Stanford Men’s Swimming Looks Back on 2016-17 Campaign

Photo Courtesy: Chuckarelei/Pac-12

Stanford successfully defended its Pac-12 Conference Swimming and Diving Championship while finishing fifth at the NCAA Championships to wrap up its 2016-17 campaign.

In Goldman Family Director of Men’s Swimming Ted Knapp’s fifth season in charge, Stanford impressed in both the pool and in the classroom. Fifteen Cardinal swimmers and divers earned All-America honors, and 18 were named to the Pac-12’s All-Academic team, the most of any program.

Class of 2020

The Stanford men’s swimming and diving program welcomed seven new faces to The Farm for the 2016-17 season. The class of 2020 includes:

  • Benjamin Ho• 6-2 • Free/Back • Los Altos, Calif. (Saint Francis)
  • William Macmillan • 6-3 • Free/IM • Carrboro, N.C. (Carrboro)
  • James Murphy • 6-2 • Free/Fly/IM • Clifton, Va. (Robinson Secondary)
  • Hank Poppe • 6-7 • Breast/Free • Danville, Calif. (San Ramon Valley)
  • Grant Shoults • 6-0 • Free/Fly • Laguna Hills, Calif. (Santa Margarita Catholic)
  • True Sweetser • 6-3 • Free • Gainesville, Fla. (Buchholz)
  • Cameron Thatcher • 5-10 • Diving • Powell, Ohio (Olentangy Liberty)

Kostoff Rejoins Program

Former Stanford standout and two-time Olympian Jeff Kostoff rejoined the program prior to the season as an assistant coach. As a Stanford swimmer from 1983-87, Kostoff won three individual Pac-10 titles while taking home at least one individual NCAA championship in each of his four seasons. During his four seasons on The Farm, Stanford held a 39-1 record in dual meets while winning three consecutive national championships from 1985-87 under head coach Skip Kenney.

2016-17 Regular Season

Stanford began the season with its annual alumni meet, with more than 100 former swimmers and divers appearing at Avery Aquatics Center to participate. The Cardinal then traveled to the Pacific Invitational before hosting Cal in a triple distance meet.

To finish the fall season, Stanford traveled to the Texas Invitational in Austin, Texas, hosted by the two-time defending national champion Longhorns. The Cardinal offered a preview of what was to come later in the season, with 11 swimmers earning NCAA qualification.

Following winter break, the Cardinal began 2017 by winning four consecutive dual meets, starting with a 162-82 win over Pacific. Stanford then hit the road for two meets in Arizona, defeating Arizona State, 159-141, and Arizona by a score of 170-118. Stanford wrapped up the regular season with a visit to Cal, falling to 4-1 with a 136-105 defeat.

Back-to-Back Champs

Stanford successfully defended its Pac-12 title from 2016 with another trophy in 2017. The Cardinal received a head start from its four divers, who combined for two wins on three boards and six top-four finishes. Bradley Christensen (375.90) won the opening dive of the meet, the 1-meter springboard, for the second consecutive season. Tarek Abdelghany (399.45) won the platform with junior Ted Miclau (398.50) right behind him in second, giving Stanford an advantage ahead of the swimming portion of the meet.

A championship-and program-record swim in the 500-yard freestyle by Shoults (4:10.67) on day two of the meet vaulted Stanford to the top of the leaderboard. On day three, an all-around showing of depth kept Stanford atop the field, led by Abrahm DeVine (3:41.76), who took runner-up honors in the 400 individual medley. A big swim by Brad Zdroik (45.91) in the 100-yard butterfly time trials gave the Cardinal a boost to start the evening session, with the sophomore earning a trip to the national championships in the process.

