time of 2:46.60, but that time was ultimately more than three seconds off of the lead.
The swimmers will wrap up their fall season with a trip to Las Vegas for the UNLV Invitational on Nov. 21-23, which will be a good opportunity for them to square up against teams from all around the nation in an invitational meet before a lull until dual meets start again in January. The divers, meanwhile, will follow the women’s team to College Station, Texas, for the Art Adamson Invitational before competing in the Winter National Championships in Austin, Texas, in December.
Contact Do-Hyoung Park at dpark027 ‘at’ stanford.edu.