Last Top-20 Recruit from Class of 2021, Hayden Zheng Chooses Stanford

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Hayden Zheng from St. Louis Park, Minnesota has announced his verbal commitment to Stanford University’s class of 2025. Zheng is number 13 on our list of top-20 boys recruits from the high school class of 2021.

“So excited to announce my commitment to study and swim at Stanford University! Huge thanks to my family, friends, coaches and teammates for helping me the whole way. Can’t wait to join such an incredible community. Go Card #fearthetree 🌲❤️🌲”

Zheng is a senior at St. Louis Park High School, where he is a 4x Minnesota Class AA state champion and state record-holder in the 100 breast with 53.86. He broke the Minnesota All-time state mark at the 2019 MSHSL Boys Class AA State Championship, taking more than half a second off the previous record of 54.41. He improved the AA record by 1.04 seconds. Also in 2019, he won the 200 IM (1:48.25) and swam breast (24.70) on the 9th-place medley relay. As a junior in 2019-20, he won the 100 breast (54.52) and 200 IM (1:48.04), contributed to the 5th-place 200 medley relay (24.24 breast), and led off the 7th-place 200 free relay (21.33). As a freshman he won the 100 breast (56.43) and was 3rd in the IM (1:50.57)

Zheng swims year-round with Aquajets Swim Team. He is even stronger in the 200 breast than in the 100, and at 2019 Winter Juniors West he ripped a pair of lifetime bests in the two distances, finishing 2nd in the 200 (1:54.98) and 3rd in the 100 (53.09 in prelims). He also went a best time in the 200 IM (1:47.05) with his 6th-place finish.

Best Times:

  • 200 breast – 1:54.98
  • 100 breast – 53.09
  • 200 IM – 1:47.05
  • 400 IM – 3:55.28

Zheng, who also looked at Virginia and Wisconsin, will suit up for the Cardinal in the fall of 2021 with Gabe Machado, Hayden Kwan, and Matthew Fenlon. He will add strength to one of Stanford’s weaker areas; his 100/200 breast times would have both scored in their respective A-finals at 2020 Pac-12 Championships. He’ll join a 200 breast training group led by Daniel Roy, with whom he’ll overlap one year.

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Swim fan
2 years ago

Ethan Dang is going to Stanford, not to shabby of a breaststroker.

Reply to  Swim fan
2 years ago

Agree. Both are great: At the Jrs, Hayden/Ethan finished 3rd/4th in 100 and 2nd/3rd in 200.

Dr Markus Rogan
2 years ago

Welcome to the team!

2 years ago

Note: Stanford has 2 Hayden’s in 2021 and 2 Ethan’s in 2020 for Stanford (3 Ethan’s on the team: Ethan Dang, Ethan Hu, Ethan Foster (Diving)).

Do other teams have many same names on the team at the same time?

Reply to  tnp101
2 years ago

UVA has 3 Jacks. All 3 swim mid distance freestyle.

Reply to  tnp101
2 years ago

NC state had three butterflying Noah’s last year.

GA Boy
2 years ago

Stanford loading up on breaststrokers.

2 years ago

Congrats Hayden!

Big Boi
2 years ago

“He adds strength to one of Stanford’s weaker areas”

At Pac-12s this year Stanford put 2 on the podium in the 100 Breast and had 4 in the A final of the 200 Breast. Looks like he will actually be joining a great breaststroke group. Congrats Hayden!

Reply to  Big Boi
2 years ago

Great young man and excellent all around swimmer: in addition to BR and IM, Fr 21/45/140; 100BK/FL 49.0/50.

Swim Parents Need to Chill
2 years ago

Ok, dad, we get it. No need to pile it on….

Reply to  Swim Parents Need to Chill
2 years ago

I must confess I’m a bit biased as I do know Hayden’s parents. But I am a swim nerd and excited, perhaps a little too excited, when I see kids excel in our sport.

2 years ago

Congrats Hayden! How things have changed. Back in the 80s and 90s most folks didn’t commit until the second semester of their senior year, some a little earlier but to have the entire top 20 committed by the beginning of the year is certainly a change.

2 years ago

Congratulations Hayden! Welcome to the Farm!

About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

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