This Friday, No. 1 women’s and No. 3 men’s Stanford swimming and diving will travel to Salt Lake City to face Utah in their first conference dual meet of the season.
After claiming the program’s 9th NCAA title last season and earning a total of 47 All-America honors with the help of 13 First Team All-Americans, the Cardinal women will compete Friday without six of their top natators; freshman Brooke Ford, sophomores Katie Drabot and Katie Ledecky, junior Ella Eastin and seniors Simone Manuel and Janet Hu will be preparing to compete in the Pac-12 vs. USA Swimming Challenge in Los Angeles at the Uytengsu Aquatics Center on Saturday and Sunday.
Even in the absence of these usual headliners, the women’s team will be represented in Salt Lake City by returning standouts from last season such as All-Americans Lindsey Engels, Ally Howe, Leah Stevens, Allie Szekely and Kim Williams.
The Cardinal Men will also be lacking some stars on Friday, as five swimmers, sophomores Grant Shoults and True Sweetser, juniors Matt Anderson and Abrahm DeVine and senior Sam Perry, prepare for the same weekend event. The men’s team enters this season after finishing fifth at the NCAA Championships and dominating the Pac-12 conference last year.
With these swimmers absent, the men’s team remains in good hands. Junior Brad Zdroik and seniors Andrew Liang and Liam Egan will make up the backbone of the roster. This Friday will also be the debut of freshman recruit Alex Liang, as the Cardinal look to see what they can expect from all of their freshmen.
Utah’s teams, after falling to No. 2 Cal in their season opener last weekend, will have another challenging competitor with the Cardinal. When Stanford and Utah last faced off two seasons ago, the Cardinal women overtook the Utes with a 177-112 point lead, winning 12 events and earning the top time in three of the exhibition swims. The Cardinal men also dominated with a 164-125 point lead, winning 10 of their 16 events. The men’s and women’s teams will try to replicate this success in the upcoming meet.
The action will kick off at 1PM on Friday, October 20th at the Ute Natatorium in Salt Lake City.
Contact Sylvia Ashford at Sylviash ‘at’ stanford.edu