AUSTIN, Texas, January 4. TEXAS’ women’s swimming and diving experienced another last-race nailbiter of a dual meet today against Stanford, with echoes of November’s four-point loss to Texas A&M ringing throughout the Lee & Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center.
With the Stanford leading 143-140 before the start of the meet’s final event, the 400 free relay, Texas had to win the relay. That would not be an easy feat, considering that Stanford has Olympian Lia Neal, as well as talented sprinter Maddy Schaefer and utility player Felicia Lee. Those three teamed up with Julia Anderson to win the relay outright, 3:18.98 to 3:21.42. The Longhorns placed second and third, but that would not help win the meet. The Cardinal notched the meet win with a score of 154-146.
Stanford hopped on a plane to Austin from their training camp in Colorado Springs, and head coach Greg Meehan said the goal of the meet was “more about toughness than going fast.”
As is typically the case in early January, very few of the times posted in today’s meet were impressive, with both Stanford and Texas both building back into tough training after impressive meets in November and December. But both teams fought hard, with Texas taking the lead after the first diving break thanks to a 1-2-3 finish.
Stanford ticked away at Texas’ lead through the rest of the meet, winning the majority of races, but Texas put up the crucial lower-place points to stay in contention. Though many will argue that diving should be a separate sport from swimming, the Longhorn divers were likely commended and praised for their contributions in making the meet as close as it was.
Maren Taylor, Emma Ivory-Ganja and Meghan Houston were first, second and third, respectively, in both diving events, making them responsible for 32 of Texas’ 140 points.
Seniors Maya DiRado, Andie Taylor and Felicia Lee notched seven individual event victories for Stanford, while Lee contributed to both relay wins. For DiRado, she won three events: 200 fly (1:59.04), 200 back (1:57.35) and 200 IM (1:59.60). Taylor won the 1000 free with a 9:57.01 and followed it up with a 4:50.88 in the 500 free. As for Lee, she won the 100 back with an impressive 53.91 and the 100 fly with a 53.20. Not counting her shaved and rested swims from the Art Adamson Invite, these are the fastest times of the season for Lee in those events.
Like Taylor, Gretchen Jacques contributed greatly for Texas with her two victories. She won the 100 breast with a 1:01.23 and the 200 breast in 2:12.83.
One event that helped Texas greatly was the 200 free, where Sam Tucker led a 1-2-3 finish with a winning time of 1:48.93. Alex Hooper (1:48.98) and Kelsey Leneave (1:49.26) rounded out the top three.
Full results available by clicking the link below.