College Station, TX, November 20, 2014 – The evening’s finals session at one of the weekend’s most competitive college meets was indeed fast and furious. On the whole this evening, the Stanford men and women, along with the Texas A&M women were the primary dominating forces; time will tell if this continues through the remaining two days of the Art Adamson Invitational hosted by Texas A&M.
The Stanford women kicked off the night’s finals in an NCAA Qualifying Time of 1:27.25 in the 200y free relay. Maddy Schaefer led off with a split of 22.00, followed by a swift Simone Manuel with her time of 21.49; Lia Neal kept the Cardinal’s momentum going with a 22.20 split and Janet Hu anchored it up in a strong 21.56. Texas A&M women were runner-up in the event, scoring an NCAA Provisional Time of 1:29.66, followed closely by the LSU Tigers in 1:30.44.
Texas A&M score their first individual win with Sarah Henry’s commanding first place finish in the 500y freestyle race. The 2014-15 500y free SEC champion touched the wall in a time of 4:38.99 in tonight’s finals, knocking a little over three seconds off of her prelims time. Just as in prelims, teammate Sarah Gibson finished in second place, but in a faster time tonight of 4:43.46. Not far behind, Stanford swimmer Julia Anderson struck the touchpad in 4:43.89.
This morning’s 200 IM prelims saw twenty finishers clock NCAA “B” cuts, so there was a distinct possibility at least one of them would have taken things up a notch to clear the “A” cut of 1:55.35. Although Sarah Henry pulled an impressive finals double, her time of 1:56.40 fell just short of the standard. Henry knocked almost two seconds off her prelims seed, so it appears it is just a matter of time until she moves into the “A” cut column. Aggie teammate, Bethany Galat earned second place in 1:56.51, while a third Aggie, Sycerika McMahon, touched in 1:57.27.
Stanford’s Simone Manuel wowed the audience once again in the 50y freestyle splash-and-dash, improving the “A” time standard she had already achieved in the morning session. Tonight, Manuel charged to the wall in 21.59, dropping .22 between prelims and finals. Stanford would round out the top three spots, with Maddy Schaefer finishing in 21.93, just .03 off of that 21.90 “A” cut, and Janet Hu in her third place time of 22.08.
To finish the night, the Stanford women ran away with the 400y medley relay, utilizing a lethal combination of Ally Howe, Sarah Haase, Janet Hu, and Simone Manuel. Together, they clocked an NCAA Automatic Qualifying Time of 3:29.48. The fact that three out of these four athletes are freshman (Haase is a junior) bodes well for the future of the medley relay for the Cardinal; especially when the anchor, Manuel split an out-of-this-world 45.81….let that sink in…Freshman….splitting 45.81. The previous fastest relay split was 46.07 by Megan Romano. Two additional relays also cleared the automatic qualifying time: Texas A&M “A” (Bratton, McMahon, Gastaldello, Bosma) in 3:33.62 and Stanford “B” (Schaefer, Poppe, Stafford, Neal) in 3:33.95.
Stanford led the way throughout the night on the men’s side, earning wins in each of finals events. The 200y free relay team of David Nolan (19.69), Sam Perry (19.68), Connor Black (19.46), and Thomas Stephens (19.95) collectively clocked a 1:18.78, dangerously close to the Automatic Qualifying Time of 1:18.02. The men of LSU finished in second with their time of 1:19.91, followed by Grand Canyon University’s 1:20.06.
500y freestyle prelim winner Danny Thomson (Stanford) stepped up again tonight and earned the finals victory with his time of 4:20.31. Cardinal teammate Drew Cosgarea was seeded in the seventh position going into the finals, but surged and ended up with the second place time tonight, 4:24.35. Jimmy Yoder, also from Stanford, touched in 4:25.09. In fact, the top six 500y freestyle athletes all hailed from Stanford, creating quite a wall for any team to try to crack in the event tonight.
The 200y IM event followed suit, with the top three spots being claimed by Stanford men. David Nolan topped the field by over two seconds, winning with a time of 1:43.24. The fight for second raged between fellow teammates Max Williamson and Tom Kremer, with Williamson just out-touching Kremer literally by a fingernail – 1:45.69 to 1:45.70.
Connor Black (Stanford) looked impressive in his 50y freestyle win tonight, speeding to the wall in 19.89. Illya Glazonov (GCU) was the only other swimmer under 20-point, earning second place in a time of 19.93. Third place went to Stanford’s Sam Perry in 20.07.
Based on how the night had been going, it was unsurprising Stanford claimed the win in the night’s final event for the men, the 400y medley relay. Stanford’s “A” team of David Nolan, Daniel Le, Andrew Liang, and Tom Kremer put together a solid 3:10.52 to earn an NCAA Provisional Time, the only team of the field to do so. Stanford’s “B” relay finished in second (3:13.34), while LSU claimed third in 3:14.13.
The meet resumes tomorrow with prelims beginning at 10:00am Central.
Full Meet Results Here