Let the postseason begin. The top-ranked Stanford women’s swimming and diving team is set for the 2017 Pac-12 Swimming & Diving Championships on Feb. 22-25 at the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way, Washington.
WATCH: For the first time, fans can watch live on Saturday on Pac-12 Networks, while the first three days of the meet will be streamed on Pac12.com. Events on Wednesday–Friday as well as Saturday’s prelims will be live streamed on Pac-12.com and the Pac-12 Now app, while Saturday night’s finals will air live on all seven Pac-12 Networks starting at 6:30 p.m. PT.
A REASON TO SMILE
Must Read: Senior Nicole Stafford finally has gained the upper hand on a rare condition that threatened her swimming career » stanford.io/2l3QiMo
CARDINAL CONFERENCE HISTORY
Stanford has won a record 19 conference championships. The most recent Cardinal conference title was in 2013. Since then, Stanford has three straight second-place finishes. Last season, the Cardinal won 13 of 21 events, but ultimately finished as runner-up to USC » 2016 recap.
REGULAR SEASON RECAP
For the second straight year, Stanford (8-0, 7-0 Pac-12) finished unbeaten in dual meets. Five of the eight victories came against teams ranked in the Top 20, including three against foes in the top five – No. 2 Texas, No. 3 Cal and No. 4 USC. The Cardinal topped the Longhorns, 161-137, on Nov. 12 in Palo Alto and also defeated the Trojans at Avery Aquatic Center, 202-98, on Jan. 28. Most recently, Stanford won the Big Swim at rival Cal, 177-123, on Feb. 11. In addition, the Cardinal racked up wins against Oregon State, Washington State, UCLA, Arizona and Arizona State, and also finished first at the Ohio State Invitational in late November.
TOP OF THE POLLS
Also for the second straight year, Stanford finished No. 1 in the College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) poll. Stanford received 325 points, Texas was second with 306 and Cal was third with 303.
Stanford has won 15 straight dual meets. The Cardinal’s last defeat in a dual was to No. 3 Cal on Feb. 14, 2015 – which also marks a string of 14 straight Pac-12 dual meet victories since that loss. The Cardinal has also won 11 straight dual meets at home dating back to Oct. 30, 2014 against Texas (156-144).
A few old Stanford records have already fallen this year. Freshman Katie Ledecky set the NCAA and American records in the 500-yard freestyle (4:26.46) and the 1,650 free (15:03.92). She also holds the record in the 1,000 free, which is not an event at the Pac-12 or NCAA Championships. Olympian Janet Evans had held the school record in the 500 free since 1992 and the 1,650 free since 1990. Stanford also set a plethora of Avery Aquatic Center pool records this year. Simone Manuel set new marks in the 100 (47.38) and 200 free (1:42.72), while Janet Hu topped her mark in the 100 back (51.91), and Ledecky set the new standard in the 500, 1,000 and 1,650 free. In her final race at Avery, senior Lia Neal was the anchor leg for the facility record in the 400 free relay (3:15.05).
Stanford earned Scholar All-America team accolades from the CSCAA with a combined team GPA of 3.59 – tops in the Pac-12. … Kassidy Cook was named Pac-12 Diver of the Month for January after she won all four of her events on the 1-meter … Katie Ledecky was the Pac-12 Swimmer of the Month after her record-setting performances in November … Also in November, Ledecky and Simone Manuel won Golden Goggles for Athlete of the Year, and Female Race of the Year, respectively.
Stanford says goodbye to four seniors Bridget Boushka, Tara Halsted, Lia Neal and Nicole Stafford after this season. Boushka is a three-year letterwinner and two-time Pac-12 All-Academic honoree; Halsted is a two-time Olympic Trials qualifier and Pac-12 All-Academic selection; Neal is a two-time Olympian, six-time national champion and scholar All-American; Stafford is a four-time All-American, 2014 national champion in the 200 MR and has earned two Pac-12 Academic honors. In their three years on The Farm, Stanford has never finished worse than third at the NCAA Championships with runner-up finishes in 2014 and 2016.
MEEHAN TO LEAD USA
Head coach Greg Meehan will serve as head women’s coach for Team USA at the 2017 World Championships as announced by USA Swimming. The 17th FINA World Aquatics Championships will be held in Budapest, Hungary, from July 14–30, 2017. Dave Durden, the men’s head coach at Cal, will lead the American men.
CARDINAL IN THE COMMUNITY
Outside of the pool, the Cardinal has been just as active this year. Many members of the team were part of the Stanford SAAC event on the Sunday prior to Halloween. The student-athletes—most in full costume—joined groups of young children to #TrickorTREEt in Palo Alto. Also this Fall, the team hosted a group of young local swimmers from San Jose to talk water safety and spend some time in the pool as part of a PSA with USA Swimming. Most recently, the team taught some young fans swimming technique prior to a Stanford women’s basketball game for National Girls and Women in Sports Day.
A national title will be on the line the next time the Cardinal compete. The 2017 NCAA Championships are set forMarch 15-18 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Stanford, which has won a record eight national titles, will be looking for its first since 1998.
You can follow Cardinal women’s swimming and diving all year long on instagram, twitter and snapchat (@StanfordwSwim).
News courtesy of Stanford Athletics.