Cardinal swimmers finish with 14 medals at World Championships

July 1, 2022, 8:50 p.m.

Past, present and future Stanford swimmers collectively picked up two golds, one silver and two bronze medals during the last three days of competition at the 2022 FINA World Aquatics Championships in Budapest, Hungary.

Their efforts brought the overall Cardinal medal count for the championship to 14, including eight golds, two silvers and four bronzes.

Records and relay wins for Huske, Smith and Curzan

On Thursday, rising sophomore Torri Huske broke the American record in the semifinals of the women’s 50-meter butterfly with a time of 25.38. She took sixth in the finals, with a slightly slower time of 25.45. 

“I didn’t know the [record] time, so I didn’t know I broke it until you just told me,” Huske said in an interview with NBC after the semifinals. “I’m really happy with how the meet’s gone so far and I’m really excited with what’s left to come.”

Huske placed fifth in the 50-meter freestyle and took bronze in the 100-meter freestyle, clocking a personal record of 52.92 in the latter. Her total of six medals has her tied with Australia’s Mollie O’Callaghan as the swimmer with the most medals at this World Championships meet.

Incoming freshman Claire Curzan competed in the 50 butterfly and 100 freestyle, finishing fourth and eighth with times of 24.43 and 53.81, respectively.

Future teammates Huske and Curzan competed on two more relays during the last three days of the meet. They recorded splits of 52.70 and 52.84 in the 4×100 mixed freestyle relay, taking bronze alongside their American teammates, Ryan Held and Brooks Curry, with a time of 3:21.09.

Taylor Ruck ’22 also competed on the mixed freestyle relay though she only swam in the preliminary heats. She recorded a split of 53.92, helping Canada advance to the finals, where they ultimately took silver. Ruck was awarded a silver for her efforts in preliminary heats.

During the women’s 4×100 medley relay, Huske and Curzan competed with rising sophomore Regan Smith alongside Lily King. Smith recorded a time of 58.40 on the backstroke leg — the second-fastest split across all the backstroke legs. Huske split 56.66 on butterfly, the second-fastest of the butterflyers and Curzan recorded a 52.82 on freestyle, the fourth-fastest of the freestylers. The relay team took gold with a time of 3:53.78.

Huske and Curzan each swam a total of 16 races across the course of the Championships, including preliminary heats, semifinals, finals and relays.

Ledecky gets the five-peat

Katie Ledecky ʼ20 won the women’s 800-meter freestyle with a time of 8:08.04 on Friday. It was the fifth-fastest performance in the history of the event, behind four of Ledecky’s past performances. With her win, Ledecky became the only athlete at this meet to earn three individual gold medals. She previously won the 400 and 1500-meter freestyles.

Ledecky has not lost in the 800-meter freestyle since 2012, also taking gold at the last five World Championships.

“I think back to London [the 2012 Olympics], and I made it a goal to not be a one-hit wonder,” Ledecky told USA Swimming. “Here we are 10 years later, so I’m really proud of that, and I’m still excited for the future as well.”

Ledecky is the only swimmer to win a World Championship gold in the same event five consecutive times. With 14 individual World titles, she is one win away from tying Michael Phelps for the most individual World Championship titles.

Yanyan Li is a high schooler writing as part of the Daily's Summer Journalism Workshop. Contact them at workshop 'at' stanforddaily.com.

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