Stanford’s Amy Tang Clocks First 100 Free Personal Best Since 2019 with 47.89 Time Trial


By Spencer Penland on SwimSwam



The 2023 Women’s Pac-12 Swimming and Diving Championships kicked off last night in Federal Way. In addition to the relays that took place last night, there were a number of time trials, many if which featured some really fast swimming.

Perhaps most notably, Stanford sophomore Amy Tang clocked a huge new personal best of 47.89 in the 100 free. The performance marks Tang’s first time under 48 seconds in the event, and, more importantly, her first personal best in the yards 100 free since 2019. Her previous best was a 48.11, swum at Winter Juniors when she was 16 years old.

Tang was SwimSwam’s #4 recruit in the class of 2021, but she had a relatively quiet freshman season at Stanford. At last year’s Pac-12 Championships, Tang posted a sixth-place finish in the 50 free (22.38), which was her highest finish of the meet. She also finished 11th in the 100 back (53.17) and 18th in the 100 free (49.15). Her swim last night blew her time from last year out of the water.

On top of what it means for Tang personally, the swim has plenty of other implications. Firstly, Tang is going to earn an invite to NCAAs with that time. Her 47.89 is currently ranked 19th in the NCAA this season, putting Tang in a place where she’s going to very safely qualify for NCAAs.

In addition to the individual invite, Tang’s swim has implications for Stanford’s 400 free relay as well. Last year, Stanford took second at NCAAs with the quartet of Torri Huske (46.82), Lillie Nordmann (47.71), Regan Smith (47.74), and Taylor Ruck (46.70), who combined for a 3:08.97. Smith was just a freshman last year but turned pro at the end of the summer and moved to Tempe to train under Bob Bowman. Her spot will be taken by superstar freshman Claire Curzan. With Tang now swimming at her lifetime best in the 100 free, that means the final spot on the relay will probably come down to her and Nordmann. That’s big deal because Huske, Curzan, and Ruck are some of the fastest 100 freestylers in the NCAA right now. While this in no way would make Stanford the favorites in the 400 free relay at NCAAs, it may just give them enough firepower to at least compete with Virginia, which didn’t really seem like a possibility for anyone this year quite frankly.

Stanford freshman Natalie Mannion clocked a personal best in the 200 back last night as well. The only swimmer time trialing the event, Mannion touched in 1:53.08, taking over half a second off her previous best of 1:53.81, which she swam at the NC State Invite in November. Mannion’s time will all but certainly earn her an invitation to NCAAs as well. It currently makes her the #25 performer in the event this year, and it’s hard to imagine another 15 or so swimmers will beat that time between the remaining conferences.

Another Stanford freshman, Gigi Johnson, swam a new lifetime bests in the 200 free. She clocked a 1:46.66 in her time trial, taking nearly a second off her personal best of 1:47.43. Her previous mark was set at the 2021 Winter Junior East meet in December of 2021.

Lucy Bell and Charlotte Hook, another couple of Cardinal freshmen, did a time trial of the 100 fly, swimming 52.43 and 53.72 respectively. While neither swim was a personal best, both swimmers did blow their season bests, which were both 54-point, out of the water. That’s actually very important because now both women have hit the NCAA ‘B’ cut of 53.69, which they previously hadn’t done this season. That means, assuming they both qualify for NCAAs in another event, which they are likely to do, they will now be able to swim the 100 fly as one of their events, which wasn’t the case before the time trial.

Cal sophomore Lizzy Cook also likely punched her ticket to NCAAs as well. Cook swam the 200 fly, posting a new season best of 1:55.49. That swim puts Cook 18th in the NCAA this season, in great position to earn an invite to the big meet for the second year in a row.

SwimSwam: Stanford’s Amy Tang Clocks First 100 Free Personal Best Since 2019 with 47.89 Time Trial

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