Taylor Ruck Will Redshirt 2019-2020 NCAA Season, Will Train in Canada

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.

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She made the smart choice.


A selfish choice


@Chas: 4 and a half months ago, this was my opinion but absolutely not the opinion of the vast majority of Swimswam’s commenters: https://swimswam.com/2019-canadian-swimming-trials-day-4-finals-live-recap/


Agree with CHAS, it’s her career and the Olympics are once every 4 years… I’m sure Stanford will be fine without her, they have ridiculous depth.

Woke Stasi

Is RED-SHIRTING even the correct term here? From the article, it sounds like she’s not even going to be enrolled in college during the 2019-20 academic year. I typically think of someone who “red-shirts” as enrolled in college but not competing and thus not using up any of their competitive eligibility. Freshman football players come to mind when I hear this term. Correct me if I’m wrong.


I wouldn’t know the correct use of the term “red-shirts”, but I’m wondering if it’s possible she’s taking at least a couple courses online.

Ol' Longhorn

You’re right. Red-shirting applies to student-athletes. If she’s not enrolled, she’s just an athlete.

Irish Ringer

I think it also means they vote republican. 🙂

13 % Chinese person

So not Jewish then .

Woke Stasi

For what it’s worth, Ms. Ruck is already a Stanford alum — or to be more precise a “Stanford Alumna.” According to Gerhard Casper, the University’s beloved 9th President (1992-2000): “Stanford’s Charter says that a student is considered to be an ‘alumnus’ when he or she has completed 3 quarters (or 1 year) of satisfactory academic work.” Note that I am NOT conflating “alumnus” with “graduate” — they are two different things. Thus, Tiger Woods is a Stanford Alum, but not a Stanford graduate.


Smart marketing move…. get to claim successful people as alums even if they never earned a degree there. Sigh


I agree that Ruck is a great NCAA swimmer but Phenom overstates the case. There must be at least 50 freshman who have outscored her individually over the past 50 years


I think the #3 performer all time in the 200 yard free as a freshman is a phenom.


But NCAA Championship is about scouting and she didn’t win an event. Again, I think she is a fantastic swimmer and a better long course swimmer but Phenom to me implies either a younger age or someone like Ledecky who dominates as a freshman.


JIMSWIM22=Ol’ Longhorn


Is the really the #3 performer all time in the 200 yard free? I don’t have the stats in front of me but I’m pretty sure Franklin, Comerford, & Ledecky, have all been faster

Missy – 1:39.10
Comerford – 1:39.80
Ledecky – 1:40.36
Manuel – 1:40.37
Ruck – 1:40.37

So tied for 4th. But, she is the #3 freshman of all-time in the event, behind Missy and Ledecky, so maybe that’s what Alec meant.


Thanks Braden, I was going off the Noggin

Knows Nothing

Those others are also Phenoms++. Cool now?


She went 1:40/50./1:47 as a first year, thats a phenom

PK Doesn't Like His Long Name

I enjoy that you say phenom overstates the case, and then you overstate your own case. There are very few freshmen who score 50+ points individually at their first NCAAs.

Ol' Longhorn

I’m with you. Kind of cheapens the term “phenoms”. Regan Smith is a phenom. There are many, many freshman who have won NCAA titles and set NCAA records and even had one or more Olympic golds or WRs. Geez, Ledecky set or re-set 12 NCAA records and nine American records, and won NCAA titles as a freshman. Simone — NCAA record/title as a freshman. Lily King same. Missy same. Won’t even go back to Tracy Caulkins.

Irish Ringer

Could 17.63 could be thought of as a phenomenal race swam by a phenom or does dressing in a stall and having a pre-workout drink cheapen that?


Jim that is one of the worst takes I’ve ever seen in the swimswam comment section. Shame *ring* ring* Shame


In my further defense at least 17 women have won an individual title 4 consecutive times since 1983, something Ruck will not do.


phenom – a person who is outstandingly talented or admired, especially an up-and-comer.

seems pretty accurate…

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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