Swimming in the Desert – GoStanford.com

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STANFORD, Calif. Swimming and diving season hits full gear this weekend as the Cardinal returns to action with a pair of meets in Arizona. No. 2 Stanford visits Arizona State on Friday at 2 p.m., and then heads to Tucson to take on No. 17 Arizona at noon on Saturday.

RECENT HISTORY: Last season against these two schools, the Cardinal swept its Arizona counterparts with a 176-63 win over Arizona State — Ella Eastin won a pair of races and Gracia Leydon Mahoney won the 3-meter — and a 181-114 victory over the Wildcats where Janet Hu won three events. In the last trip to the desert, the Cardinal pulled off the sweep in the desert with a 145-111 victory over the Wildcats — highlighted by three victories from Simone Manuel — and a 131-100 win in Tempe — where six different swimmers combined to win seven individual events.

FALL IN A FLASH: Stanford went 3-0 with dual meet wins at Oregon State and at home against Washington State and Texas, and finished first in a 10-team meet at Ohio State. 

AUTOGRAPHS: An estimated 1,800 fans packed the stands for the meet against Texas, and about 500 stayed for an autograph session with the Stanford swimmers, who signed for about 90 minutes following the meet.

STREAKS: Stanford won its 10th straight dual meet with its victory over Texas on Nov. 12. The Cardinal’s last defeat in a dual meet was 158-142 to No. 3 Cal on Feb. 14, 2014 – which also marks a string of nine straight Pac-12 dual meet victories since that loss. The Cardinal has also won nine straight dual meets at home dating back to Oct. 30, 2014 against Texas (156-144).

SWIMMER OF THE MONTH: Freshman Katie Ledecky set two American records and three NCAA records in November to earn Pac-12 Swimmer of the Month honors.

MEEHAN TO LEAD USA: Head coach Greg Meehan will serve as head women’s coach for Team USA at the 2017 World Championships as announced by USA Swimming on Thursday. The 17th FINA World Aquatics Championships will be held in Budapest, Hungary, from July 14–30, 2017. Dave Durden, the men’s head coach at Cal, will lead the American men.

GOLDEN GOGGLES: Stanford’s Simone Manuel and Katie Ledecky each earned prestigious hardware at the 2016 USA Swimming Golden Goggle Awards on Nov. 21 at the Marriott Marquis in New York City. Ledecky become the first athlete – male or female – to win Golden Goggles’ Athlete of the Year honors in four consecutive years. Manuel won the Golden Goggles for Female Race of the Year. At the Olympics, the Stanford junior and Sugar Land, Texas, native became the first African-American woman to win an individual medal in swimming with a dramatic finish in the 100-meter freestyle. Former Cardinal standout and two-time gold medalist Maya DiRado was a nominee for Female Race of the Year, Female Athlete of the Year and Relay Performance of the Year. Coach Meehan was one of six nominated for Coach of the Year.

CARDINAL IN THE COMMUNITY: Since the last home meet, the Cardinal have been active in the community. Many members of the team were part of the Stanford SAAC event on the Sunday prior to Halloween. The student-athletes — in full costume — joined groups of young children to #TrickorTREEt in Palo Alto. Also this Fall, the team hosted a group of young local swimmers from San Jose to talk water safety and spend some time in the pool as part of a PSA with USA Swimming.

IN THE RANKINGS: Stanford finished atop the polls after concluding its Fall season. The Cardinal, which has yet to swim since late November, enters this week ranked No. 2 in the nation. 

CAPTAINS: Head Coach Greg Meehan announced three senior captains for the 2016-17 campaign. Lia NealLindsey Engel and Nicole Stafford were selected to lead the Cardinal for the upcoming season. The trio has helped guide Stanford to top-three NCAA finishes in their first three seasons.

OLYMPIC RETURN: Stanford returns seven of its 10 All-Americans from last season, including five of six national champions. In addition, Olympians Simone Manuel and Kassidy Cook return to the team after redshirting the 2015-16 campaign. Manuel was a seven-time All-America honoree as a freshman for the Cardinal in 2014-15. She won four medals (two gold, two silver) at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio, and became the first African-American woman to medal in an Olympic event. Cook garnered All-America accolades in the 1-and-3-meter in 2015, and finished 13th at the Olympics. Two-time Olympian and medalist Lia Neal embarks on her senior season, while five-time gold medalist Katie Ledecky begins her freshman year at Stanford in 2016-17.

CATCH THE CARDINAL: If you want to attend a Stanford home meet, there is free admission at Avery Aquatic Center. Two more home meets remain on Jan. 27 against UCLA and Jan. 28 vs. USC. For those that can’t make it to The Farm, the UCLA matchup will be live streamed on GoStanford.com, and the USC meet will be televised on the Pac-12 Network. In addition, Stanford’s trip to Cal can also be seen on the Pac-12 Networks.

SWIMMING ON SOCIAL (@StanfordWswim): Stanford women’s swimming and diving can be found on instagram, twitter and snapchat (@StanfordWswim).

WHAT’S AHEAD: Three more Pac-12 dual meets remain for the Cardinal, including UCLA at home on Jan. 27 and Senior Day at Avery Aquatic Center on Jan. 28 against USC. The regular season wraps up at Cal on Feb. 11.

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