Stanford has two new coaches, and both took a little bit to get settled in on the recruiting trail, but they are making up for lost time as both women’s head coach Greg Meehan and men’s head coach Ted Knapp have added a second big verbal to their classes.
For Knapp and the men, they’ve landed Charlie Wiser from Miramonte High School in California’s North Coast Section. Wiser is one of two phenomenal breaststrokers from the Orinda area, as high school rival Steven Stumph has already committed to USC.
Wiser won the North Coast Swimming Section Championship, the closest California gets to “state championships,” in the 100 breaststoke as a sophomore in 55.27. Last May, as a junior, he wasn’t able to beat out Stumph for the state title, but Wiser did lower his best to a 54.57 to place 2nd.
Wiser is a high school only swimmer (though he did represent Orinda Aquatics at Junior Nationals when they were at Stanford), so we don’t know exactly what he can go in the 200. He was as fast as a 1:52.19 in the 200 IM at last year’s North Coast Section meet. He will also play water polo for the Cardinal: the No. 4 ranked team in the country.
This is a breaststroker that Stanford really needs; their best returner this season is sophomore Sebastian Wigstrom, who was a 54.8 last season in the 100. They did bring in an under-the-radar freshman this year in Christian Brown; he spent his high school career swimming for the American School in Tokyo, but has been a 1:04.11 in long course.
For the Cardinal women, the signee is Grace Carlson from the Tualatin Hills Swim Club and Woodrow Wilson High School near Portland. She’s a really interesting recruit, because most of her best times in yards were swum when she was just 14 and swimming for the Lake Oswego Swim Club. That includes a 53.86 in the 100 backstroke and a 1:58.84 in the 200 that place her at-or-near the top of the class.
Her freestyles have been getting better as she’s gotten older, as she was a 23.22 in the 50 free as a sophomore: though her best 100 swim of 50.25 was also done as a freshman. During her junior year, she did hit a best time in the 200 free with a 1:50.18.
She’s even more exciting in long course, with bests of 26.39 in the 50 free and 1:03.36 in the 100 back. The move to Tualatin Hills has been very recent (she doesn’t seem to have swum an official meet under their banner, and was competing unattached over the summer), so Meehan has a lot riding on whether or not head coach Linck Bergen can reignite the flame that the coaches at Lake Oswego cultivated so well a few years ago.
If he can, next fall the Cardinal would bring a sprint relay that includes the fastest freshman from last season Maddy Schaefer; Olympian Lia Neal, who already made her verbal commitment this fall; and now Carlson. They needed to rebuild this sprint relay group that were National Champions last season in the 400 free, and they’ve done so in a hurry.