Reloading In Threes: Stanford Gets Verbal From #10 Grace Zhao

It’s been a banner week for the Stanford Cardinal, with not one, not two, but three top-20 recruits making verbal commitments to the Card.

The latest is local product Grace Zhaowho was actually the first to announce her commitment, doing so on Instagram last night. She joins #4 Brooke Forde and #12 Ashley Volpenhein, both of whom publicized their commitments Monday night.

Zhao seems a natural fit for Stanford, as she’s already a part of the Palo Alto Stanford Aquatics club and competes out of Palo Alto and Palo Alto High.

Zhao beefs up what is Stanford’s only real roster weakness: breaststroke. The high school senior has been 2:09.23 in the 200 breast and 1:00.65 in the 100 breast, just outside of scoring range in both. She’s one of three great breaststrokers in the high school class of 2017 to check in inside our top 10 recruit rankings, and she was the only one still left on the board, with Margaret Aroesty heading to Pac-12 rival USC and Nikol Popov going across the country to Tennessee.

Zhao’s Top Times

  • 100 breast: 1:00.65
  • 200 breast: 2:09.23
  • 50 free: 22.75
  • 100 fly: 55.87
  • 200 IM: 2:00.08

Zhao’s biggest impact events are clearly the breaststrokes, but she’s got intriguing speed in the 50 free that could make her a future relay piece. Plus, she’s a solid IMer and will join a killer IM training group that includes NCAA champ Ella Eastin.

Stanford is now suddenly in contention for the best recruiting class nationwide, going from no major recruits to 3 of the top 12 within just two days.

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7 years ago

Apparently the Stanford men’s team got 3 commitments this weekend as well

IN Swimming Fan
7 years ago

Hannah Kukurugya, another top 20 recruit, also just committed to Stanford!!!

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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