Stanford Women Upend Utah To Kick Off 2014-2015 Season

Photo Credit: Richard Ersted/

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, September 26. THE Stanford University women’s swimming and diving team opened up the 2014-2015 season Friday night by winning 11 events to out-swim the University of Utah, 174-124, in Salt Lake City. Freshman Janet Hu led the way with three victories in her first collegiate dual meet.

Stanford Press Release

Stanford won 11 events, including eight by freshmen, to start the 2014-15 campaign with a 174-124 win at Utah. Newcomers Janet Hu (3), Simone Manuel (2), Gracia Leydon-Mahoney (2) and Ally Howe (1) produced victories for the freshman class.

“We had a lot of fun racing a strong, well-coached Utah team today,” said head coach Greg Meehan. “This time of year isn’t about posting fast times; it’s about committing to details within our races. And I thought the team did that very well today, especially at 5,000 feet above sea level.”

Hu and Manuel started her collegiate career undefeated in individual events. Hu won the 100 back, 100 free and 200 IM, while Manuel claimed the 50 free and 100 fly. Howe dominated the 200 back and finished second in the 200 free.

Leydon-Mahoney also began her first season on The Farm with an undefeated mark by owning both diving events. She posted a pair of final scores over 300, as no other diver reached 275 in either event. It was the first competition of diving coach Patrick Jeffrey’s tenure after 15 years at Florida State.

Stanford’s other wins came from All-American seniors Maddy Schaefer (science, technology and society) and Katie Olsen (management science & engineering), who won their only individual events of the day. Schaefer took the 200 free by nearly a second over Howe and freshman Alexandra Meyers, while Olsen clipped Utah’s Stina Colleou by 0.19 in the 200 breast. Olsen and Colleou went 1-2 in the event at last year’s Pac-12 Championships.

The Cardinal started the meet with a win in the 200 medley relay (Grace Carlson, Olsen, Hu, Lia Neal), before swimming the 200 free relay, the last event of the meet, as an exhibition.

Freshmen also highlighted the meet for Utah, which received three of their four individual wins from members of the Class of 2018.

Stanford is back in action Oct. 24 against Oregon State. The Cardinal also hosts its annual Alumni Meet Oct. 24, the Friday of homecoming weekend.

Utah Press Release

The Utah women’s swimming and diving team collected five wins in its season-opening meet, but Stanford came away with the win by a 174-124 count Friday afternoon at Ute Natatorium.

“I was really excited of how we did [today], said Utah head coach Joe Dykstra. “When you go into the first meet, you never really know what to expect. We have only been here a hand full of weeks training and we have worked really hard. You never know how they are going to respond, but I was really pleased.”

Freshman Kat Wickham picked up Utah’s first win in the 1000-yard freestyle event with a time of 10:39.69 and All-American Stina Colleou, a sophomore, followed with a win in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:04.37. Meanwhile, freshman Isabella Kearns took first-place in the 200-yard butterfly with a time of 2:06.20.

Freshman Maddie Meisel finished first overall in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 5:06.62 and the 200-yard freestyle relay team consisting of Rhianna Williams, Dorien Butter, Meisel and Giulianan Gigliotti finished first with a time of 1:27.45.

“Our freshman really have to be the story of this meet,” said Dykstra. “With three different freshmen winning an event against a team that is probably favored to win NCAA’s this year, I am really impressed with that. It is pretty incredible to see what they are doing so early in the season.”

Sophomore Amanda Casillas finished second in both the one-meter and three-meter diving events, collecting 274.88 and 274.35 points, respectively. Her score of 274.88 in the one-meter event already qualifies Casillas to compete in the NCAA Zone Championships.

“Amanda’s score of 274, that is a big score for September,” said Dykstra. “Qualifying for the zone meet after the first meet of the year and knocking that out already, that is a big deal.”

Utah opened the meet by collecting two points by way of its third-place finish in the 200-yard medley relay. Utah’s Megan Kawaguchi, Stina Colleou, Melissa Paakh and Giuliana Gigliotti finished the event in 1:45.04, while Stanford took first-place with a time of 1:43.20.

Senior Amanda Barrett would later lead Utah to three points after finishing in third-place in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 57.95 and junior Petra Soininen tallied three points for the Utes with a second-place finish in the 200-yard butterfly, finishing just behind Kearns with a time of 2:06.49.

Butter, another freshman for the Utes, recorded a second-place finish in the 100-yard freestyle event with a time of 52.28 and Gigliotti, a senior, placed third with a time of 53.01.

Barrett would later record a second-place finish in the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 2:03.94 and Wickham tallied three points with her third-place finish in the 500-yard freestyle. Meanwhile, Soininen took second-place in the 100-yard butterfly and sophomore Brianna Francis collected four points with her second-place finish in the 200-yard individual medley.

Utah’s 200-yard freestyle relay team that consisted of Hailey Pabst, Wickham, Soininen and Jenna Marsh closed out the event with a second-place finish, just behind Utah’s “A” team, with a time of 1:38.90.

“We feel really good about ourselves,” said Dykstra. “The times were not great, but no one is going to swim fast in September. We are still in conditioning mode, but we raced with a lot of confidence. We went toe-to-toe and had a respectable outcome against a very good team. I have the upmost respect for [Stanford’s] coaches and what they do, so I feel real good about where we are at.”

Both the men and women’s teams will be back in action again tomorrow with its annual alumni meet, which is scheduled to begin inside Ute Natatorium at 10 a.m. The two squads will then head to Grand Junction, Colo., next weekend to compete in the Intermountain Shootout that will be hosted by Colorado Mesa.

Results: Stanford vs. Utah