Off the blocks: WSU swim is edged in home opener by No. 2 Stanford

From staff reports

Tough competition led to tight races and close finishes before the Stanford swimming team pulled a 142-119 win over Washington State Friday.

The Cougar swimming team opened up its season against No. 2 Stanford in Gibb Pool. The meet was kicked off with the 200-yard medley which is a race in the form of a relay. Stanford led from the first lap and closed that event off with a win over the Cougars.

Stanford continued touching the wall first in two more events, the 1000 freestyle and the 200 freestyle. After a very close start that would set the tone for the remainder of the event, Stanford junior Nicole Stafford took first place with a 1:52.01 finish, just ahead of WSU sophomore Rachel Thompson at 1:53.06.

Energy only increased from there once the Cougars got their first win in the 100 backstroke. WSU freshman Jasmine Margetts finished the event in 56:50, finishing more than 2.5 seconds ahead of junior Tara Halsted, the highest Cardinal finisher in the race.

Margetts would continue her success with another first-place finish in the 400 individual medley and a second-place 200 backstroke finish. Margetts led all individual swimmers with 22 points.

Margetts’ win started to close the gap between WSU and Stanford’s overall scores, making it a tight 34-39.

The gap started to widen between the two teams over the course of the next three events when Stanford swimmers won each heat.

In her first event of the day, WSU senior Presley Wetterstrom finished second in the 100 breaststroke behind Stanford senior Sarah Haase. Later in the 200 breaststroke, Wetterstrom would come back to place first and finish her day fourth in individual scores with 14 points.

“I think we did a really good job. I was surprised at how put together our team was,” Wetterstrom said. “Our freshmen really did awesome…I’m sure they were nervous (because) usually it’s a struggle your first meet but the whole team did their job and that’s really important.”

The Cougars finished strong with wins in the last two events.

The 400 freestyle relay was the final event of the day and featured as much excitement as any race preceeding. Sophomore Janet Hu had the lead for Stanford in the first lap of the race, but WSU junior Addisynn Bursch won it back for the Cougars. After an intense several minutes of racing, Washington State finished the event with a win to conclude the meet.

Spirits remained high regardless of the loss as the Cougars knew they had put up a fight against a highly ranked team in their home pool.

“One of the cool things was the reactions they had from the crowd.” Head Coach Tom Jager said. “The crowd was excited and they helped our kids swim better.”

The Cougars will return to Gibb Pool on Oct. 9 when they host California.

Reporting by Payton Dineen