Stanford Standouts Look For Improvement During Summer Meets

by Keith Peters

It’s two years before the 2000 Summer Olympics are held in Sydney, Australia, and the clock on the wall is ticking. For current and former members of the Stanford men’s swim team, this summer provides an important opportunity in their preparation for making the USA team.

“I think this is my most important summer,” said recent Stanford grad Sabir Muhammad. “There are a lot of (international) teams being decided…the Olympics are definitely my goal.”

Muhammad, like many of his teammates who just graduated, has spent the past four years focusing on the short course (yards) college season before being able to concentrate on summer competition, which is long course (meters).

This summer, however, marks the beginning of fulltime concentration on the distances that will get swimmers on the U.S. Olympic team.

“There’s never been a time when I’ve been training for the 100 meters,” Muhammad said of the long-course freestyle event, one of many races where he competed in last weekend at the 31st annual Santa Clara International Invitational. “I’m real excited about swimming long course.”

So is Tom Wilkens, who joined with Muhammad and others in leading Stanford to the NCAA championship this past spring.

“Every summer is really important,” said Wilkens, who won three events at Santa Clara last weekend. “As far as the Olympics go, there’s still a lot of time left. But this summer is important because I had such a good short-course season (three individual NCAA titles), and I want to keep the momentum going. I want to make that next jump.”

From Palo Alto Weekly

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