NCAA runner-up Taylor Ruck of Stanford has confirmed to SwimSwam that she will sit out the 2019-2020 college season while remaining in Toronto, Canada to train for the 2020 Olympics.
Ruck has been a phenom, both for Canada internationally and for Stanford in the NCAA’s short course yards format. As a freshman last year, Ruck was a two-time individual NCAA runner-up, taking second in the 200 free (1:40.37) and 200 back (1:47.59). She was also third in the 100 back (50.34) and helped Stanford’s 800 free relay win a national title with a 1:39.83 split. Ruck, the #1 recruit in her class leading the top-ranked recruiting class, helped Stanford win its third consecutive NCAA title.
Internationally, she won three bronze medals at this summer’s World Championships, as part of the 4×100 free, 4×200 free and 4×100 medley relays. Last summer was even more explosive, as Ruck won a record 8 medals at the 2018 Commonwealth Games followed by five more medals at the Pan Pacific Championships, including a huge 200 free win over Katie Ledecky and Rikako Ikee.
Ruck, who just turned 19 in May, will swim for coach Ben Titley at Canada’s High Performance Center in Ontario. The Toronto-based group is the training home for a number of Canada’s top Olympic hopefuls.
In 2016, Ruck won two Olympic bronze medals on relays as Canada won six total swimming medals. A rising group of young Canadian women have brought the country into the international limelight, and Canada won 8 total swimming medals at 2019 Worlds, all of them in Olympic events. Ruck was on the cusp of three more individual medal: she was 5th in the 200 back, 4th in the 100 back and 5th in the 100 free while scratching the 200 free.
Even without Ruck, Stanford returns the most points of NCAA programs, though her relay legs will be especially hard to replace as the Cardinal chases a fourth consecutive NCAA title.