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1996 Review

Skip Kenney and the men's swimming and diving team had another outstanding season on The Farm. The Cardinal upheld their reputation as one of the nation's top teams as they recorded a fourth place finish at the NCAA Championships and continued to dominate the Pacific-10 conference.

The Cardinal captured its 15th consecutive Pacific-10 title last season. The men's swimming and diving team has established itself as one of the Pac-10's top programs of all time. Stanford's 15 straight championships is a record for consecutive conference titles in any sport. The old mark of 13 was set by the UCLA men's basketball team when they took the then Pac-8 crown from 1967-79. Last season, Stanford dominated the championships in Long Beach, winning eight individual events and four of the five relay events. Stanford's team score of 908 was more than three hundred points better than second place Arizona (603).

Sabir Muhammad helped the Cardinal capture the Pac-10 crown by finishing first in five different events and setting a Pac-10 record in the 100 yard butterfly. His time of 46.88 surpassed the old mark of 46.99. He also won the 100 yard backstroke and was a member of the first place 400 free, 200 medley and 400 medley relay teams. Muhammad also added a second place finish on the 200 free relay team to his big weekend. Tom Wilkens took first in the 200 and 400 individual medley events. Other top individual finishes included Ray Carey, who won the 200 butterfly in 1:44.67. Dod Wales recorded a time of 43.98 to win the 100 yard freestyle. Tate Blahnik won the 200 yard backstroke in 1:43.51, while Andre Salles-Cunha won the 100 breaststroke in 55.77. David Johns took second in the three-meter and platform diving events. He also added a third place finish in one-meter diving.

Stanford controlled the relay events, winning four of the five events. The team of Scott Claypool, Chris Olson, Scott Jones and Dod Wales won the 400 free relay in 2:55.62. Wales, Jones, Eric Diehl and Scott Gagner took first in the 800 free relay in 6:27.47. In the 200 medley relay, Blahnik, Wilkens, Muhammed and Claypool finished first in 1:28.43. The 400 medley relay team of Blahnik, Wilkens, Muhammad and Dod Wales also finished first in 3:13.76.

At the NCAA Championships in Austin, Texas, Kevin Radvany had an impressive swim in the 1650 yard freestyle. Radvany recorded his best time of the season (14:53.73), good enough for a second place finish.

In the 200 yard butterfly, Ray Carey finished third in 1:44.91. Carey teamed up with Sabir Muhammad, Tom Wilkens and Dod Wales in the 400 yard medley relay as the Cardinal finished fifth in 3:12.97. The best finish for a relay team was recorded by the 200 yard freestyle squad. Olson, Claypool, Crowe and Muhammad finished third in 1:18.65. The same team swam the 400 yard freestyle relay and finished fourth in 2:54.38. All four members of the freestyle relay teams finished in the top 20 in the 50 yard freestlye. Muhammad led the pack, finishing fifth in 19.92. Scott Claypool finished in a tie for ninth in 19:87, while Chris Olson finished in fourteenth in 20:14. Jed Crowe finished 18th in 20:03.

Other NCAA finalists included Claypool (100 free, 4th, 43.64), Muhammad (100 back, 4th, 47.65; 100 fly, 6th, 47) and Wilkins (200 breast, 4th, 1:57.91; 200 IM, 1:46.30, 4th; 400 IM, 3:49.61, 6th). In just two years Wilkins has reached the NCAA finals eight times.

Stanford continued its dual meet domination under Skip Kenney, finishing the season with a 7-0 record. Included in Stanford's seven dual meet wins were victories over No. 6 USC, No. 7 California, and No. 9 Arizona. Kenney's career dual record improved to 129-31 over 17 seasons.