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 Zhao, who 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.