Simone Manuel is originally from Sugar Land, Texas and graduated from Fort Bend Austin High School in 2014. By the time she had graduated high school, she had already broken an American record in the 100 yard free style. Manuel went on to become a multi-time NCAA All-American and Champion for the Stanford Cardinals.
2013 World Championships
Manuel is the first American swimmer in history to break the 25 second barrier in the 50 meter freestyle as a junior swimmer. She was 16 on the first day of the 2013 FINA World Championship’s in Barcelona and therefore, her sub 25 50 free stands as the 15-16 National Age Group record.
2013 Duel in the Pool
In 2013, she was selected to represent Team USA at the Duel in the Pool against the European All Stars. She became the star of the meet after anchoring the mixed relay to break the tie at the end of the meet, giving Team USA 1 point to beat the European All Stars. USA has never lost to the European All Stars. Needless to say, there was a ton of pressure leading into that final relay, and she delivered. Individually, she finished fourth in the 100 freestyle and third in the 50 freestyle.
2014 Pan Pacific Championships
Over the summer of 2014, Manuel won the 50 freestyle and was second in the 100 freestyle at Summer National Championships to earn a spot on the Pan Pacific Championships roster. At the Pan Pacific Championships in Australia, she earned 2 silver medals in the 400 freestyle relay and the 400 medley relay. She also earned a bronze medal in the 100 freestyle and finished fourth in the 50 freestyle.
2015 World Championships
Because of her results from 2014, Simone was qualified to swim both the 100 and 50 individually at
the 2015 World Championships. She started the meet off by anchoring Team USA’s 4×100 free relay, splitting 53.06 to lead the States to a 3rd place finish. She went on to help the USA earn relay gold in the 4x100m mixed free relay, splitting 53.66 on the third leg.
Individually, Simone placed slightly lower in her events than she had the previous summer, earning 6th in the 100 (53.93) and 8th in the 50 (24.57). She also anchored USA’s 4x100m medley relay in a split of 53.39, which ended up placing just outside of medaling at 4th.
2016 US Olympic Trials
Manuel finished second in the 100m Free, earning her a spot on the US Roster for an individual event, and on the 4x100M Freestyle Relay. Her time of 53.52 was just .24 seconds behind Abbey Weitzeil.
Manuel finished second in the 50 free and earned herself another swim in Rio.
2016 Rio Olympics
In Simone’s first swim at the Rio Olympics, she teamed up with Abbey Weitzeil, Dana Vollmer, and Katie Ledecky to earn a silver medal and new American record (3:31.89) in the 4x100m relay, behind the Aussie women who broke the world record (3:30.65).
On Day 6 of the Rio Olympics, Simone made history by becoming the first African American woman
to win a gold medal in swimming. And she did it in a new Olympic Record and in a tie with Canadian, Penny Oleksiak, in the 100m freestyle with the time of 52.70.
Manuel followed up her gold with a silver medal in the 50m Free, just two one hundredths of second behind gold medal winner, Pernille Blume of Denmark. In the same finals session, she proceeded to help team USA once again in the 4x100m medley relay, anchoring in a split of 52.43 and touching the wall first to earn her 4th and final medal of the games.
2017 US World Team Trials
Manuel placed second in the 100m freestyle behind Mallory Comerford, touching at 53.05. Manuel also made the US team for the 4X200M Free Relay by finishing fifth in the 200m Free. Manuel then won the 50m Free with a time of 24.27.
2017 FINA World Championships
Day one Manuel won gold in American record time, 3:31.72, on Team USA’s 4×100 freestyle relay. Mallory Comerford popped a 52.59 to break the 100m freestyle American record on the leadoff. Kelsi Worrell split a very strong 53.16, followed Katie Ledecky’s a 53.83. Manuel anchored in 52.14 for the gold.
Day four Manuel picked up another relay gold medal and World Record when she combined with Caeleb Dressel, Matt Grevers and Lilly King in the 4×100 mixed medley relay. Manuel put together a 52.17, nearly an identical split to what she did on the end of the women’s gold medal 4×100 free relay on day one.
100m Freestyle Final – Day Six: After setting the world record leading off the 4×100 freestyle relay on day one, Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom was considered a slam dunk to win 100 free gold. Manuel was one of the front-runners for silver, but she did the unthinkable in the final. Sjostrom was out fast, under world record pace in 24.75, but Manuel began making up ground on the last 25. She closed with every stroke, and at the touch she edged Sjostrom by four one-hundredths of a second, 52.27 to 52.31.
50m Freestyle Final – Day Eight: Manuel earned another piece of hardware on the final night of competition, becoming the first American woman to break the 24-second barrier when she touched in 23.97 to take bronze tonight. Winning the race was World Record holder Sarah Sjostrom (23.69) ahead of the Netherlands’ Ranomi Kromowidjojo (23.85), who put up a personal best for the silver.
