PALO ALTO, California, November 2. THE Wisconsin men’s and women’s swimming team continued their two-day tour of the Bay Area with another tough dual meet, this time against the Stanford Cardinal.
For Wisconsin, it was a prime opportunity to race some of the best in the country. Drew teDuits might have been the biggest benefactor of head coach Whitney Hite’s decision to send his Badgers to the Bay Area this weekend. In a span of two days, the reigning 200 back national champion got to race three likely challengers for the title in March, a key in knowing what to expect at the end of the season. Today, teDuits was up against NCAA runner-up David Nolan, with Nolan getting the edge in a time of 1:46.23 to teDuits’ 1:46.60. Nolan played a different strategy than usual, holding back the first 100 and outsplitting teDuits 53.90 to 54.51 to get the win.
Ivy Martin was handed her first losses of the season in the 50 and 100 freestyles today, finishing second to Stanford’s Maddy Schaefer in the 50, 22.37 to 22.65. That win by Schaefer not only stopped Martin’s 50 free winning streak at three, but ended Martin’s reign as the fastest 50 freestyler in the nation by one hundredth of a second after a month at the top. Martin had posted a 22.38 in her first meet against Georgia.
To put Schaefer’s time into more perspective, it’s only four tenths off her lifetime best, a 21.99 that she posted at the NCAA championships last March. Most sprinters are not that close their unshaved best in the early goings of the season, which suggests a major time drop could be in store for Schaefer in her junior year.
Lia Neal won the 100 free to also stop Martin’s winning streak in that event. Neal’s time of 50.01 is her fastest of the season, though not fast enough to crack into the top 15 nationally. Martin was second with a 51.07, a full two seconds off her 49.09 from the Georgia dual meet that still ranks No. 1 in the nation.
Earlier in the meet, Neal won the 200 free with a 1:50.08, another season best.
Like Neal, Stanford senior Felicia Lee was a double winner today, posting a 54.78 in the 100 back and 53.63 in the 100 fly. The 100 fly time is knocking on the door of a top five time, just behind the fifth-ranked 53.48 by Southern Cal’s Kendyl Stewart.
Wisconsin had a few heat winners to celebrate in the men’s meet, particularly a double in the distance freestyles from Nick Caldwell. A day after posting a 9:26.47 against Cal, Caldwell made big improvements today with a winning time of 9:18.73 that just barely puts him in the top 20 nationally. Caldwell followed it up with a 4:29.22 in the 500 free, a couple of seconds slower than his season best of 4:27.19, but much faster than the 4:33.51 he put up yesterday.
Also winning for Wisconsin was Nick Schafer in the 200 breast with a 2:02.19 and Cannon Clifton, who led a 1-2 Badger finish in the 50 free with a 21.13 over Damon Zito’s 21.32.
In addition to his win in the 200 back, Nolan also won the 200 free in 1:37.60. Though he is not likely to swim the 200 free individually in the championship season (the race falls on the same day as the 100 backstroke), he could be a solid 800 free relay performer. He won over Wisconsin’s Brett Pinfold (1:38.88), and teammate Tom Kremer (1:39.09), who was third in the NCAAs last March in this event.