World Championships Silver Medalist Andrei Minakov Sends Massive Verbal Commitment to Stanford

Andrei Minakov will be a freshman at Stanford in the fall of 2020. Photo Courtesy: FINA / Budapest 2019

World Championship silver medalist Andrei Minakov verbally committed to Stanford University, he confirmed to Swimming World this week. Minakov was the silver medalist this summer in the 100 butterfly at 50.83 behind Caeleb Dressel, who broke the world record in the semi finals. Minakov also broke the Russian record in the process.

Andrei Minakov was one of the top recruits on the market still as he indicated to Swimming World in the fall that he was dropping out of the International Swimming League in order to maintain his eligibility to swim at the NCAA level after the Olympic Games. Minakov, who turns 18 in March, originally signed with Energy Standard but wanted to fulfill his dream of swimming in college because “life isn’t always about swimming.”

Minakov will be a huge plus to a Stanford team that already has USA National team members with current sophomores Daniel Roy and Jack LeVant, but the Cardinal do not have a talent as big as Minakov. In fact, no one really does. With his freestyle and butterfly sprint speed, Minakov is perhaps the biggest prospect to hit the NCAA since…*gasp* Caeleb Dressel? Very rarely does a guy medal at the World Championships before he goes to college.

He already sits number three in the world in the 100 butterfly in long course meters and assuming his long course success translates to the shorter pool, he could take a crack at one of three of Dressel’s insane 2018 records; the 100 butterfly being perhaps the most likely at 42.80.

For reference, Minakov is faster than any swimmer currently in the NCAA except one in the 100 fly as he is sitting behind Texas senior Maxime Rooney (50.68) and ahead of third place Santiago Grassi of Auburn (51.88). In the 100 free, he is behind Rooney (47.61) and Dean Farris (48.07), who will be returning to Harvard for his senior year after the Olympic Games.

Minakov also swam on Russia’s prelims relay in the 4×100 free, splitting a 48.94 in the heats for the team that went on to win silver behind the Americans. He followed that up a month later with a 47.82 in anchoring Russia’s 4×100 free relay at the World Juniors as the Russians won silver behind the Americans there as well.

He won six gold medals at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games last year, moving up to sixth in the world rankings in the 100 fly at just 16 years old. In that 100 fly race, he had the fastest time of any Russian in 2018 and also took down Hungary’s Kristof Milak, who won the silver medal in the 100 fly at the World Championships the summer before in 2017. Minakov followed that up with three gold medals at the European Juniors in early July 2019.

California should be no strange land for Minakov, who has spent summers training in Concord at the Terrapins Swim Team swimming for head coach Ray Mitchell, where he won a few junior national titles in the summer of 2018.

Andrei Minakov’s Best Times (LCM)

  • 50 free: 22.77
  • 100 free: 48.50
  • 200 free: 1:51.39
  • 100 fly: 50.83

We said in September that wherever Minakov ends up deciding on going, it will be a huge plus for that program. And Stanford hasn’t had a prospect this good since David Nolan signed at the beginning of the decade. He went on to win three NCAA titles, including two in the 200 IM in 2013 and 2015, as well as the 100 back in 2013.

The Stanford women’s swimming and diving team has developed a dynasty this decade, winning three straight NCAA team titles beginning in 2017 as the Cardinal have built a stacked program thanks in part to Olympians Lia NealSimone Manuel and Katie Ledecky that have led the program to get commits from big names such as Taylor Ruck and Regan Smith.

With new head coach Dan Schemmel in his first year in Palo Alto, he is quickly building a national caliber program on The Farm and with the commitment of Minakov, he could lead Stanford to its first top four finish since they were third in 2012.

The Russian will join a class with Ethan HuEthan DangRick Mihm and Luke Maurer on campus in Palo Alto next fall.