Stanford sprinter Alberto Mestre will not be competing for the Cardinal for the rest of the season as he focuses on the upcoming Olympic games, the team has confirmed. This will be the second straight year that Mestre has missed all or most of the season, but according to Stanford, is he expected back for the 2020-2021 season.
Mestre swam at the Pacific Invite and the Cal Triple Distance meet in the fall, logging times of 20.08 in the 50 free and 44.72 in the 100 free and has lifetime bests of 19.51 and 43.51. No other Cardinal has been faster than him in the 50 free this season, and his absence will pose a postseason challenge to a Cardinal team that’s been trying to rebuild its sprint group this year. Mestre didn’t swim at Stanford’s midseason invite, the Art Adamson Invite, and Stanford’s sprint free relays currently rank 33rd (1:19.25) and 30th (2:55.46).
Mestre took last season off as well, spending time training with the Gator Swim Club in Florida, then represented Venezuela at the 2019 Pan American Games. There, he finished 7th in the 50 free with a time of 22.40, 11th in the 100 free with a time of 50.08 (49.74 in prelims) and led off Venezuela’s 4th-place 4×100 free relay with a 49.75.
As a freshman during the 2017-2018 season, Mestre didn’t swim individually at NCAAs, but participated on Stanford’s sprint free relays, splitting 19.02 on the 6th-place 200 free relay, and 43.27 on the 10th-place 400 free relay. Last year, without Mestre and a couple of other key swimmers, Stanford’s 400 free relay finished 22nd, while its 200 free relay finished 15th, with three of those four swimmers now having graduated.
While Stanford’s sprint relays might have to be cobbled together this year, there’s a lot of hope for the future. First-year coach Dan Schemmel pulled in a monster recruiting class that includes Worlds medalist Andrei Minakov, and that class, along with Mestre’s expected return, means that the future looks promising for the Cardinal’s sprint crew.