Sports

Stanford men take over lead at Pac-12 swim championships

 

Stanford took the lead after the second day of competition at the Men's Pac-12 Swimming Championships, held at the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way, Wash.

The Cardinal was on the podium in each of the four events, including a win in the 50-yard free by Sam Perry.

Perry won with a career-best time of 19.30, the Cardinal's first title in the event since 2007, as Stanford recorded 275 points to USC's 229.

"It means quite a bit," Perry told Jen Cosgriff of Pac-12 Networks. "It's a good little benchmark. I've wanted to win a Pac-12 title since I've been at Stanford, and it's satisfying to do that."

Stanford senior Gray Umbach couldn't extend the Cardinal's run of titles in the 200 individual medley, earning a runner-up finish with a time of 1:43.41. Stanford freshman Abrahm DeVine clocked a time of 1:43.51 and finished in third place overall.

California freshman Andrew Seliskar claimed the IM with a time of 1:43.26, ending Stanford's five-year winning streak in the event.

In the 500 free, Stanford sophomore Liam Egan earnied a runner-up finish with a time of 4:13.80 and senior Danny Thomson placed third in 4:14.61.

Baseball

Freshman Tristan Beck and sophomore Colton Hock combined to shut down No. 2 Vanderbilt and carry Stanford baseball to a 4-1 win in Game 1 of a doubleheader on Thursday.

The Commodores came back to win the nightcap, 3-1. The teams originally were to start their series on Friday, but the threat of rain pushed the opener to Thursday. The doubleheader was a last-minute change.

The first two Pac-12 Pitchers of the Week held the highest-scoring team in the nation to one run and just six hits at Sunken Diamond. It gave Stanford (7-3) its fifth win over a Top 25 opponent and marked the first loss of the season for the Commodores, who fell to 8-1.

Beck, who opened his collegiate career with three straight starts against Top 25 teams, held the Commodores scoreless through the first three innings at Sunken Diamond.

Meanwhile, Stanford tacked on a run in each of those frames.

Junior Tommy Edman, who matched a career-high with his second three-hit game of the year, singled to leadoff the game. He advanced to third on a throwing error and scored on a sacrifice fly by Quinn Brodey.

Another leadoff single -- this time from sophomore Matt Winaker -- led to another run in the second. Winaker reached second on a wild pitch and scored when Brandon Wulff laced a single down the right field line.

Yet another leadoff single came around to score in the third. Sophomore Mikey Diekroeger touched home when Brodey and Nico Hoerner put together back-to-back singles.

Vanderbilt (8-1) got one back in the fourth, but Beck shut the door in the fifth and handed the ball to Hock in the sixth. The sophomore reliever, who recieved the most recent Pac-12 weekly honor, walked two in his first inning of work, but stranded both with an inning-ending strikeout.

The Commodores never threatend again after that, and Hock earned his second save of the season with four scoreless innings.

Stanford added some insurance when Brodey plated Diekroeger with his second sacrifice fly of the game.

In the second game, Vanderbilt (9-1) struck first with a run-scoring double in the second.

The Cardinal responded in their half of the frame when sophomore Quinn Brodey led off with a single. An error and bunt helped set up a game-tying sacrifice fly from senior Jonny Locher.

Freshman Kris Bubic threw five solid innings for the Cardinal. He matched a career-high with seven strikeouts for the second straight outing -- both against top 25 opposition.

He ran into some trouble in the fifth, as the Commodores tacked on two more. Junior Tyler Thorne came on in relief and escaped a bases loaded jam.

Stanford got the first two runners on in the sixth and seventh, but left a combined five runners on base in those two innings.

The impromptu doubleheader took the place of Friday night's game due to the threat of a rainy forecast over the weekend.

The two teams reconvene at Sunken on Saturday and Sunday. Both games are set to start at 1 p.m., and can be seen on the Pac-12 Bay Area Network.

Men's tennis

The Stanford men's tennis team rallied after losing the doubles point to beat Rice, 4-1, Thursday morning at the La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club.

Tom Fawcett and Maciek Romanowicz gave Stanford (6-6) a strong start in doubles with a 6-2 win at the No. 1 spot. Rice (12-4) answered with a 6-2 win in the No. 3 spot and Nolan Paige and David Wilczynski pushed the No. 2 spot into a tiebreak that ultimately went to the Owls, 7-6 (4).

Michael Genender tied the match for the Cardinal, ripping off a quick 6-2, 6-1 win in the No. 5 position. Fawcett followed suit with a straight-set win over Jamie Malik to give the Cardinal a 2-1 lead.