The final day began with a top-three sweep of the 1,650-yard freestyle – Sweetser (14:35.93) bagged his first conference championship with Shoults (14:50.06) and Liam Egan (14:57.47) making it an all-Cardinal podium. Stanford wrapped up the meet with 784 points, ahead of Cal (757), USC (657), Arizona State (531), Arizona (360) and Utah (257). It was the 64th conference championship in program history, and the second since Knapp was named Goldman Family Director of Men’s Swimming in 2012.

Back in the Top Five

Stanford wrapped up the campaign with a strong finish at the NCAA Championships, held at the Indiana Univeristy Natatorium. After finishing 14th in 2016, the Cardinal re-established itself with a fifth-place finish in 2017, thanks to an all-around team effort with 15 swimmers and divers earning at least an All-America honorable mention.

“This entire week was such a great team effort,” said Knapp. “None of our guys ever gave up – we thought we could finish in the top five at nationals when the season started and we’re thrilled it became a reality.”

Shoults and DeVine paced Stanford in the individual swims, each setting program records en route to first-team All-America honors. Shoults (4:10.23) reset his own program record in the 500-yard freestyle, earning fourth place. DeVine (3:37.73) twice broke his program record in the 400-yard individual medley, finishing fifth.

Stanford finished the meet with 242 points behind Texas (542), California (349), Florida (294.5) and North Carolina State (272.5), and ahead of USC (237), Indiana (229.5), Georgia (183), Missouri (179.5) and Alabama (153.5).

Fifteen Named All-America

Fifteen Stanford swimmers and divers were named to the College Swimming Coaches Association of America All-America teams, as announced by the organization following the NCAA championships.

Tom Kremer and Sam Perry led the Cardinal with six selections apiece, while Andrew Liang and DeVine picked up five each. Shoults earned three selections, including two individual first-team honors in the 500 free (fourth) and the 1,650 free (seventh).

Senior Jimmy Yoder earned his first career All-America honor in the final meet of his Stanford career, while Cole Cogswell, Patrick Conaton, Thatcher and Sweetser also earned their first career All-America selections.

Leaders in the Classroom

Eighteen Cardinal were selected to the Pac-12 Conference All-Academic team.

“I’m very proud of this team to be both conference champions in the pool and the academic leaders in the classroom,” said Knapp. “There is no compromise for excellence in both – our student-athletes are the epitome of what Stanford strives for.”

Stanford’s 18 selections were the most of any program, while its six first-team selections were tied for the most with Utah. To be eligible for selection to the academic team, a student-athlete must have a minimum 3.0 overall grade-point average and participate in at least half of their teams scheduled regular season events.

Pac-12 All-Academic First Team

Name – Class – GPA – Major

Tarek Abdelghany – Junior – 3.66 – Computer Science
Justin Buck – Senior – 3.53 – Economics
Bradley Christensen – Senior – 3.62 – Product Design
Tom Kremer – Senior – 3.69 – Computer Science
Ted Miclau – Junior – 3.64 – Human Biology
Jimmy Yoder – Senior – 3.56 – Human Biology

Pac-12 All-Academic Second Team

Name – Class – GPA – Major

Matt Anderson – Sophomore – 3.50 – Undeclared
Patrick Conaton – Junior – 3.29 – International Relations
Spencer DeShon – Senior – 3.24 – Product Design
Abrahm DeVine – Sophomore – 3.52 – Undeclared
Ryan Dudzinski – Sophomore – 3.37 – Science, Technology and Society
Andrew Liang – Junior – 3.39 – Economics
Sam Perry – Junior – 3.30 – Economics
Jack Walsh – Sophomore – 3.50 – Undeclared
Maxwell Williamson – Senior – 3.33 – Economics
Brad Zdroik – Sophomore – 3.32 – Economics

Pac-12 All-Academic Honorable Mention

Name – Class – Major

Cole Cogswell – Sophomore – Undeclared
Liam Egan – Junior – Public Policy and Economics

The above press release was posted by Swimming World in conjunction with Stanford University. For press releases and advertising inquiries please contact newsmaster@swimmingworld.com.

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