This weekend, Nov. 21-23, No. 6 women’s swimming and diving and No. 11 men’s swimming and diving will compete in the Art Adamson Invitational at Texas A&M for the first big invitational meet of the year. Both teams are early in their seasons and are coming off of a month-long break since their last meets.
“This is just a great opportunity to see where we’re at. We want to see the hard work that we’ve put in and see the results from some of that,” men’s coach Dan Schemmel said. “We’ve been working very hard over the past two months. We’ve rested for about a week going into it, so the guys should have a little bit of pop, but again they won’t be in peak form. We just want to give them an opportunity to put on a fast suit, come together, swim in a nice pool, put up some fast times and get some momentum going for the season.”
The men’s team is going through a big transition this year. It is Schemmel’s first year at Stanford, following the retirement of former head coach Ted Knapp, and the team has lost major contributors including Abrahm DeVine ’19, Brad Zdroik ’19 and Matt Anderson ’19.
“The captains [seniors William Macmillan and Grant Shoults] have done a great job in their leadership roles and helping everyone through the transition,” Schemmel said.
On the men’s team, look to the seniors to have big performances. “We’re excited for everybody, but in particular, a lot of the seniors should be doing very well,” said Schemmel.
Shoults was named to Team USA and is coming off of a shoulder injury that sidelined him last year. Schemmel said, “He’s been training really well, so we’re excited to see him swim since he’s been back in full form.”
Macmillan, Hank Poppe and the other seniors are also in shape to put up some fast times.
On the women’s side, senior Katie Drabot and junior Brooke Forde are looking to be excellent leaders for the team. Both have finished first in all of their individual events so far this season. Drabot has accumulated nine All-America honors in her career, and Forde has earned seven. Other swimmers who have proven themselves as valuable assets have been sophomores Allie Raab and Amalie Fackenthal as well as senior Erin Voss.
On both the men’s and women’s sides, this is the first big college invitational for the freshmen. “We just want to see the freshmen step up and perform under the pressure of it being their first big college invite,” Schemmel said. “They have all been working very hard, and they have potential to help the team in a lot of ways, so this is one of those opportunities where they can make a statement about the work they put in.”
The men’s team has seven freshmen: six swimmers and one diver. The freshman class includes six-time All American Shane Blinkman, Australian national record holder Leon MacAlister and Indian national age group record holder Neel Roy.
The women’s team has three freshmen swimmers and one diver. All of the freshmen are multi-time All-Americans and have been putting up big performances in the past few meets. Alex Crisera has had several strong performances in the past few meets, including a first-place finish in the 200-yard backstroke by almost six seconds in the opening meet of the season. Kira Crage and Emma Wheal have been on the scoreboard as well, as Crage earned second in the 50-yard freestyle against Washington State while Wheal came in second in the 200-yard freestyle in the same meet.
The Art Adamson Invitational begins in College Station Thursday morning and will continue through Saturday evening.
Contact Natalie Hilderbrand at nhild ‘at’ stanford.edu.