This Saturday at noon, No. 1 Stanford women’s swimming and diving (0-0, 0-0 Pac-12) is set to take on Arkansas (1-0, 0-0 SEC) at Avery Aquatic Center for the opening meet of the season. Stanford swimming is riding on a long winning streak: their last duel meet loss was in 2015 and their last loss at home was in 2014. As the three-time defending national champions, the Cardinal have a big reputation to live up to.
Stanford has a strong lineup of veteran swimmers along with a promising set of freshmen. Led by standout upperclassmen — including senior Katie Drabot, senior Erin Voss and junior Brooke Forde — the Cardinal are in good shape for their upcoming meet and season.
This summer, Cardinal swimmers continued their several-year streak of outstanding performances. Current Stanford swimmers and alumni earned a total of 15 medals at world championships and five at the U.S. National Championships. At Nationals, highlights included Forde’s third-place 200 freestyle and second-place 400 I.M. as well as Voss’ second-place 200 backstroke. A team of four Cardinal swimmers also placed second in the 4×200 free relay, narrowly missing the winning position by three tenths of a second.
The freshmen have big shoes to fill with the graduation of eight-time individual NCAA champion Ella Eastin and the absence of freshman-phenom Taylor Ruck, who is postponing her sophomore season to prepare with Team Canada for the 2020 Olympics. All three incoming freshman swimmers, however, are high school All-Americans, hopefully setting the team up for success this year.
Stanford enters the matchup with a clean slate, and there is no record of the two programs ever dueling. Last week, Arkansas swept Little Rock in their season opener. The Cardinal seem to be in good shape, however, coming in with a strong past few seasons.
The team is set to begin their season against Arkansas this Saturday at noon PT at Avery Aquatic Center.
Contact Natalie Hilderbrand at nhilderbrand ‘at’ stanford.edu.