Stanford Gets Huge Diving Commitment with Gracia Leydon-Mahoney

Stanford is on a roll.

After having already secured blue-chip recruits like Janet Hu, Simone Manuel, and Ally Howe along with a slew of incredibly talented swimmers such as Heidi Poppe, Lindsey Engel, and Alexandra Meyers from the class of 2014, it didn’t look like Stanford’s recruiting class for next year could get any better.

Guess again. The Cardinal received a verbal commitment Sunday from diver Gracia Leydon-Mahoney, the 2012 US National Champion and Junior World Champion on 3-meter. In addition, she has also won Junior National titles on 1-meter, 3-meter, and Platform over the years, and is also a member of the USA Diving Junior Elite Performance Squad, which is a program designed for highly talented divers with Olympic aspirations for the 2016 and 2020 Olympics. At the 2012 Olympic Trials, she placed 7th on 3-meter, and also placed 10th on Platform.

With the addition of Leydon-Mahoney, Stanford has assembled one of the most talented recruiting classes in recent memory. On the swimming end of the spectrum, the class has virtually covered all the bases. As we mentioned in our article about Ally Howe’s commitment, the Cardinal could craft a top-10 medley relay at NCAA’s based solely on the times accomplished by the ladies of the class of 2014 through their junior year (and that was before we had Simone Manuel’s commitment!) Toss in the fact that Manuel, Hu, and Engel are all sub-49 second 100 freestylers, and that Howe and Meyers also have 49 second 100s to their names, and you have scary depth in the freestyle relays as well.

Leydon-Mahoney will join current freshman and rising star Kassidy Cook, who was the number one diving recruit in the country last year, and who just missed making the Olympic Team in 2012 on 3-meter with a 4th place finish overall. Cook also has multiple Junior National titles to her name, and Gracia’s commitment means that the Cardinal will have a very powerful duo between the two of them for years to come. Furthermore, senior Stephanie Pipps is the reigning Pac-12 champion on 3-meter, and following her graduation, Leydon-Mahoney will almost perfectly fill the void that Pipps will leave behind.

Leydon-Mahoney’s hometown is Newton, Massachusetts, though she currently trains at Durham Academy in Durham, North Carolina. She made the move with her family so that she could train with Drew Johansen, coach of the 2012 US Olympic Team and head coach of Indiana University. Her presence at Stanford will be immediately felt, and the stage is set for Stanford to begin a perhaps historic era in women’s collegiate swimming and diving.




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cynthia curran
6 years ago

Stanford has it all with a great diver. Its hard to get great divers since many pools don’t want to put in boards since diving is more dangerous than swimming and you have to be more flexible to be a diver.

6 years ago

I think it’s also worth a mention that diver Steele Johnson committed to dive at Purdue. This commitment wasn’t recent, but it was very under the radar when it happen. Steele, or Carmel, IN, is on the US National Team. He is a 14-time Junior National champion and 4-time National Champion, he placed 6th and 3rd at the 2012 Trials.

6 years ago

That right there is an awesome picture… I don’t care who you are!!!

About Varun Shivakumar

Varun Shivakumar hails from Hoffman Estates, IL and swam competitively for 16 years. He swam both backstroke events at Northwestern University, and ranks fifth in the school’s All-time performances list in the 200 yard backstroke. Representing NASA Wildcat Aquatics, he also competed in the 2012 Olympic Trials in Omaha, NE …

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