Vying for the least surprising verbal commitment of the season, Palo Alto High School senior Alex Liang has made a pledge to Leland Stanford Junior University for the 2017-18 season. Liang’s older brother, Andrew (pictured above on the right), is currently a sophomore on the Stanford men’s team so the brothers will have two years of overlap. Moreover, the Liangs have swum for Palo Alto Stanford Aquatics forever, and their high school is literally across the street from the Stanford campus. All factors that, to outside observers, seemingly made this decision a no-brainer.
Liang is the #14 swimmer on our top 20 list of boys from the high school class of 2017. With his verbal commitment, Stanford now claims 3 of the top 20 recruits (#3 Matthew Hirschberger and #13 Brennan Pastorek, in addition to Liang), becoming the first team to do so on the men’s side. This is turning out to be quite a recruiting class for the Cardinal (who also received verbal commitments from Glen Cowand and Alberto Mestre); over the last several seasons the men had lagged the women in attracting top names.
Liang is a versatile talent who will be able to score for Stanford in, well, just about anything. Primarily an IMer, he competes in fly, back, free, and can hold his own in breast. He won the 200 free (1:36.65) and 500 free (4:23.41) at the 2016 California State meet, setting records in both events and leading Paly to a fourth-place team finish. At 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials, Liang competed in the 200 fly and 200/400 IMs. He capped off the summer long course season at the Stanford Futures meet, winning the 200/400 free and 100/200 back; he was also runner-up in the 100 fly and placed fourth in the 100 free.
His best SCY times are:
- 200 IM – 1:47.41
- 400 IM – 3:51.40
- 200 fly – 1:45.64
- 200 back- 1:48.14
- 200 free – 1:36.65
- 500 free – 4:23.41
If you have a commitment to report, please send an email to [email protected].