The Stanford men improved to 5-0 in dual swim meets on the season with a 135-101 win over visiting Arizona State at Avery Aquatic Center to complete a Pac-12 Conference weekend doubleheader. Saturday's victory, aided by an impressive outing by Stanford's underclassmen, came less than 24 hours after the Cardinal downed No. 5 Arizona.
"The guys who really impressed me today were some of the freshmen," said Stanford head coach Ted Knapp. "It was really good to see that the freshman class is progressing as well as we were hoping, as well as some other sophomores and juniors.
"It was nice to see the guys that swam the same events yesterday were faster or executed some skills better. That was very valuable for us to see. For those that are talented enough to swim multiple events, it was nice to see them swim events they didn't get a chance to swim yesterday."
Arizona State won the 200 medley relay (1:30.25) after Stanford's A-unit was disqualified, but Danny Thomson (9:15.53) and Drew Cosgarea (9:24.17) responded with a 1-2 finish in the 1,000 free. Thomas Stephens' 1:37.69 gave him a 200 free win by more than two seconds. The freestyle party continued with Conor Black's win in the 50 (20.68) and Stephens notched another win by going 44.85 in the 100.
Sacred Heart Prep grad Tom Kremer (4:28.42) won the 500 free, the lone finisher ahead of Thomson (4:30.74).
Max Williamson was the first of three Cardinal to touch in the 200 IM, as his 1:48.27 came ahead of Mason Shaw (1:53.39) and Will Gunderson (1:51.45) in the 1-2-3 finish. Williamson was the fastest in the 200 breast with a 2:01.38.
Bradley Christensen won the 1-meter diving event with 372.00 points as Noah Garcia (297.83) took third. Christensen's 405.38 in the 3-meter edged out Arizona State's Riley McCormick (404.70) for a second feather in the cap.
The 200 fly win went to Gray Umbach in 1:48.09 while David Nolan won the 200 back (1:46.85). Stanford closed the day with a fast 2:58.82 in the 400 free relay.
Stanford hits the road for a pair of meets at UC Santa Barbara (Feb. 7) and USC (Feb. 8).
"With the Pac-12 and NCAA Championships down the road a little bit, we'll still maintain a little bit of our training volume but tweak it a little bit for those that need to be more ready than others when we get to our conference championship," Knapp said.
Stanford won its second home meet of the weekend by taking down Arizona State, 148-68. The Cardinal jumped to a big lead with varied lineups compared to Friday to continue its unblemished mark in dual meets.
"Arizona State is a good squad so we had to choose our events carefully, but it was really great to see some of our freshmen in a role where they could lead more from a performance perspective," said head coach Greg Meehan. "All-in-all, we can look back at the weekend and feel good about our performances."
Grace Carlson and Tara Halsted were particularly impressive out of the freshmen class. Carlson won the 200 back (1:59.32) and contributed to a pair of relay wins and Halsted captured the 200 fly (2:00.89).
"Grace Carlson won the 200 backstroke swimming it very differently than how she swam it yesterday," noted Meehan. "She made some mistakes yesterday and we talked about that. That's why she swam it again today and I thought she was great."
Meehan continued, "And even though she got second, I thought Tara Halsted did great in the 1,000 free. She swam a beautiful race, then came back later and won the 200 fly."
Halsted was edged in the 1,000 by Arizona State's Tristin Baxter, who was a bright spot for the Sun Devils as she won both distance swims.
Felicia Lee was the lone other double-winner for Stanford in individual swimming events during the meet. The senior's 2:01.11 in the 200 IM had her more than three seconds ahead of the field and she later won the 100 free in 50.02.
Maddy Schaefer (200 free, 1:48.95) and Katie Olsen (50 free, 23.51) also won and Maya DiRado was the quickest in the 200 breaststroke (2:18.29), although she used the event as an exhibition.
Stephanie Phipps won both diving events to make it three for four on the weekend after finishing first in the three-meter yesterday. Today, she scored 307.28 off of the one-meter and 349.80 off of the three-meter.
Stanford can now turn its attention to a week of preparation before its trip to Los Angeles next weekend.
"We need to frontload our work in the beginning part of the week," said Meehan. "Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday we're going to have to do some good work. As we get to UCLA on Friday, they have a good squad and some good individual swimmers. Certainly USC is a very strong program and present some challenges with their lineup as well."