Stanford brought home five individual titles, three relay titles, five silver medals (including relays) and amassed 566.5 points to second-place Texas' 445. But winning wasn't everything as the Cardinal men's swim team left broken records in the water of the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center in Minneapolis, MN, March 24-26.
Stanford slashed two American, US Open, and NCAA records, three Pac-10 records and six Stanford school records en route to its third NCAA title in as many years. On top of that, the Stanford class of 1994 established itself as the best senior class of swimmers in the history of the sport.
"It wasn't pretty. It wasn't easy. But it was better than anyone else," Stanford head coach Skip Kenney said.
The 1994 champions included Brian Retterer in the 50 free and 100 back, Derek Weatherford in the 200 back and Kurt Grote in the 200 breast. Senior Tyler Mayfield became a two-time champion in the 100 breast. The Cardinal won the 200 free relay (Bill Schell, Retterer, Mayfield and Joe Hudepohl), the 200 medley relay (Weatherford, Schell, Mayfield and Retterer) and the 400 medley relay (Weatherford, Ray Carey, Mayfield and Retterer). It was Carey's first NCAA title as a participant on a relay.
Stanford opened the NCAA meet with an American, NCAA, US Open, Pac-10 and Stanford record in the 200 freestyle relay, first in the trials (1:17.10) and again in the finals (1:16.93). Schell swam the leadoff leg (19.93) with Retterer (18.67) and Mayfield (19.32) swimming two and three and Hudepohl finishing it off (19.01). Retterer's split was the fastest in the history of the 200 free relay. That same night Retterer led off the 400 medley relay in the trials and smashed every record, including the American, in the 100 back with a time of 45.74. Former teammate Jeff Rouse held those records in the 100 back (46.12) since 1992.
"The first day our team struggled. Brian Retterer literally carried our team. It was one of the greatest one-day performances I've ever seen," Kenney said.
The 400 free relay (Hudepohl, Retterer, Schell and Weatherford) swam an American-record breaking time of 2:51.41 but finished second to arch rival Texas, the owner of the previous record (2:52.01). The 400 freestyle relay broke the Pac-10 conference record as well as the Stanford school record by nearly two seconds.
Retterer broke the school record in the 50 free twice, first in the open 50 (19.45) and then as the leadoff leg of the 200 freestyle relay in the trials (19.34). Hudepohl smashed his own school record in the 100 free racing to a time of 42.84 in the trials. The 800 freestyle relay team (Scott Gagner, Dan Kanner, Hudepohl and Weatherford) shattered the old school record (6:25.10) with a time of 6:22.96.
"I can't get over the 800 and 400 free relays," Kenney said. "We just crushed our school records."
Retterer, who redshirted the '92-'93 season due to a shoulder injury, added to his list of achievements when he scored 55 points for the Cardinal, the second most in school history behind Pablo Morales (60) and Rouse (60). Retterer captured two firsts and a fourth individually as well as taking part in four of the five relays.
Stanford's strength ran deep as Hudepohl finished second in both the 100 and 200 freestyles as well as placing third in the 50 free. Carey earned a silver in the 200 fly while senior Eddie Parenti finished third. The Cardinal finished 1-2-5 in the 100 back (Retterer, Weatherford and senior Trip Zedlitz) and 1-3-4 in the 100 breast (Mayfield, senior J.J. Freitag and Grote).
"On the second day, our 100 back and 100 breast just broke it open. That was the turning point in the meet right there. That just blew everyone else right out of the pool. We scored 102 points right there," Kenney said.
The best performance by a Stanford freshman was turned in by Kevin Radvany who placed sixth in the 1650 free.
And finally, the Cardinal class of 1994 became the best senior class in the history of men's swimming as they scored 206 points at the NCAAs. The previous best class was USC's class of '77 which scored 186 points as seniors (converted from 1977 point system to 1994 point system). The point totals do not include relays.
"Our senior class surpassed the 1977 USC class as the best senior class in NCAA history. They have left so much history at Stanford," Kenney said. "It's a great group of young men."
Kenney brought home his third consecutive NCAA title and his sixth since 1985. Since 1980 Kenney has produced 45 individual champions. He completed his second year in a row undefeated in dual meets with a career winning pct. of .825.
Stanford's NCAA title was prefaced with its 13th-consecutive Pac-10 title and an undefeated dual-meet season. At the Pac-10 Championships, the Cardinal scored a meet-record 962 points. The previous meet record was 935.5 (Stanford, 1989).
1993-94 NCAA Team Results
1. Stanford 566.5 2. Texas 445 3. Michigan 370 4. Auburn 301.5 5. California 242.5 6. USC 216.5 7. Minnesota 193 8. Florida 171.5 9. Tennessee 150.5 10. Southern Methodist 146 Alabama 146
1994 Individual NCAA Champions
Trials Finals Finish 50 Free Brian Retterer 19.49 19.45 1st 100 Back Brian Retterer 47.24 46.07 1st 200 Back Derek Weatherford 1:43.19 1:42.18 1st 100 Breast Tyler Mayfield 54.19 53.73 1st 200 Breast Kurt Grote 1:58.27 1:56.79 1st 200 Freestyle Relay Bill Schell, Brian Retterer, 1:17.10 1:16.93 1st Tyler Mayfield, Joe Hudepohl 200 Medley Relay Derek Weatherford, Tyler Mayfield, 1:26.31 1:26.17 1st Bill Schell, Brian Retterer 400 Medley Relay Derek Weatherford, Tyler Mayfield, 3:10.39 3:09.97 1st Ray CareyBrian Retterer