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Men’s swimming finishes behind Golden Bears, Wildcats in Pac-12 championships

No. 16 Cardinal complete final meet before NCAAs

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No. 16 men’s swimming (4-1, 3-1 Pac-12) came in third in the Pac-12 championships in Federal Way, Washington, over the weekend. The Cardinal came in behind No. 2 Cal (6-0, 4-0 Pac-12) and No. 10 Arizona (5-4, 2-3 Pac-12). The team now has two weeks off before competing in NCAA championships from March 25-28.

Coming into Day 3 of the Pac-12 championships, the Cardinal were ahead with 253.5 points, 15.5 ahead of second-place Berkeley. Day 3 saw the 200-yard medley relay, 400-yard individual medley (IM), 200-yard freestyle and all the 100s of stroke.

First was the 400 IM. Junior Alex Liang was the only swimmer to make finals in the event, coming in seventh with a 3:45.28. Berkeley, meanwhile, had swimmers come in first, second, third and fifth.

The 100 butterfly was next and was another weak event for the Cardinal. Sophomore David Madej came in 13th, clocking in at 47.43. He was the only Stanford swimmer to qualify for any of the three heats of finals in the event.

In the 200-yard freestyle, sophomore Mason Gonzalez came in eighth with a 1:35.84, adding just over a second from his prelims time of 1:34.54. Sophomore Jack Levant came in ninth, winning the consolation final (1:33.79), and senior Grant Shoults came in 15th (1:34.90). Freshman Will Tarvestad also came in second in the bonus final (1:36.43) and 18th overall.

Stanford’s breaststrokers were able to come in second, third and ninth in the 100-yard breaststroke, bringing in 42 points for the Cardinal in the event. Cal’s Reece Whitley dominated the field, however, with an outstanding 50.85, earning one of the few NCAA ‘A’ standards of the night.

Senior Hank Poppe came in second with a time of 52.33 and was followed closely by junior Brennan Pastorek (52.37). Sophomore Jon Cook also placed in the event, winning the consolation final with a 53.64.

In the final individual event of the night, senior Benjamin Ho earned fifth place in the 100-yard backstroke, coming in at 46.42. Sophomore Alex Boratto also contributed, earning 16th in the event with a 48.95.

The last event of the day was the 200-yard medley relay, where Stanford’s team was disqualified due to a false start. At the end of the day, the Cardinal had sunk to fourth place with 385.5 points, behind Cal (576), ASU (414) and Arizona (387).

The last day of the meet was better for the Cardinal, but it was not enough to bring the team back to the top two.

Saturday finals opened with the fastest heat of the mile. Senior Grant Shoults came in third place with a 14:52.09, exactly one second behind second-place Grieshop from Cal. Despite not being in the finals heat, junior Matthew Hirschberger’s time was right behind Shoults, coming in fourth place and clocking in at 14:52.37. Senior James Murphy came in sixth (14:55.70). Freshman Andrew Matejka came in 12th (15:11.66).

After the mile, Saturday finals saw the 100-yard freestyle, all the 200s of stroke and the 400-yard freestyle relay.

In the 200-yard backstroke, junior Johannes Calloni came in seventh place (1:42.28). Ho won the consolation final (1:41.50), coming in ninth place, and freshman Shane Blinkman came in 13th (1:44.56). Sophomore Alex Boratto also made the bonus final, coming in at 1:45.36.

The Cardinal sprinters did not do as well as hoped in the 100-yard freestyle with no swimmers qualifying for the championship final. Senior Will Macmillan came in 13th (43.45), followed by Gonzalez in 15th (43.57).

Stanford’s breaststrokers came up big in the 200, making up half of the championship final heat. Like in the 100, Cal’s Reece Whitley had an incredible swim, touching the wall at 1:49.85, over three seconds ahead of the competition. Sophomore Daniel Roy came in second (1:53.06), followed by Pastorek in third (1:53.40). Poppe came in fifth (1:54.19), and Cook came in seventh (1:55.11).

The last individual event of the meet was the 200-yard butterfly, where Liang came in fifth with a time of 1:43.35. Madej made it into consolation finals, earning 12th place with a 1:44.68.

In the final 400-yard freestyle relay, Stanford’s team came in fourth, clocking in at 2:52.56. The relay was made up of Gonzalez, LeVant, Shoults and Macmillan.

In the overall results, Stanford finished with 573.5 points, coming in third to Arizona (578) and Cal (856).

The swimmers who qualified for NCAA championships will go on to compete in Indianapolis from March 25-28, marking the end of the season.

Contact Natalie Hilderbrand at nhild ‘at’ stanford.edu.

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