Women’s swim & dive brush Bruins aside, continue unbeaten season

Jan. 28, 2023, 1:12 p.m.

With the final scores settled at 176-116, Stanford women’s swimming & diving (6-0, 5-0 Pac-12) emerged victorious from their battle against the UCLA Bruins (6-1, 3-1 Pac-12) Friday, bringing their momentum from a winning road trip in Arizona last weekend back home to the Avery Aquatic Center.

Two of Stanford’s star-studded freshman class were crowned two-time event champions as the Cardinal handed the Bruins their first loss of the 2022-23 season, continuing a 16-meet undefeated head-to-head streak.

Claire Curzan claimed the 50-yard freestyle (22.52) and 200-yard backstroke (1:51.04) titles — the latter earning the freshman Stanford’s second fastest time this season, behind Curzan’s own 1:48.50 mid-season performance — while Kayla Wilson was quickest in the 100-yard (49.30) and 200-yard (1:45.49) freestyle.

Both of those 200-yard events also served up podium sweeps for Greg Meehan’s squad; sophomores Amy Tang (second, 1:46.60) and Aurora Roghair (third, 1:46.86) joining Wilson in the top three of the 200-yard freestyle, while senior Taylor Ruck (second, 1:55.90) and freshman Natalie Mannion (third, 1:56.89) were next to the wall behind Curzan in the backstroke.

The Nordmann sisters, Lucie and Lillie, grabbed a win apiece on a sunny Friday afternoon on the Farm. Lillie, a sophomore, secured top spot in the 500-yard freestyle in a time of 4:50.84, ahead of freshman Sophie Duncan (second, 4:53.95), before finishing third behind graduate student and older sister, Lucie (first, 54.62), and freshman Gigi Johnson (second, 54.63) in the 100-yard backstroke.

After being pipped to the win in that backstroke sprint by the finest of margins, Johnson turned the tables — clocking 53.61 to out-touch senior Emma Wheal (second, 53.66) in the 100-yard butterfly by five one-hundredths of a second.

In the 200-yard butterfly, meanwhile, the top two positions went to freshmen Lucy Bell (1:57.12) and Duncan (1:59.84).

The Cardinal’s go-to breaststrokers for much of this season so far, senior Allie Raab and sophomore Sam Tadder came through again on Friday in their specialty stroke events. Raab posted a season-best 1:02.40 for second place in the 100-yard breaststroke — dropping half a second from her performance against the ASU Sun Devils the previous weekend 0 — and Tadder’s 2:13.46 was good for first place in the 200-yard breaststroke.

Torri Huske switched up her usual race line-up against the Bruins, taking on the challenge of the 1000-yard freestyle — but the sophomore took the event, in her first time swimming it this season, in stride with a time of 9:53.58 that stands as the second fastest time by a Stanford swimmer this season. Huske won the event, with graduate student Morgan Tankersley (9:55.52) and Mannion (10:04.46) joining her on the podium in second and third place, respectively.

For the final individual event of the day, freshman Charlotte Hook (57.27) raced to the 100-yard individual medley title, with sophomore Anna Shaw (58.70) taking third place. Also competing in the individual medley, as exhibition-only swimmers, were Huske (55.39), Johnson (55.74), Bell (56.17), Tadder (56.66), Duncan (57.30) and freshman Kirsti McEnroe (57.49).

Ruck, Tadder, Curzan and Wheal combined to win the day’s opening race, the 200-yard medley relay, in 1:38.76. By the of the 200-yard freestyle relay, however, the dual meet ‘mercy rule’ was in effect — meaning Tang, Wheal, Lillie Nordmann and Curzan’s time of 1:30.55 counted only as an exhibition, despite being the fastest quartet in the pool.

Over in the diving pool, sophomore Lauren Burch (305.80) gave Stanford the win in the 1-meter event, and freshman Emilie Moore (294.75) earned third place off the 3-meter board.

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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