After three straight years of knocking at the door at the NCAA Men's Swimming & Diving Championships, Stanford University, led by Olympians Pablo Morales, John Moffet and Jeff Kostoff, finally got over the hump and won its first NCAA Championship since 1967, the school's second of all time.
The Cardinal, who captured momentum early in the three-day competition and never relinquished it, easily outscored two-time defending NCAA champion Florida and host Texas in the most lopsided NCAA's in eight years. Stanford scored 403.5 points, followed by Florida's 329, Texas (306), California (294) and USC (230.5). Stanford, which had finished third in 1984, fourth in 1983 and third again in 1982, took command from the first session and was clearly in control throughout the three days of competition at the Texas Swim Center on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin.
Stanford won an unprecedented eight events during the three-day championship with Olympic medalist Pablo Morales leading the way. Morales, a sophomore from Santa Clara, won three NCAA titles and was a member of Stanford's record-breaking 400 medley relay team. Morales got things started for Stanford on the first night, winning the 200 individual medley. He came back the next night to win the 100 fly and on the final day he won the 200 butterfly.
Besides Morales, Stanford got two individual titles from John Moffet, another member of the 1984 U.S. Olympic Team. Moffet, a junior from Newport Beach, won both his specialties, the 100 and 200 butterfly. Jeff Kostoff won the NCAA title in the 400 individual medley in an American and Stanford record breaking time of 3:46.54 while freshman Sean Murphy, in perhaps the most surprising performance for Stanford, won the national title in the 200 backstroke. The Cardinal 400 medley relay team, as expected, won the NCAA crown to give Stanford eight victories in the 16 events.
"This is the highlight of my coaching career," Stanford head coach Skip Kenney said. Kenney began coaching at Stanford in 1979. "This is such a great feeling. I can't put it into words. The team effort, the team togetherness far exceeds any Olympic experience I've ever had. We swam exceptionally well in every phase and in every session. Nobody gave it to us. We had a lot of great individual efforts and our depth was better than I expected. I didn't think 13 swimmers would be enough to win it, but then again I didn't think Sean Murphy would win the 200 back and Anthony Mosse would qualify in two finals. Our freshmen did a super job. But the key was that we had the momentum from the start and we carried it through from session to session. We never let it go. This is the best team I've ever had at Stanford."
Swimming World magazine named Pablo Morales the 1984 American Male Swimmer of the Year earlier this year and after Morales' performance at the '85 NCAAs, that claim couldn't be more accurate. The sophomore from Santa Clara stole the show during the three days of competition, winning three individual titles, being a member of Stanford's record-breaking 400-yard medley relay team, breaking three American and NCAA records and setting four Stanford records in the process. Morales was the high-point swimmer in the tournament, accounting for 77.5 points by himself - which would have placed him 14th in the nation if he alone were a team.
John Moffet made a stylish comeback for Stanford. After a heart-breaking Olympic experience this past summer in Los Angeles, Moffet proved once again that he is one of the world's finest breaststrokers. Moffet, who pulled a muscle in his upper right thigh during the Olympics and did not get back in the water to train until January, won both the 100 and 200-yard breaststrokes for the second straight year at the NCAAs. The junior from Newport Beach broke two Stanford school records, winning the 100 breast in 53.62 and the 200 breast in 1:55.96. He also took sixth in the 200 IM (1:48.05) and was a member of the 400 medley relay team.
1984-85 NCAA Team Results
1. Stanford 403.5
2. Florida 329
3. Texas 306
4. California 294
5. USC 230.5
6. UCLA 224
7. SMU 194
8. Alabama 179
9. Arizona 162
10. Auburn 121
1985 Individual NCAA Champions
Prelims Finals Place
Sean Murphy 1:46.78 1:46.29 1st
Pablo Morales 46.64 *46.52 1st
Pablo Morales 1:43.90 *1:42.85 1st
John Moffet 53.80 53.62 1st
John Moffet 1:57.50 1:55.96 1st
Pablo Morales 1:46.49 1:46.08 1st
Jeff Kostoff *3:46.54 3:47.11 1st
400 Medley Relay
Dave Bottom, John Moffet, *3:10.92 1st
Pablo Morales, Dave Lundberg