By James Hemker
Stanford will be well represented at the 2019 World University Games in Naples, Italy. Representing eight programs and three countries, 20 Cardinal athletes will be competing at the 30th Summer Universiade from July 3-14. Started in 1959, the World University Games allow the top collegiate athletes in a wide variety of sports to compete on an international stage. This year over 9,300 athletes from 128 countries will be in attendance.
The women’s swimming and diving team is tied with men’s water polo for sending the most athletes of any Stanford program. The back-to-back-to-back national champs will be represented by three swimmers and two divers. Sending a swimmer and a diver, the men’s program will also be represented in Italy.
Sophomore Zoe Bartel capped her first year on the Farm with an 11th place finish in the 200-yard breaststroke at NCAA’s, which was good for an All-America honor. She has already put her mark on the illustrious program, holding the school’s eighth fastest time in the 200 breast and the ninth fastest time in the 100 breast.
Senior Megan Byrnes will be the veteran force of Stanford’s long distance swimming crew next season. She is a four time All-American with three honors in the 1,650-yard free and one in the 500-yard free. Byrnes is also a two-time Pac-12 champion (2017, 2018) in the 1,650 free.
Ella Eastin ‘19 will represent Stanford one final time after capping off an extraordinary career wearing the Cardinal cap in the pool. By far the most decorated Stanford athlete to attend the games, Eastin won eight individual national titles over her four-year tenure and holds multiple American records. The Olympic hopeful became the first woman to complete a career sweep of the NCAA 400-yard IM title.
Sophomore Diver Daria Lenz began her postseason run with a third-place podium finish at last year’s Pac-12s on the 1-meter springboard. She then qualified for two events, the 1-meter springboard and the platform, at NCAAs. The then-freshman walked away with an All-America honor in each event, coming in 11th on 1-meter and 13th on platform.
Sophomore Diver Carolina Sculti has already made waves (or lack thereof) in the conference, winning the Pac-12 Diving Newcomer of the Year Award. At the conference championship, Sculti finished 2nd on the 3-meter springboard and 3rd on 1-meter. She concluded her freshman campaign with 12th and 14th place finishes on 3-meter and 1-meter, respectively, at NCAAs.
Sophomore Diver Conor Casey highlighted his first season with a gold medal from Pac-12’s this past year. Casey scored 382.40 on 3-meter to secure the individual conference title. The Virginia native also secured top-eight finishes on platform (fourth) and 1-meter (seventh). He then furthered his postseason at NCAAs, where he placed 21st on 1-meter and 38th on 3-meter.
Sophomore Daniel Roy is one of the few extremely-talented young swimmers that will carry the Cardinal in the years to come. A breaststroke specialist, Roy placed 12th in the 200-yard breast at NCAAs for his first All-America honor. A Team USA member, he currently holds the third fastest time in that event in school history.
Representing the other teams that call Avery Aquatic Center home, five water polo players will make the trip to Naples. Four men from the NCAA runner-up team will represent the Cardinal. Despite the women’s team being the defending champions, just one girl, an incoming freshman, will make the trip while the rest of the team travels through western China.
Junior Tyler Abramson emerged as one of Stanford’s most lethal offensive weapons this past year. The Orinda, CA, native rattled the cage 57 times, which was good for third most by any Cardinal in 2018. For his efforts, which included 16 multi-score contests, Abramson was honored with an All-America honorable mention.
Sophomore AJ Rossman is part of the young core that Cardinal will come to rely on. Rossman put away 13 goals, which ranked second among his classmates. He scored multiple times in three games, and his first career hat trick came against Princeton early in the season.
Sophomore Jackson Seybold took the collegiate season by the horns, scoring more times than all the other freshmen combined. Scoring in 17 games, his 28 goals on the season ranked fifth most on the team. Along with Rossman, Seybold was honored by the ACWPC with an “Outstanding” All-Academic award.
Senior Bennett Williams has consistently been one of Stanford’s great forces in the past couple years. With 62 goals, Williams fell three scores shy of tying Ben Hallock’s team-leading 65 goals last season. A perennial All-Academic, Williams earned First Team All-America honors for the first time in his career.
Sophomore Quinn Woodhead is the third member of last year’s freshman class who scored during the season. Woodhead put away eight goals over the course of the year, including a pair against UC Davis.
Freshman Floranne Carroll hails from Montreal and as a result will be representing Canada. The soon-to-be Cardinal claimed three national titles – twice at the 19-and-under level and once as a senior – in three years with her club team, Club Aquatique de Montreal. In January, she won gold at the 2019 UANA Cup in Sao Paulo, Brazil and scored in the final against Cuba.
Cardinal volleyball will be terminating kills and roofing hits as five athletes travel to Italy. Three members of the national champion women’s team will be present, and two members of the men’s team will take the court as well.
Senior Opposite Audriana Fitzmorris proved her flexibility as a player after switching from middle blocker to opposite this past season. As a freshman middle, Fitzmorris recorded the sixth-most blocks in a season in Stanford history (186). Last year at opposite, Fitzmorris racked up 342 kills, good for second most on the team. The human biology major has garnered two Second Team All-America honors.
Graduate Student Middle Blocker Madeleine Gates will join the Cardinal after graduating in three years from UCLA. She earned Second Team All-America honors in 2017. Her career-best 22 kills came against Stanford in that 2017 season.
Junior Opposite Jaylen Jasper will be the driving offensive force for the men’s team next year. The Annapolis, MD, native posted the second most kills (318) on the team and the most service aces (20) last year. He earned a Second Team All-America honor from VolleyballMag.com as well as an honorable mention from the AVCA.
Junior Outside Hitter Meghan McClure terminated the kill for the final point in the 2018 NCAA championship, and she will look to continue wreaking havoc in the coming year. Playing in all 121 sets, McClure tallied 320 kills last season, the third most on the team. For her efforts, she earned All-America honorable mention honors.
Junior Middle Blocker Kyler Presho is as efficient a hitter as he is tall. The 6’8” San Clemente, CA, native led the team’s regular attackers with a .457 hitting percentage, while he had the second-most blocks with 77.0. Presho earned All-MPSF second team honors.
The last two athletes compete in the disparate sports of javelin and basketball, but they are linked by the fact that they will both be representatives of Stanford and Australia.
Mackenzie Little ‘19 is coming off a senior season campaign that saw her complete a career sweep of the women’s javelin Pac-12 title, earning Stanford its eighth-straight conference victory in the event. She defended her javelin title at the outdoor NCAA Championships in June, becoming Stanford’s first woman to win two NCAA titles in a field event and just the sixth person in NCAA history to claim back-to-back javelin titles. In her final season, she was the only collegiate athlete to break 190 feet, and she won the national title by a remarkable margin of 10 feet.
Junior Guard Isaac White played in 30 of Stanford’s 31 games last year. White dropped a season-high 15 points on Kansas, and he had a 14-point showing against Washington State. Hailing from Adelaide, White emerged from high school as one of the country’s top prospects after leading South Australia to the 2017 national title.
Contact James Hemker at jahemker ‘at’ stanford.edu.