By James Hemker
The men’s swimming and diving team concluded its season at the NCAA Championships in Austin, Texas over the break. Affected by injuries, the team finished in 15th place. Despite the less-than-ideal finish, 11 swimmers and divers combined for 17 All-America honors, and senior Abrahm DeVine captured another individual title for the Cardinal.
DeVine was able to repeat his success from last year and defend his title in the 400-yard IM. He began the title defense by dropping almost five seconds off of his seed time to secure the best time coming out of prelims.
In the finals race, DeVine stayed grouped with the top three swimmers through the butterfly and backstroke. During the breaststroke, he made his move and emerged with almost a full second lead to go into the freestyle. DeVine (3:36.41) held his pace and lead to become Stanford’s first back-to-back 400 IM winner in more than 20 years.
Sophomore Alex Liang was the only other Cardinal to score in the 400 IM. His time of 3:42.87 was good enough for a fourth place finish in the B final.
DeVine also performed extremely well in the 200-yard IM, where he touched the wall fifth with a time of 1:40.77 after shaving almost two seconds off his previous season best.
The distance swimmers and breastrokers also proved their merit during the weekend. Junior True Sweetser and sophomore Johannes Calloni each scored in the 1,650-yard free. Sweetser completed the mile-long swim in 14:39.07, which was good for seventh place. Just behind Sweetser, Calloni finished in ninth, stopping the clock at 14:40.53.
Junior Hank Poppe had the tenth fastest prelim time in the 100-yard breaststroke, which earned him a spot in the B final. From there, Poppe (51.93) was able to shave off just enough time to win the B final by two one-hundredths of a second.
For the 200-yard breaststroke, Poppe missed the cutoff by one place with the 17th fastest time. Freshman Daniel Roy ended up claiming the final spot with the 16th fastest morning time. Roy then improved by almost a second to take fourth in the B-final with the 12th fastest time overall.
Freshman diver Noah Vigran flourished in his first NCAA championship appearance by representing Stanford in the 3-meter and platform diving events. Vigran had a strong sixth-place showing off the 3-meter board, recording a score of 372.10. The young Cardinal took the final scoring spot, 16th place, during the platform dives with a score of 260.35.
Aside from the individual successes, the Cardinal also saw success in their 800-yard and 200-yard free relay teams. The 800 free team of DeVine, junior James Murphy, freshman Mason Gonzalez and Liang earned a 15th place finish with a time of 6:16.88.
The 200 free squad finished in 15th as well. Seniors Cole Cogswell, Brad Zdroik, Patrick Conaton and Gonzalez all turned in 50-yard splits to total a time of 1:17.96.
The Cardinal notably did not have freshman star Jack LeVant or junior Grant Shoults, who were both sidelined with injuries.
Stanford swimming will now break for the spring before some members of the team compete internationally over the summer.
Contact James Hemker at jahemker ‘at’ stanford.edu.