On Friday, No. 11 Stanford men’s swimming (4-1, 3-1) dropped its last dual met of the season against No. 2 national title hopefuls UC Berkeley (5-0, 4-0) to conclude the regular season. In a highly competitive meet, the Cardinal fell by a tight score of 136-105, which left head coach Tedd Knapp feeling excited about his team’s momentum pushing forward.
After the meet, Knapp confidently told media, “It’s always a great opportunity to race such a well-rounded team like Cal in a dual meet. This is a team that could very well end up winning Nationals, so I was pleased to see a lot of our guys come out and compete with them.”
Although the Cardinal lost the overall meet to a highly talented Golden Bears team, Stanford had major victories in varying events, keeping the match competitive and establishing Stanford’s relevance with the nation’s best.
The Cardinal scored a one-two-three victory in the 1,000-yard freestyle, with True Sweetser (9:00.25), Liam Egan (9:09.37) and Grant Shoults (9:14.97) leading the way. The same trio swept the podium again in the 500-yard freestyle, with Shoults leading the pack (4:21.90), followed by Egan (4:23.74) and then Sweetser (4:23.94).
Stanford also dominated the diving events during the meet, winning both three-meter springboard and one-meter springboard. Bradley Christensen won the one-meter event (385.35), while Ted Miclau took the three-meter (363.98).
Despite the best efforts of everyone on the team, the Cardinal swimmers ultimately could not come up with enough race victories to close out the meet. Stanford scored second place in both relays and lost a number of key events by small margins.
As the meet dwindled down to the final events, Cal clinched its victory with a sweep of first, second and third place in the 200-yard breaststroke. This victory finally propelled the Golden Bears to the point total scored in order to guarantee their victory.
The Cardinal fought hard and showed up with a number of impressive individual performances. While this is the end of their yearly dual meets, the team now looks to swim in the Pac-12 Swimming and Diving Championships at the end of February. The championships invite swimmers from all of the Pac-12 schools, and the Stanford men will have another chance to see how they stack up against the field.
Contact Bobby Pragada at bpragada ‘at’ stanford.edu.