By Kit Ramgopal
Stanford men’s and women’s swim and dive teams dominated in their first conference dual meet against Utah on Friday, Oct. 16 at the Avery Aquatic Center. The women and men demonstrated depth across the board, earning 177-112 and 164-125 point leads, respectively.
The success of the Stanford men’s relays is indicative of the depth and skill that the 2015-16 roster boasts.
The 200-yard medley relay A and B teams finished within .05 seconds of each other. The B team — led by freshmen Ryan Dudzinski and Matt Anderson, followed by sophomore Andrew Liang and anchored by junior Spencer Deshon — finished with a first place time of 1:29:41.
For the 200-yard freestyle relay, Stanford only raced its teams for exhibition purposes, but the Cardinal’s three teams still had the best times of 1:21.23, 1:21.72 and 1:24.04. This is promising for coaches, who indicated “relay support” as a major goal for recruiting last season.
“I love the unity of the team. Every day in practice you see them supporting each other and competing against each other,” said men’s swimming head coach Ted Knapp. “The boys are fighting amongst each other for positions because there are so many open doors. We just don’t have any automatics anymore.”
Stanford men’s swimming took first place in 10 out of the 16 events.
The boys swept first, second and third place in both 100-yard and 200-yard butterfly — senior Gray Umbach claimed first place in both events with times of 48.82 and 1:48:23, while sophomore Andrew Liang followed closely in second place with times of 48.87 and 1:50:68.
The Cardinal also had strong showings in mid-distance and sprinting freestyle events: Senior captain Sean Duggan won the 200 yard men’s free, while sophomore Sam Perry won the men’s 50 and 100 yard free.
Senior Max Williamson, who Knapp described as a team leader, posted a first place finish of 1:48:82 in the 200 individual medley, while also posting a personal best of 4:26:60 in the 500-yard freestyle, earning him second place.
The freshmen made waves in their first conference meet, with Matt Anderson earning first and second place finishes in 200-yard and 100-yard breaststroke races, respectively. Freshman Ryan Dudzinski was the only Stanford swimmer to place in the 100-meter backstroke, with a second place finish of 50 seconds.
On the women’s side, freshman Ella Eastin posted the fastest 200-yard IM time of the Stanford teammates with a 2:00:09, and freshman Kim Williams took the 200-yard butterfly with 2:01:09.
“We have a really good balance of senior leadership with really talented underclassmen as well,” Greg Meehan, head coach for the women’s team, said. “We’re not really focused on how fast we’re going, but we’re focused on great effort and good details in our racing.”
Despite that lack of emphasis on speed, the Stanford women absolutely dominated against Utah, winning 12 events and claiming the top time in three other exhibition swims.
Seniors Allison Brown, Sarah Haase, Jaynie Pulte, Julia Ama and Julia Anderson all demonstrated their aforementioned leadership skills by setting the bar high for performance and each winning points in at least one event. Brown won both the 1,000-yard freestyle and 500-yard freestyle with times of 10:05:89 and 4:55:54, respectively, and Haase recorded first-place finishes in 200-yard breaststroke (2:13:91) and 100-yard breaststroke (1:00:84).
Stanford’s 200 yard free relay had the top time of 1:32:87, while the 200 medley relay, featuring “Cardinal quartet” Haase, sophomore Ally Howe, sophomore Janet Hu and junior Lea Neal, also claimed first place with a time of 1:40:01. Hu and Neal also made it onto the board for individual events, with Hu claiming the 100 (53.26) and 200 (1:56:56) backstroke and Neal winning the 100 free (49.43).
By the diving board, Senior Connor Kuremsky (365.25) won the 3-meter and 1-meter competition. Three of the Stanford divers received qualifying scores, putting them on track for NCAA this year, according to diving coach Patrick Jeffery. Sophomore Gracia Leydon-Mahoney won the 3-meter dive and earned the second-best time in the 1-meter dive.
Stanford swimming is back in action again Friday, Oct. 23 for the annual Alumni Meet.
Contact Kit Ramgopal at kramgopa ‘at’ stanford.edu.