On Tuesday afternoon at Avery Aquatics Center, Stanford (1-0, 1-0 Pac-12) ousted Utah (0-1, 0-1) in its season-opening meet by an aggregate score of 190-105. After the Cardinal football team suffered a crushing defeat on the gridiron at the hands of Utah on Saturday night, the men’s swimming team took to the pool to drown away Stanford’s sorrows and exact revenge on the Utes.
Stanford set the tone early in the first event, the 200 Medley Relay, eking out a victory by 0.14s with a time of 1:29.38. Sophomore Matthew Hirschberger (9:15.75) and junior James Murphy (9:22.90) followed the relay win with first and second place finishes in the 1000 Free, their first of two races in a ‘distance double.’ Freshmen Jack Levant (1:36.47) and Mason Gonzalez (1:38.39) made waves in their debuts, nabbing first and second place respectively in the 200 Free.
Levant said later, “It’s something I’ve been looking forward to for a long time to finally be able to represent Stanford in the pool.”
The meet proceeded swimmingly with Stanford washing away their competition in the next three events, with first and second place finishes in the 100 Back, 100 Breast and 200 Fly, with senior Brad Zdroik picking up his first of two wins in the lattermost.
Utah picked up its first win in the 50 Free, but the victory was a shallow one — although the pool is 10-feet deep — as it represented one of only two Utah first-place finishes, the other a win in the 200 Free Relay. From that point on, the meet became a bit dry as Stanford romped through the next eight events, including sweeps in the 200 Back and 200 Breast.
Senior Captain Jack Walsh, who won the 200 Back with a time of 1:48.23, enjoyed the Cardinal’s first meet, explaining, “We’ve been training pretty hard for the last month since we’ve been on campus, so it was nice to get in and race another team finally instead of just beating up on each other in the pool.”
In the second half of the meet, Levant (44.86) picked up another win in the 100 Free, Zdroik (48.34) won the 100 Fly and freshman Casey Connor took both the 1-meter and 3-meter diving events.
When the meet ended, the Cardinal could not help but celebrate their thorough victory, engaging in an activity that could only be labeled as ‘whooping’ — this description is onomatopoeic. The win provided an important building block heading into the rest of the season, and the team hopes to build on this performance going into the Pacific Invitational this Friday and Saturday.
Contact Andrew Tan at tandrew ‘at’ stanford.edu