Cardinal defeats Cardinals on synchronized swimming senior day

March 28, 2021, 10:50 p.m.

As the warm midday sun shone over the Farm, Stanford synchronized swimming executed an eight-swimmer routine for its penultimate competition as a varsity team. The routine was accompanied by a mashup of 1980s rock music, which added a rebellious spirit to the air.

One of the songs in the routine was Twisted Sister’s “We’re Not Gonna Take It.” If anything, it was a subtle sign of defiance to a university that decided to cut the program in July, one of only five in the country that competes at a varsity level.  

The team’s routine earned a score of 80.2000, easily defeating the other two teams from University of the Incarnate Word in the event. 

Stanford finished the weekend defeating the the Incarnate Word Cardinals in one technical event and the free solo, duet and team events. Incarnate Word won the other technical event only because Stanford did not field a swimmer.

The meet also celebrated seniors Jacklyn Luu, Sophia Susac and Caitlin Klauer, whose cardboard cutout heads watched over the Avery Aquatics Center pool on Sunday.

Luu was the only Cardinal to perform a free solo routine, earning a score of 83.9333 and defeating Incarnate Word’s Natalia Vega, who scored 82.1000. She also went on to win the first technical category with a score of 82.2244. Klauer finished third in the event behind Stanford freshman Emmanuella Tchakmakjian to complete a sweep of the top three finishes.

The pair of Tchakmakjian and Luu won the free duet event with a 82.1000 followed in second by Klauer and junior Alexandrea Suarez, who performed a routine to the dance track “Hit the Road Jack” by Throttle.

While not officially scored, Stanford also performed three trio routines. One by Suarez, junior Grace Alwan and sophomore Ava Jih-Schiff incorporated 1920s dance moves to the soundtrack of “The Great Gatsby” (2013). The other two trios were accompanied by violins and samba music, while their teammates from the sidelines cheered with a custom sign.

Cardinal defeats Cardinals on synchronized swimming senior day
(Photo: MICHAEL ESPINOSA/The Stanford Daily)

The Cardinal now begins preparations for its final U.S. collegiate nationals, starting at the Avery Aquatic Center on April 16, where it will look to stop the Ohio State Buckeyes from winning a fourth straight national title.

Michael Espinosa '22 is majoring in international relations. He's the head of The Daily's social media team, and editor for the University beat and also occasionally writes for sports, arts, and The Grind. He's the biggest Taylor Swift fan at Stanford and the proudest New Yorker you will ever meet. Contact him at mespinosa 'at'

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