March 21, 2011
The Pac-10 Champion and No. 2-ranked Stanford Cardinal will embark on the NCAA Championships from March 24 to 26, looking for its ninth national title. The championships will take place in Minneapolis, also the site of this year’s regional zone diving championships.
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Cardinal coach Skip Kenney has now won 30-straight Pac-10 titles, continuing the longest streak in conference history. Since Kenney took over the program, the Cardinal have finished in the top three at the national meet 25 times and never lower than fourth since 1981. It has also won seven national titles. Stanford’s last NCAA title came in 1998. Last year the Cardinal were fourth.
Endowed Coaching Position
Stanford Athletics announced that the head coaching position for the men’s swim team is now endowed, courtesy of a gift from Marcia and John Goldman. John is a 1975 graduate of Stanford’s Graduate School of Business. Additionally, John is a long-time Athletics Department volunteer and is a past chairman of the Stanford Athletics Board.
Kenney at the Helm
Three-time Olympic coach, six-time NCAA Coach of the Year and 21-time Pac-10 Coach of the Year, Goldman Family Director of Swimming Skip Kenney is in his 32nd season at the helm of the Stanford program.
Dr. Rick Schavone is in his 33rd year as the team’s diving coach. He has coached at least one All-American in 27 of the last 29 years following last week’s NCAA Championships with All-American divers Meg Hostage and Stephanie Phipps. Senior All-American Brent Eichenseer, was third in the platform, fifth in the one-meter and seventh in the three-meter at Zones, is Stanford’s lone representative on the men’s side.
Nation’s Best Return
Chad La Tourette and Austin Staab look to repeat as national champions when the NCAA Championships begin on March 24. La Tourette is the defending 1650 free champion and Staab won the 2009 title in the 100 fly. La Tourette has the nation’s second-fastest 1650 free time (14:38.13) and the No. 1 fastest 1000 free time (8:56.40). Staab has the nation’s fastest 100 fly time (44.66).
Staab Looks to Have Big Meet
Senior Austin Staab, who took last year’s championships off, currently ranks No. 1 in the 100 fly (44.66) and 200 IM (1:42.01) and fourth in the 100 free (42.32). He set the school record in the 200 IM at Pac-10s this season, while his time in the 100 fly (44.18), set in 2009, is about .5 seconds faster than this year’s season best.
In addition to La Tourette and Staab, sophomore Matthew Swanston ranks No. 4 in the 200 back (1:41.47), senior John Criste ranks No. 8 in the 200 breast (1:54.61), junior Bobby Bollier is No. 8 in the 500 free (4:16.72) and sophomore Aaron Wayne is No. 9 in the 50 free (19.51). Stanford has 14 swimmers ranked in the top-10 across the 13 events.
Cardinal Scoring Trends
Stanford features a swimmer ranked in the national top-10 in 11 of the 13 individual events. Stanford sprinters have four swimmers ranked in the top-20 in the 100 free, led by Staab (No. 4) and Alex Coville (No. 9) and 500 free paced by Bobby Bollier (No. 8) and Morgan Priestley (No. 10). Three swimmers rank in the national top-25 in the 50 free, and 200 free. Stanford also has top-five times in each of the five relays, ranking as high as No. 2 in the 400 free (2:48.51) and No. 3 in the 800 free (6:19.17).
Stanford sophomores Matthew Swanston and Matt Thompson are a formidible 1-2 combo in the 200 backstroke. Swanston ranks No. 4 nationally (1:41.47), while Thompson is No. 7 (1:41.97). The duo also rank 8-9 in the school-record books.
Racking Up the Records
This year’s team features school-record holders in seven events. Austin Staab set the 200 IM mark this season, adding to his records in the 100 fly and 200 free (1:32.71). Alex Coville’s 18.87 in 2009 still stands in the 50 free, as does Chad La Tourette’s time of 14:33.55 in the 1650 free. John Criste’s 2009 time in the 100 breast (51.75) also stands. Bobby Bollier set the 200 fly record at 1:41.54. The Cardinal also broke the 400 free relay record at Pac-10s by three seconds (2:48.51), a record that stood since 1994.
Chad La Tourette won the 1650 free for the third time in three times, while Austin Staab won the 100 fly for the second time. Staab was also a champion in the 200 IM. Matt Thompson won his first career title, in the 400 IM. Matthew Swanston (200 back), Bobby Bollier (200 fly, 500 free), Jake Allen (200 free) were all conference runners-up.
Stanford has 12 swimmers who have finished in the top-16 at the NCAA Championships either in an individual event or relay. Austin Staab leads the way as a 13-time All-American, Alex Coville is a 12-time All-American, followed by Bobby Bollier and Curits Lovelace with seven a piece. Rob Andrews finished in the top-16 four times, Jake Allen, three. Matt Thompson, Aaron Wayne and Michael Zoldos each have one.