Swim and dive teams look to continue dominance as winter season begins

Jan. 6, 2016, 11:06 p.m.

After a strong start in the pool this fall, the men’s and women’s swim and dive teams are looking to maintain their dominance in the winter season. Both teams completed two dual meets apiece in fall quarter, coming away victorious in all four. The men defeated Utah (164-125) and North Carolina State (164-136) while the women triumphed against Washington State (142-119) and Utah (177-112).

Stanford, CA - October 16, 2015.  Stanford Men's and Women's Swimming vs. Utah at the Avery Aquatic Center on the Stanford Campus.
Freshman Ella Eastin has impressed thus far in her collegiate career, winning the 200-yard and 400-yard individual medley at the Texas A&M Invitational. (SHIRLEY PEFLEY/stanfordphoto.com)

In addition to the dual meets, the teams have competed in invitationals, which feature many teams. The women recently competed in the Texas A&M Invitational in late November. The team finished second with a score of 833 points, over 250 points ahead of third-place Louisiana State University, falling only to the host team, Texas A&M University, which came in first with 1,166 points. Day 1 of the meet featured a 200-yard individual medley win from freshman newcomer Ella Eastin. The Cardinal also took home victories in the 200-yard free relay and the 400-yard medley relay.

The following day, Stanford returned to win four more individual events and two additional relays. Eastin won the 400-yard individual medley, senior Sarah Haase was victorious in the 100-yard breaststroke, sophomore Janet Hu touched first in the 100-yard backstroke and junior Lia Neal captured the 200-yard freestyle crown. The Cardinal also won the 200-yard medley relay and the 800-yard freestyle relay to end the day.

The invitational concluded on the next day, which featured more individual victories for Haase, Eastin, Neal and Hu. Despite the victories by the Cardinal, the depth of the Texas A&M was too tough to beat. The performance of the women’s team, however, is very promising as it moves into the winter season.

The women face Arizona State on Friday January 22nd for their first competition of the winter.  The Sun Devils experienced a mix of wins and losses in their fall season, defeating Oregon State (109-94) and UNLV (181-117), but losing to Washington State (115-90), University of Southern California (178-106) and UCLA (180-116). If the Cardinal are able to perform as well as they did in the fall, their first meet of the new year will be one to watch.

Before ending their fall season, the men competed in the three-day A3 Performance Invite in Monterey Park, California. On the first day, the Cardinal commanded the pool, winning all five events. In the final race of the day, the 400-yard medley relay, the team made of freshmen Ryan Dudzinski and Matt Anderson, senior Gray Umbach and sophomore Sam Perry set a meet record, beating second-place finisher University of Southern California by over 2.5 seconds. The Cardinal dominated earlier in the day as well, holding five of the top six spots in both the 200-yard individual medley and the 50-yard freestyle.

On Day 2 of the tournament, the men’s team extended its lead. The Cardinal won five out of seven races for the day. The team set another meet record, this time in the 200-yard medley relay. The Cardinal swept the top five in the 400-yard individual medley, with freshman Abrahm DeVine winning the event, completing the fastest 400-yard IM in the nation this season. The Cardinal also had six of the top seven swimmers in the 100-yard butterfly, with junior Connor Black, sophomore Andrew Liang and Umbach leading the pack. Sophomore Liam Egan won the 200-yard freestyle, giving him his second individual victory of the meet.

Stanford’s dive team was also competing that night, but at the Georgia Tech Invitational in Atlanta, Georgia. Senior diver Connor Kuremsky won the 1-meter event, not missing a dive all day.

The final day of the A3 Performance Invite featured more Cardinal victories, including sophomore Patrick Conanton’s 200-yard backstroke, Perry’s 100-yard freestyle, Egan’s 1,650-yard freestyle, freshman Matt Anderson’s 200-yard breaststroke and Umbach’s 200-yard butterfly. Another relay win completed the meet, with a point total of 2,016 for the Cardinal, 923 more than the second-place UC Santa Barbara.

Proven by their dominant performance at the A3 Performance Invite, the Cardinal look very strong as they head into the winter season. Their first meet of the new year is against the University of Pacific. UOP was also at the A3 Performance Invite, finishing in sixth place, with a score of 508. In the fall season, the Tigers fell to Arizona State (170-92) and Cal (142-106) in their dual meets. Based on the results of the A3 Performance Invite, the Cardinal’s first meet should be an easy victory, considering Stanford scored almost four times as many points as the Tigers.

Both the men’s and women’s swim and dive teams had successful fall seasons and are prepared for the winter season ahead.  The men’s team next faces UOP this Friday at 2 p.m., and the women’s team will take on Arizona State on Jan. 22 at 1 p.m.  Both meets will be held at the Avery Aquatic Center.


Contact Selby Sturzenegger at selby ‘at’ stanford.edu.

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