Stanford’s No. 11 men’s swimming and diving team swept a weekend doubleheader against No. 5 Arizona and Arizona State with 185-113 and 135-101 wins, respectively, while the No. 4 women’s swimming and diving team also defeated No. 10 Arizona 158-137 on Friday and Arizona State 148-68 on Saturday.
In Friday’s contest against Arizona, junior David Nolan and sophomore Danny Thomson each won two individual events to power the men’s team to victory in its first dual meet against a Pac-12 foe on the season.
“It’s our first Pac-12 meet and the first of only four,” men’s swimming head coach Ted Knapp told GoStanford.com. “It’s really important that we take advantage of these four opportunities to get race ready, work on strategies and build confidence. I think we accomplished that today.”
Thomson secured the distance race wins for the Cardinal with a time of 9:16.79 in the 1,000-yard freestyle and a time of 4:27.03 in the 500-yard freestyle. Nolan won the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 44.34 and also captured the victory in the 100-yard backstroke, the race for which he owns an NCAA title.
On Saturday, Stanford’s underclassmen led the team in a triumph over the Sun Devils to pick up the second victory of the weekend. Thomson again won the 1,000-yard freestyle with an improved time of 9:15.53, and freshman Connor Black came in first in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 20.68. Max Williamson, another freshman, won the 200-yard IM more than three seconds ahead of any other competitor, finishing in 1:48.27.
“The guys who really impressed me today were some of the freshmen,” Knapp told GoStanford.com. “It was really good to see that the freshman class is progressing as well as we were hoping, as well as some other sophomores and juniors.”
For the women’s team, it was the upperclassmen who led the Card as Stanford won five of the first six events on its way to a win in its first meet at the Avery Aquatics Center since November.
Senior Felicia Lee and junior Katie Olsen each won two events, including a 100-yard backstroke victory with a time of 53.68 for Lee and a 100-yard breaststroke victory with a time of 1:00.41 for Olsen. Junior Maddy Schaefer also won the 50-yard freestyle in a contest between arguably the nation’s top two 50-yard freestylers, beating Arizona senior Margo Geer by 0.61 seconds with a time of 22.24.
“Regardless of the times, being forced to race someone of Margo’s caliber is great,” women’s swimming head coach Greg Meehan told GoStanford.com. “She’s absolutely a sensational swimmer – she’s the defending champion in both the 50 and 100. It was a great environment for those two to go at each other.”
On Saturday, Stanford jumped to a big lead and cruised to victory behind some of the team’s younger swimmers. Freshman Grace Carlson won the 200-yard backstroke in 1:59.32 and also contributed to several relay wins, and freshman Tara Halsted won the 200-yard butterfly in 2:00.89.
Lee again won a pair of events, with her 2:01.11 time in the 200-yard IM that was more than three seconds better than the rest of the field and her 50.02 time in the 100-yard freestyle that was nearly a second better than her closest competitor.
The men’s team now travels to UC-Santa Barbara for a meet on Feb. 7 and USC for a meet on Feb. 8. The women’s team will head to UCLA for a meet on Feb. 7 that will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks.
Contact Michael Peterson at mrpeters ‘at’ stanford.edu.