No. 8 Stanford men’s swimming and diving (7-0) stayed undefeated in dual meets on the season with a 108-91 victory on Friday over UC-Santa Barbara and a resounding 170-128 upset over No. 4 USC on Saturday.
Stanford’s win over UC-Santa Barbara was its closest margin of victory all season, but the Card swam to victory thanks to a strong opening performance in Santa Barbara.
“Some of our swimmers handled the challenge of racing after a five-hour bus ride better than others,” said men’s swimming head coach Ted Knapp to GoStanford.com. “We need to expect to be better tomorrow.”
The Card won the first six events of the afternoon, including three by junior David Nolan. Nolan narrowly won the 50-yard freestyle in 20.67, beating UCSB’s Ryan Hanni by just one-tenth of a second. He then cruised to a more comfortable victory in winning the 100-yard butterfly in 49.22. Nolan later contributed to a win in the 200-yard individual medley (IM) relay as the Card’s four-man team won in 1:31.26.
Freshman Jimmy Yoder impressed with a dominant performance in the 1000-yard freestyle, as his time of 9:20.52 was more than 13 seconds ahead of the second-place finisher. Sophomore Gray Umbach also significantly helped the Card with victories in the 200-yard IM and 100-yard backstroke with times of 1:50.79 and 50.51, respectively.
Santa Barbara made a late run to make the margin of victory the Card’s closest of the season by winning the 100-yard freestyle and 400-yard breaststroke, but the Card prevailed on top of its early domination.
On Saturday, Stanford pulled off the upset of higher-ranked USC in arguably its best performance of the season.
“We competed very well today against most of USC’s strengths,” Knapp said. “Our freshmen are really starting to contribute, and Daniel Le was a standout in that sense.”
Le won two individual events – the 100-yard breaststroke and 200-yard breaststroke – and also raced the breaststroke leg in the Card’s 400-yard IM victory. His times of 54.97 in the 100-yard breaststroke and 1:59.62 in the 200-yard breaststroke were strong enough to win each race by about a second.
Nolan again won the 100-yard backstroke in 48.84 but fell to second in the 200-yard backstroke as he was bested by Cary Wright of USC, who finished in 1:47.16.
On the first race of the day, the 1,650-yard freestyle, Stanford swimmers finished first, second and third as sophomore Danny Thomson, freshman Justin Buck and senior Bryan Offutt finished before both of the Trojans who were competing in the event. Thomson again showed his prowess in the long-distance races, finishing 22 seconds ahead of Buck, the second-place finisher, with a time of 15:01.41.
Stanford now enters a break with two weeks off before taking on California on Saturday, Feb. 22 at 11:00 a.m. at the Avery Aquatic Center.
Contact Michael Peterson at mrpeters ‘at’ stanford.edu.