The Stanford Cardinal women opened up their 2015-2016 season with a road win, topping Pac-12 foe Washington State behind two wins apiece from Nicole Stafford and Janet Hu.
Stafford, a junior, doubled up in the 100 and 200 freestyles, winning one close race and one blowout. Her 1:52.01 topped the 200 free by over a second, but she had to fight much harder for the 100 title. Right in the thick of the pack at the 50-mark, Stafford pulled away just enough to win in 52.03, with Washington State’s Hannah Bruggman right behind her (52.25).
Bruggman also nearly took the win in the 50 free, but wound up second to another Cardinal, the sophomore Hu. Hu was 23.23, Bruggman 23.53. Hu would go on to win the 200 back in a unique dual meet event combo, going 1:58.26 and breaking the Washington State pool record.
Washington State had its own dual-event winner in freshman Jasmine Margetts, who is looking like a key pickup for the team in recruiting. Margetts led a 1-2 punch in the 100 backstroke, going 56.50 to win by over two seconds. Margetts also went 4:23.10 to win the 400 IM over high-profile Stanford freshman Kim Williams (4:24.15).
It was a big day for freshmen all-around, with two more Stanford rookies picking up wins. Former Junior World record-holding IMer Ella Eastin showed off her freestyle prowess in winning the 500 free in 4:58.54. And freshman Leah Stevens took the night’s first individual event, going 10:18.72 in the 1000 free.
Defending NCAA champ Sarah Haase took the 100 breast in a 1:03.46 – nothing too eye-popping, but an easy win by two seconds over Washington State’s Presley Wetterstrom. Wetterstrom, a senior, would win the 200 breast for the home team late in the meet, going 2:17.69.
Other individual winners were Stanford’s Ally Howe in the 200 fly (2:02.23) and fellow Cardinal Lia Neal in the 100 fly (56.19).
The teams split the relays. Stanford won the 200 medley to open the night, going 1:44.04 and getting a 25.17 leadoff backstroke leg from Hu to eventually touch out Washington State by just .08. Bruggman’s 22.8 anchor leg nearly pulled off the win for the Cougars.
Washington State would take the closing 400 free relay, getting a 51.62 anchor leg from Locke to win in 3:28.72, more than four seconds ahead of Stanford.
Notably absent for Stanford was NCAA 50 free champ Simone Manuel, who is still listed on the team’s roster, but did not compete in Washington State.