The Week That Was: Stanford Wins Third Straight NCAA Team Championship

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Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

In an exciting weekend of college swimming the Stanford women extended their national championship streak to three with a close win over Pac-12 rival Cal. Check out how it happened (and all the records that came down over the weekend) along with the other biggest news of the week in the week that was!

The Week That Was #5 – Kira Toussaint Qualifies For Worlds In Return To Competition

Toussaint, Kira

Photo Courtesy: David Farr

Just two weeks after her doping case was dropped by FINA, Dutch Olympian Kira Toussaint was back to competition at a meet in Marseilles, France. Toussaint swam that 100 back in 59.80, qualifying her for the 2019 World Championships in Gwangju, South Korea. That is the fourth fastest time in the world this year and tied her own national record from September of 2018. She was just behind Kathleen Baker, who posted the fastest time in the world for 2019 in the 100 back (59.05) over the weekend. Toussaint’s suspension from a positive test for Tulobuterol back in November was cleared just two weeks ago.

The Week That Was #4 – Florent Manaudou Announces Return To Swimming

Florent Manaudou Doha 2014

Photo Courtesy: R-Sport / MIA Rossiya Segodnya

2012 Olympic gold medalist Florent Manaudou is making a comeback, announcing his return to swimming this week. Manaudou, who won gold in the 50 free at the 2012 London Olympic Games, told the french newspaper L’Equipe that he is “excited to swim again and compete with the best.” The 28-year-old will be training under James Gibson at the Energy Standard along with world class swimmers Ben Proud, Chad le Clos, Kliment Kolesnikov, and Sarah Sjostrom. Manaudou stepped away from swimming after the 2016 Rio Olympics, pursuing handball. He is the second French male sprinter to make a comeback this year, as Amaury Leveaux announced a comeback back in the fall.

The Week That Was #3 – Kenneth To Unexpectedly Passes Away

Kenneth To of Australia celebrates after winning the men's 100m Individual Medley during the FINA/ARENA Swimming World Cup 2012 at the Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Sports Complex in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 02 October 2012. EPA/ALI HAIDER

Photo Courtesy: World Cup Berlin

The swimming world was shocked this week to learn of the sudden passing of Hong Kong national-record holder Kenneth To after a training session on March 18. To, who was training in Gainesville with the Gator Swim Club ahead of the 2019 World Championships and 2020 Olympic Games, went to the locker room during practice after not feeling well and was taken to the hospital, where he later died. The cause of death is still uncertain. The 26-year-old held sixteen Hong Kong national records and was a four-time World Championship medalist. As news of his passing spread, former teammates, competitors, and coaches flooded social media with condolences and memories of the swimmer.

The Week That Was #2 – Emory Women Win Tenth Straight NCAA Championship, Denison Men Dominate

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Photo Courtesy: Hayley Good

Emory’s women were able to keep their streak alive at the NCAA Division III Swimming and Diving Championships last week at the Greensboro Aquatic Center in North Carolina, narrowly defeating the Ladies from Kenyon College by 9 points to clinch their tenth straight NCAA title. The Denison men won their second straight NCAA title in dominating fashion, scoring more than a 100 points (562.5) more than runner-up Emory (447.5) and Kenyon (447). David Fitch broke the lone National record of the meet, taking down Reed Dalton’s 2015 record by .05 with a 46.92. Fitch also won the 100 back (46.55) and was fifth in the 50 free (20.08). The Kenyon sophomore was named the CSCAA Men’s Swimmer of the Meet on Saturday night, while NYU’s Honore Collins was named CSCAA Women’s Swimmer of the Meet after winning the 200 IM, 400 IM, and 200 fly. Kenyon’s Jess Book was named CSCAA Women’s Coach of the Year and Wash U’s Brad Shivley was named the CSCAA Men’s Coach of the Year. You can see all the recaps and results from the Division III NCAA’s here.

The Week That Was #1 – Stanford Women Win Third Straight NCAA Championship

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Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

The Stanford women won their third straight NCAA Swimming and Diving Championship in Austin, Texas this week, holding off a strong Cal contingent that kept the meet close through the last day of finals. NCAA and American records came down throughout the meet, including new marks from Lilly King (100 breast), Abbey Weitzeil (50 free), Louise Hansson (100 fly) and Beata Nelson (100 back). Nelson also broke the NCAA record in the 200 back and was named CSCAA Swimmer of the Meet on Saturday. King also completed a sweep of both the 100 and 200 breast titles through her career, the first swimmer to do so in history. Stanford’s Ella Eastin accomplished the same thing with her four-peat in the 400 IM. Cal’s 200 medley, 200 free, and 400 free relays also set new NCAA and American records to become the fastest in history. At the conclusion of the meet, Cal head coach Teri McKeever was named CSCAA Coach of the Year. You can see final team standings from the meet here, and catch up on all the action from the meet here.