Day eight in the final of the 4×100 medley relay, Team USA’s Kathleen Baker, Lilly King, Kelsi Worrell, and Simone Manuel teamed up to set a World Record. Baker got the ball rolling on the backstroke split with a personal best 58.54 on the backstroke leg, marking the 5th fastest 100 back ever done by an American. King (1:04.48) kept it close as she battled once again down the stretch with Russia’s Yuliya Efimova (1:04.03), but the Russians took the lead through the halfway mark. On the fly leg, Worrell pulled the USA into the lead with her 56.30, making way for 100 free champ Manuel (52.23) to finish things off as they finished in 3:51.55. That took a half second off the former World Record, which stood as a 3:52.05 done by the USA in 2012.
TEAM USA 4×100 MEDLEY RELAY WORLD RECORD SPLITS
- 100 Back Split: Kathleen Baker– 58.54
- 100 Breast Split: Lilly King– 1:04.43
- 100 Fly Split: Kelsi Worrell– 56.30
- 100 Free Split: Simone Manuel– 52.23
2017 College Preview SwimSwam Magazine Cover
Heading into her junior year after a massively successful NCAA’s and World Championships, Simone was featured on SwimSwam Magazine‘s 2017-2018 college preview issue. The cover portrays Manuel in a classroom filled with water, exemplifying the student-athletes dual priorities. Manuel returned as the defending champion in the 100 and 50 free, in which she holds both NCAA records. The cover shot was captured by Mike Lewis.
In her first season swimming for the Cardinal, Manuel made headlines early in her first semester for splitting 45.8 to anchor a 400 freestyle relay. At the same meet, she also broke the American record in the 100 freestyle, swimming to a time of 46.62. After having a standout Pac-12 Championship Meet, where she was runner up in the 50 and 200 free, and won the 100 free in a Pac-12 Record, Manuel qualified for the NCAA Championships.
At her first NCAA Championships Manuel had an impressive performance to say the least. She started off the meet by leading the 200-yard free relay that finished 2nd overall, and followed that up the same day by taking the gold in the 50-yard free. Her time, 21.32, was nearly an American Record, which was also the NCAA Record. For her third race of the evening, she anchored the 400-yard medley relay with a sub-46 second split. The relay complete with Ally Howe, Katie Olsen and Janet Hu broke both the American and NCAA Records.
With day one complete Manuel took Missy Franklin on in the 200-yard free. While Franklin swam the world’s first 200-yard free until 1:40 seconds, Manuel had a great swim where she finished 2nd in front of teammate, Lia Neal. That night Manuel also had a killer split on the 800-yard freestyle relay that finished in 2nd none other than to Cal. For the last individual event of the meet Manuel crushed the American and NCAA Records in the 100-yard free by nearly an entire second, and just missed history’s first 45-second 100 free time from a woman. She carried her momentum into the 400-yard free relay, where she once again split a 45-second anchor leg to help Stanford touch in 1st and break the NCAA and American Records by a second.
2017 NCAA Championships
To say Manuel had a great NCAA Swim Meet would be an understatement. She started as part of Stanford’s Gold Medal winning 800 Free Relay, splitting a 1:41.41. The led off Stanford’s 2nd Place 200 Free Relay, splitting a 21.47. Manuel blasted a 21.17 to win the 50 Free, breaking the NCAA, Meet, and Pool Record. She then finished 3rd behind Katie Ledecky and Mallory Comerford in the 200 Free with a time of 1:40.70. Manuel anchored the 200 Medley relay which finished third. Manuel became the first female swimmer under 46 seconds in the 100 Free, blasting a time of 45.56. Finally, Manuel led off Stanford’s winning 400 Free Relay with a split of 46.02. Manuel played an integral part in Stanford winning the team title.
2018 NCAA Championships
Manuel finished her collegiate career in Columbus, Ohio by helping the Cardinals capture their second team title in a row. Manuel competed in the three shortest freestyle events as usual and was a part of four winning relays. She placed third in the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:41.48 and won the 50 freestyle in a speedy 21.18 and missed her own NCAA Championship Record by 0.01 seconds. She also touched the wall first in the 100 freestyle and took the title with a 45.65.
Simone Manuel announced at the 2018 NCAA championships that she would not continue her collegiate career after this year’s NCAA Championships. Manuel participated in Stanford’s senior day activities in their final home meet at the Avery Aquatic Center of the 2017-2018 season. Manuel was technically a senior in 2018, but took an Olympic redshirt in her sophomore year, which could allow her one more year of NCAA eligibility if she had wanted it.
2018 Honda Cup
Simone Manuel was named the 2018 recipient of the Honda Cup in June, given annually by the Collegiate Women Sports Awards to the best female college athlete in the country. Manuel was named the Honda Sport Award winner in swimming in April, beating out Lilly King, Ella Eastin, and Katie Ledecky for that honor, which pitted her against winners from other NCAA sports for the national award. Manuel was nominated for the Honda Sport Award in swimming in each of her 3 NCAA seasons. This marked the 2nd-straight season in which a Stanford athlete had won this award (Katie Ledecky won as a freshman in 2017); and the 3rd time in 4 seasons in which a swimmer had been honored (Missy Franklin from Cal won in 2015).