Duel in the Desert part 2: Another meet, and another win, for Women’s Swim & Dive

Jan. 26, 2023, 10:13 p.m.

Leaving Arizona with their 2022-23 record now standing at 5-0 (4-0 Pac-12), the Cardinal followed up Friday’s triumph over the Arizona State Sun Devils (2-7) with a 169.50 to 99.50 win over the University of Arizona (3-5) on Saturday.

Extending their current win streak over the Wildcats to 19 straight dual-meet victories, Greg Meehan’s swimmers won each of the 14 events they contested in Tucson — a sweep that also included three races where the top three spots all belonged to Stanford.

Wins for old and new faces alike

Aurora Roghair found herself in two of those podium sweeps, as the sophomore strayed from her usual distance event-oriented meet lineup to place third behind fellow sophomore Lillie Nordmann and senior Alex Crisera in the 200-yard backstroke. Roghair (second, 51.31) also joined sophomores Torri Huske (first, 50.56) and Anna Shaw (third, 51.48) in the top three of the 100-yard freestyle.

It was an impressive showing from the team’s backstrokers, as the stroke’s other event that day — the 100-yard backstroke — saw freshman Claire Curzan (52.95) take a comfortable victory, followed by junior Janelle Rudolph (54.92) and sophomore Amy Tang (55.35) in second and third places, respectively.

A staple in Stanford’s relays so far this season, Curzan was also involved in both the first-placed 200-yard medley relay (1:39.27) that kicked off the day’s action, alongside Huske, Tang and fellow freshman Lucy Bell, and the 400-yard freestyle relay. The latter relay was the meet’s final fixture, with Curzan leading the charge on a team also featuring Nordmann and freshmen Kayla Wilson and Gigi Johnson that posted a race-winning 3:20.58 — but by then, with the win secured, the dual meet “mercy rule” had been enacted, and the team was only swimming as an exhibition. 

Also impacted by the mercy rule was the final individual event, the 400-yard individual medley — but, not to be deterred by the lack of points to be scored, the foursome of Huske (4:16.28), freshmen Sophie Duncan (4:18.96), Charlotte Hook (4:20.97) and sophomore Sam Tadder touched in first through fourth place.

Duncan also featured in the 200-yard butterfly, the freshman placing second in a 2:02.00, behind only Nordmann (first, 1:59.56). Fellow freshman Johnson, meanwhile, grabbed top spot in the 100-yard butterfly in a time of 54.36, with senior Taylor Ruck (56.25) placing third.

The 100-yard breaststroke gave Bell her chance at individual glory — an opportunity the freshman seized as she led from start to finish, clocking in at 1:03.05, ahead of Tadder who took second place in 1:03.91. By a margin of nearly six seconds, graduate student Allie Raab (2:16.96) beat out her two Wildcat competitors to be crowned the day’s 200-breaststroke champion.

Fellow graduate student Morgan Tankersley (1:48.60) was the meet’s quickest 200-yard freestyler, followed by freshman Natalie Mannion (1:48.86). Tankersley also finished third in the 50-yard freestyle, behind senior teammate Emma Wheal (23.22), while Mannion went on to lead a “one-two” finish in the 500-yard freestyle, accompanied by Bell.

Wilson swam a 10:12.72 to win the Cardinal their first individual event of the day, in the 1000-yard freestyle, and the team’s divers chipped in with third place in the 3-meter event courtesy of sophomore Lauren Burch, and a second-placed finish in the platform event from freshman Emilie Moore.

Full results of Saturday’s meet can be found here.

Next up

The women’s swimming & diving squad return to the Avery Aquatic Center this weekend for meets against UCLA (Jan. 27, 2 p.m. PT) and USC (Jan. 28, 12 p.m. PT). Then, all that remains before Pac-12 and NCAA Championships is a showdown with UC Berkeley (Feb.11, 12 p.m. PT).

Alex Dakers is a staff writer in the sports section and a first-year masters student studying Journalism. He is from the Cayman Islands (and more recently, an undergrad in the UK). You can catch Alex in the gym, at the pool or trying to find somewhere to watch the Premier League games — if he can wake up early enough to watch them! Contact him at sports 'at' stanforddaily.com.

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