The Cardinal delivered a dominating performance in its first meet of the season, coming out of the Pacific Invite in Stockton, Calif., with a sweep of all of the day’s nine events. Despite only participating in day two of the meet, Stanford racked up enough points to place second with 1,063 points, finishing just 16 points shy of the meet’s host, University of the Pacific (1,079).
The performance is just what the new coaching staff, headed by long-time assistant Ted Knapp, was looking for. “All in all, it was very encouraging for this time of year considering the workload the team is dealing with,” Knapp said. “The performances by our relays were indicative of a great team attitude.”
The Cardinal set the tone for the rest of the meet, taking first, second and third in the 200 freestyle relay. The A squad, composed of Aaron Wayne, Ben Lovell, Jeff Garnier and Jack Lane, took first with a time of 1:23.10, out-touching the B squad (Andrew Saeta, Sean Duggan, Cole Davis and Christian Brown) by just over four tenths of a second.
Freshman Gray Umbach (1:48.58) kept up the momentum with a win in the 200 butterfly, leading Stanford’s sweep of the first seven spots in the event. Umbach would go on to finish his first collegiate meet in impressive fashion, posting a time of 49.07 to narrowly beat out fellow freshman Tom Kremer (49.70) in the 100 fly.
Despite losing several of its top swimmers in the freestyle events in last year’s graduating class, the Cardinal proved it had the depth to fill the gaps, taking the first nine spots in the 100 freestyle. Senior Wayne (43.65) led the way, followed by classmate Satae (44.60) and freshman Duggan (45.57). The same would prove true in the 500 freestyle, with sophomore David Nolan (4:24.50) and freshman Danny Thompson (4:26.68) leading a sweep of the first 11 places.
Stanford would continue to control the meet, moving into the 200 individual medley. Sophomore Jack Lane (1:50.88) won the event, beating Thompson (1:50.97) to the wall by just nine hundredths of a second. After Danny Thompson, seven more Stanford swimmers would finish before the first competitor from other schools.
The 200 backstroke was the same story as Matt Thompson (1:46.03) and Matthew Swantson (1:46.99) finished within a second of each other for the top two positions. In yet another sweep, five of Stanford’s six swimmers competing in the event were unbeaten by the opposing teams.
Junior Mason Shaw (2:01.91) won the 200 breaststroke relatively comfortably. A nearly four-second margin separated him from classmate Will Gunderson in second place (2:05.57).
The Cardinal didn’t let up going into the final event, the 800 freestyle relay. Robert Hummel, David Nolan, Chris Pickard and Thomas Stephens formed the winning squad with a time of 6:33.54, followed by three other Stanford teams.
Despite Stanford’s unmatched success on day two, it was not quite enough to win as the meet’s host, University of the Pacific, had amassed enough points on day one to hold on by 16 points.
Next up for the Cardinal is Friday’s home dual meet against the University of Wisconsin. The team will look to build off this past weekend’s momentum as it moves into the dual meet season.