By Jeremy Rubin
Backed by impressive scores across the board, synchronized swimming finished in a close second in Gainesville, Fla., last weekend. The Cardinal’s score of 81.0 came just three points short of first-place Incarnate Word’s 84.0, but well ahead of the University of Florida (49.0) and Lindenwood University (11.0).
Despite the tight defeat, the competition continued a trend of steady improvement for the Cardinal. In the team’s previous two meets, Stanford defeated Wheaton College both at home and in Massachusetts.
Junior Jacklyn Luu continued her impressive start to the season, finishing first in the solo competition with a score of 79.2750. Luu also paced the Cardinal with a score of 77.9000 at the team’s first meet of the season just under a month ago, but her score has risen nearly two points since then. Sophomore Alexandra Suarez, also competing in the solo event, finished with a 76.8000.
Both of Stanford’s duet teams put up competitive scores, particularly the tandem of sophomore Grace Alwan and freshman Hailee Heinrich, which placed first across all teams. After not competing together in the duet at the season opener, Alwan and Heinrich’s 78.8000 led all competition in Gainesville. Alwan and Heinrich also finished first one week ago against Wheaton. Sophomore Sabrina Walsh and freshman Emily Brieant scored a 73.7500 in this competition.
For the first time this season, all three of Stanford’s trio teams finished with marks over 77.0000. The top score of 77.8500, by senior Karen Li, freshmen Ava Jih-Schiff and Audrey Nguyen, led the Cardinal, while junior Caitlin Klauer, Alwan and Heinrich finished just 0.375 points behind that trio. Senior Lily Randhawa, junior Sophia Susac and Walsh’s score of 77.0500 rounded out Stanford’s competition in the trio.
In the team event, Incarnate Word bested the Cardinal by a mere 0.025 points. However, after scoring below 77.0000 in the first two meets, respectively, Stanford’s team score of 79.6000 is not a number to write off in the close loss.
Stanford will have a chance to even their record against Incarnate Word. The two teams will face off at Avery Aquatic Center on Feb. 22-23. The Cardinal will recognize its three seniors Natalie Fletcher, Li and Randhawa, as it will be their final meet on the Farm.
The meet is set for a start of 2:00 p.m. PT on Saturday and 11:00 a.m. PT the following day.
Contact Jeremy Rubin at jjmrubin ‘at’ stanford.edu.