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Men’s swimming aims for the top at Texas Invitational

Sophomore Grant Shoults had a time of 1:37.38 in the 200-fly against Cal.(HECTOR GARCIA-MOLINA/isiphotos.com)

This Wednesday through Saturday, No. 7 Stanford men’s swimming will take part in the highly competitive Texas Invitational against a host of high-ranking teams and individual swimmers. Although there are no diving events, the four-day meet held in Austin, Texas is intended to imitate that of the NCAA and other championship meets.

The Cardinal will compete against 11 other men’s teams including No. 7 USC, currently tied with Stanford in NCAA rankings, No. 9 Texas, and No. 11 Arizona State, as well as Arizona and Harvard. Northern Arizona, Wisconsin, Oklahoma Baptist, TCU, BYU and UNLV will also be participating.

Stanford last competed on Nov. 10 in their annual unscored triple distance meet against Cal, where the Cardinal dominated the distance freestyle races and claimed the overall event thanks to freshman Johannes Calloni. This moment of excellence followed a resounding win at the Pacific Invitational on Oct. 27, and a defeat of Utah 141.5-95.5 on Oct. 20.

The Cardinal’s strength in freestyle will likely be put to the test against Texas, which won seven events against No. 11 Texas A&M this month and claimed the top three spots in the 200-free with times competitive to Stanford’s. Following a loss to N.C. State, Texas went on to defeat UNC 162-137 where Texas’ star Townley Haas recorded the exact time (1:37.38) in the 200-free as the Cardinal’s fastest, Grant Shoults, did against Cal.

While Texas’ current No. 9 ranking may not seem threatening, the Longhorns have held the NCAA championship title in men’s swimming for the past three years.

Stanford will also have a tough fight against USC, particularly in the backstroke. The Trojans shined this month in a sweep of Arizona and a 153-147 upset against Arizona State, two other teams competing this week.

Last year at the same invitational, 11 Stanford swimmers had qualifying times for the NCAA championships and placed highly in a number of events, including a third place finish in the 400-yard freestyle relay, and claimed three of the top five spots in the 1,650-yard freestyle.

The meet will kick off with the 800 freestyle relay at 4 p.m. PT on Nov. 29 at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center in Austin, Texas. Prelims will begin at 8 a.m. and finals at 4 p.m. PT on Thursday Nov. 30 through Saturday Dec. 2. Stanford will not compete again until after the holidays when it hosts the University of the Pacific in January.

 

Contact Sylvie Ashford at sylviash “at” stanford.edu.

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