By Kit Ramgopal
This weekend, both No. 1 women’s and No. 11 men’s swimming and diving take their first step past the close of the regular season, traveling northward to Washington to compete in the Pac-12 Championships.
For men’s swimming, the Diving Championships will occur first, from Wednesday to Saturday, followed by the swimming portion on the following weekend. The women head north altogether this Wednesday through Saturday, hoping to pave the postseason road to head coach Greg Meehan’s first national championship.
The No. 1 Cardinal women ended dual meets with a 7-0 record in the Pac-12, marking their second straight undefeated season. The women completed the season sweep with a satisfying 177-123 win over the No. 2 Golden Bears, breaking five pool records in Spieker Aquatics Complex in the process. Three of these records were set by Olympic gold medalist freshman Katie Ledecky, beginning with a double slam on the Cal record books with consecutive records in the 1,000-yard freestyle (9:20.41) and the 200-yard freestyle (1:43.09). Junior Janet Hu broke the Cal facility record with a 51.61 time in the 100 backstroke, while junior Simone Manuel came in to break Cal’s 50 free record with a 21.97 finish.
Meanwhile, Stanford diver Kassidy Cook remains undefeated on the one-meter board for five consecutive dual meets. With a score of 309.68, she found herself on top of the podium yet again against Cal.
On the men’s side, No. 11 Stanford men’s swimming and diving is coming off of its first and only season loss to No. 2 Cal, ending the season with a 4-1 record in Pac-12 competition. While swimming away from home at Spieker Aquatics Complex, the Cardinal competed well but ultimately dropped a 136-105 decision to the Golden Bears — a team that could very well end up winning Nationals.
While the swimmers ultimately fell short against Cal’s well-rounded squad, Stanford divers dominated the podium. Ted Miclau won the 3-meter with a 363.98, followed by Tarek Abdelghany (353.78) and Cameron Thatcher (342.60) in second and third place, respectively. Over on the 1-meter, Bradley Christensen led the points with 385.35, followed by Thatcher’s 324.90 for a claim on second-place. This bodes well for Stanford men’s program this weekend as divers prepare to lead the way into the first weekend of post-season competition.
With the Pac-12 Championships on the horizon, Cardinal women are gearing up for yet another strong post-season run. The combination of young talent like Ledecky and freshman Megan Byrnes is a promising complement to seasoned leaders like senior Lia Neal and Manuel. As diving competition gears up this weekend, the Cardinal look to Cook to keep riding the heat of her dual meet success. For the last three years, the Cardinal has finished in second place. This year could be the year that the Stanford women claim their first crown since 2013.
Live results will be available at gostanford.com, and a full recap of the Pac-12 Championships will be published on The Stanford Daily.
Contact Kit Ramgopal at kramgopa ‘at’ stanford.edu.