Despite an inspired performance from freshman Jack LeVant, the No. 7 men’s swimming and diving team fell in their regular season finale to No. 1 California. The final score of 172-122 belied the dominance Cal showed in the meet.
LeVant took home wins in the 200-yard freestyle (1:34.99) and the 500-yard freestyle (4:18.53). In the 500 free, he overtook the nearest Golden Bear in the final four laps of the twenty-lap race. Similarly, the 6’4” freshman showed his second wind in the last leg of the 200 free, gaining the lead to win. LeVant was the only Cardinal to win an event against eligible Berkeley swimmers.
The meet started rough for Stanford, who lost out on the 200-yard medley relay because of a disqualification.
Despite finishing third, junior True Sweetser had his best 1000-yard freestyle swim of the year, stopping the clock at 8:59.54.
Seniors Patrick Conaton (47.97) finished second in the 100-yard backstroke while junior Ben Ho (48.03) out touched senior Abrahm DeVine (48.04) for third by one one-hundredth of a second.
The 100-yard breaststroke featured a similar finish when senior Matt Anderson (54.12) stole third place from junior Hank Poppe (54.18).
The Cardinal were excluded from the podium for the first time in a dual meet in the 200-yard butterfly. Sophomore Alex Liang picked up fourth with his time of 1:46.48.
Senior Brad Zdroik (20.15) was out-touched by four one-hundredths of a second and settled for third place in the 50-yard freestyle.
On the boards, freshman Noah Vigran picked up a big win in the one-meter diving event, winning with a score of 303.23. Classmate Conor Casey found third at 280.80. The duo was unable to repeat their success on the three-meter boards, with Casey (331.28) taking second and Vigran (329.33) taking third.
Cal claimed their second 1-2-3 in the 100-yard freestyle, with senior Cole Cogswell securing fourth at 44.38.
A four second gap fell between the first two Golden Bears and Conaton (1:46.46) in the 200-yard backstroke. A similar margin of victory relegated freshman Daniel Roy (1:56.68) to second place in the 200-yard breaststroke.
According to the official score, Stanford swept the 100-yard butterfly with junior Will Macmillan (48.13) leading Zdroik (48.20) and sophomore Glen Cowand (50.30). In reality, Cal marked their swimmers as exhibition racers, meaning they were ineligible to score. The true placement for Stanford was third, fourth, and sixth.
Liang finished the individual events strong for the Cardinal, taking second in the 400-yard IM at 3:49.42. The Stanford ‘A’ team of Cogswell, DeVine, Zdroik, and sophomore Jordan Greenberg took home silver as well in the 200-yard free relay (1:19.47) to cap the day.
Although the meet ended a two year undefeated dual meet streak for the Cardinal, the individual performances speak to good things to come. “Jack is set up for some special postseason swims,” said head coach Ted Knapp. “As a team, we’re in a great spot heading into the Pac-12’s with some personal bests and solid times that are faster than they were at this time last season.”
The team has two weeks to prepare for Pac-12 Championships in Federal Way, WA.
Contact James Hemker at jahemker ‘at’ stanford.edu.