Sameer Kumar gave Stanford a 3-1 edge with his win at the No. 4 spot. Maciek Romanowicz recorded his ninth career match-clinching point, beating Emanual Llamas, 6-4, 6-4, at the No. 6 spot.

It was Stanford's first win after losing the doubles point since beating Tennessee in the first round of last year's NCAA Tournament.

The Cardinal will compete in the 127th Pacific Coast Doubles Championship this weekend.

Track and field

A total of 14 Stanford athletes have advanced to the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships, as announced Tuesday night.

Eight women and six men will compete in a total of seven events at nationals on March 11-12 at the Birmingham (Ala.) CrossPlex. Stanford will have its most competitors since 2012, when it brought 15.

The group includes two who never have competed in an NCAA championship meet -- Justin Brinkley for the men and Malika Waschmann for the women. The rest have combined for 33 All-America honors, including 24 among The Cardinal women.

Stanford's Aisling Cuffe was in the 17th position in the 3,000 meters -- one spot out of qualifying -- but benefitted from two pull-outs. No. 2 Wesley Frazier of North Carolina State is not competing and No. 8 Kaela Edwards of Oklahoma State will run the mile. Cuffe, the 2014 NCAA 5,000 runner-up indoors and outdoors, made the field on the strength of her first race this season – a sixth-place 9:10.59 at the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation championships last week.

The Stanford women qualified No. 1 in the distance medley relay, but will use a much different lineup than the one that ran 10:54.58 to win the Penn State National meet. From that squad, Claudia Saunders (1,200 leg) and Olivia Baker (800) both will concentrate on the 800. Elise Cranny and Waschmann will take over their places, and join incumbents Kristyn Williams (400) and Rebecca Mehra (1,600).

This is the seventh consecutive year the Stanford men's DMR has qualified, and the fifth consecutive year for the Cardinal women.

The Stanford men ran to a school DMR record and the fifth-fastest time in collegiate history (9:27.27) at Penn State and will run with the same lineup -- Tom Coyle, Jackson Shumway, Justin Brinkley, and Sean McGorty-- as the No. 4 seed. The emphasis on the DMR affects McGorty, who finds a favorable schedule in the Friday DMR and Saturday 3,000.

McGorty had the No. 2 qualifying time in the mile from his epic duel with Washington's Izaic Yorks, who ran 3:53.89 to McGorty's 3:53.95. They were the two fastest miles ever run indoors by American collegians.

Several of the big names from that event – Yorks, McGorty, Syracuse's Justyn Knight, and especially Oregon's Edward Cheserek – have chosen to bypass that event in favor of the 3,000.

The closest Cardinal to come without making the NCAA field was the women's 4x400 relay. Stanford's was three spots (and 0.45 seconds) from being among the 12 to earn a berth. Individually, Cranny was six spots (0.64 seconds) from qualifying in the mile. For the men, Collin Leibold was four spots (1.63 seconds) from inclusion in the 5,000.

Women's beach volleyball

No. 13 Stanford begins its 2016 season this weekend by playing host to San Jose State, Sacramento State, Pacific, St. Mary's and San Francisco in a dual match tournament at the Stanford Sand Volleyball Stadium.

"We are excited for the start of the season and to play someone else," said first-year head coach Denise Corlett. "The team has been working hard and we have seen a lot of improvement already."

Stanford plays Sacramento State on Saturday at 11:30 a.m., followed by a matinee with San Jose State at 2:30 p.m. On Sunday, the Cardinal will face Pacific at 11:30 a.m. and St. Mary's at 2:30 p.m.

The Cardinal enters 2016 as one of the youngest teams in the nation, with over half of the active roster currently in their first collegiate season.

"We have 12 active players at this time, seven of which are freshman," said Corlett. "Four of the freshmen have beach experience which adds to our depth and overall experience."

"Some of our freshmen had never played beach before the start of this quarter, but they've approached the sport with a lot of energy and excitement that's been really fun to watch," said junior Merete Lutz. "The whole team keeps getting better every passing week, and I know we're all really excited to finally start competition."

After three seasons as a varsity sport, 2016 marks the first season in which the NCAA will hold a championship for beach volleyball.

"It is great for the sport of beach volleyball," said Corlett. "It is one of the most popular events in the Olympics and I see this sport becoming one of the most popular sports in the NCAA."

"The establishment of beach as a championship sport gives us a more defined end goal to work towards, as we all hope to end up in Gulf Shores (Ala.) at the end of this season," added Lutz. "It is easy to see that beach volleyball will be a hugely popular NCAA sport in the future, and it's awesome to be a part of its beginnings at Stanford."

— Stanford Athletics

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