Born Dec. 7, 1995 in Palo Alto, Calif., Ally Howe is a former U.S. National Junior Team member. Growing up in northern California, Howe chose to stay in her home town and swim for Stanford University after taking good looks at both USC and Cal Berkeley. Although she’s spent all of her life on the west coast, Howe is surprisingly a big fan of the New England Patriots.
Her verbal commitment added to a Stanford class that grabbed many of the class’ elite recruits, making the Cardinal a real threat to win the NCAA title. In 2013 Howe mentioned that she would choose a college that gave her the best of both worlds – a great education and athletic experience. She also mentioned that she’s considering a career as a sports medicine doctor or a marine biologist. She graduated from Sacred Heart Preparatory, where she was a multi-time All-American and AP Scholar. She also holds every individual and relay record at Sacred Heart. While swimming for her club, Palo Alto Stanford Aquatics, she broke the national independent high school record in the 100 backstroke, which was previously held by Missy Franklin. In 2013 she was honored as the San Jose Mercury News “Athlete of the Year.”
As a freshman Howe made a big impact at her first Pac-12 meet. She finished 10th in the 200 IM, second in the 100 backstroke and fourth in the 200 backstroke. Howe qualified for the NCAA meet as a freshman picking up a seventh-place finish in the 100 backstroke earning her All-America honors. She also swam the backstroke legs on the 200 medley relay and the winning 400 medley relay that set an American record.
In her sophomore year, Howe continued her progress as a Cardinal. At the 2016 NCAA’s, Ally entered the meet having won 4 PAC-12 titles, including 1 individual (100 back). She followed that performance up with a 3rd place finish in the 100 back at NCAA’s (50.86) as well as 15th in the 200 back (1:52.59) and aiding Stanford in garnering 2 national titles in the 200 and 400 medley relays.
Howe’s growth didn’t stop by any means during her junior year on the Farm. At the 2017 PAC-12 Championships, Howe became only the 2nd woman under 50 seconds in the 100 backstroke, and broke Natalie Coughlin’s 16-year-old NCAA, American, and U.S. Open record by going 49.69. She once again used this backstroke prowess to lead Stanford to it’s 3rd straight 400 Medley relay title at the NCAA Championships, as well as swam on the 200 medley relay (3rd), 200 free relay (2nd), and scored individually in the 100 back (4th, 50.58) and 200 IM (10th, 1:54.82). With all of these swims, she was an integral part of Stanford’s 2017 NCAA team title.
In her final season as a Cardinal, Howe helped the team to their second National Championship title in a row. At Pac-12s, she competed in the 200 IM, 100 butterfly and 200 backstroke. She was also a part of the 200 medley and freestyle relays as well as the 400 medley relay. A few weeks later at NCAAs, Howe captured her first individual title in the 100 backstroke when she swam a time of 49.70. This was only 0.01 seconds off of her best time from the 2017 Pac-12 Championships. She finished her collegiate career with a 200 backstroke and managed to win the B-final with a time of 1:51.26. Stanford won the Championship title by more than 200 points.
Howe was a member of USA Swimming’s National Junior Team from 2013 to 2015 – she was the 2010 Junior National champion in the 100 backstroke.
2012 Olympic Trials
At the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials Howe advanced to the semi-final of the 200m backstroke, finishing 14th overall. She also finished 29th in the 400m IM.
2016 Olympic Trials
Howe once again advanced to the semi-finals of the 200m backstroke, this time finishing 12th overall. She also placed 17th in the 100m backstroke preliminaries, just outside of qualifying for the semi-finals.