By Sofia Scekic
Since 1983, the first year that the NCAA held a championship meet for women’s swimming and diving, the Cardinal has never finished lower than 10th overall. Again this year, No. 9 Stanford wrapped up the shortened 2021 season with a top-10 finish at the four-day NCAA Championships in Greensboro, N.C.
On Wednesday, junior Allie Raab, junior Morgan Tankersley, senior Lauren Pitzer and senior Brooke Forde got the Cardinal started with an eighth place finish in the 800 free relay, earning first-team All-American honors in the process. The quartet finished in 7:01.05 to score 22 points for Stanford.
Junior Anya Goeders, sophomore Emma Wheal, junior Amalie Fackenthal and senior Lauren Green finished in 1:28.16 to tie for eighth with Louisville and reach the podium in the 200 free relay to open Thursday’s finals. Forde followed with a third-place finish in the 500 free in 4:35.22 to earn her fourth All-American honor of her career in the event.
Wheal then finished 13th in the 50 free in 21.97 to earn more points for the Cardinal. To conclude Thursday’s events, freshman Janelle Rudolph, Raab, Wheal and Fackenthal teamed up to finish eighth in the 400 medley relay in 3:30.26. Stanford was sitting in eighth in the team standings after the second night of competition.
Forde opened Friday’s finals with a bang, winning the 400 IM in a pool-record 4:01.57 to break the previous record of 4:02.47, set in 2015. Forde’s victory also marked Stanford’s fifth-straight victory in the 400 IM.
Wheal earned her third All-American honor of the weekend with a 10th place finish in the 100 butterfly. Her time of 51.83 moved her to 10th overall in Stanford’s all-time records. Raab also earned another All-American honor with a 16th place finish in 59.25 in the 100 breaststroke.
To wrap up Friday’s program, Rudolph, Raab, Wheal and Fackenthal once again earned a top finish in the 200 medley relay. Their time of 1:35.62 was good for fifth place and another All-American honor for each of them. Friday’s successes moved the team into seventh place in the team standings through three days.
On Saturday, the final day of the championship, three more Cardinal athletes earned All-American honors. Forde finished 13th in the 200 breaststroke in 2:07.63 while Raab took 15th in 2:09.89 to each pick up another second-team All-America honor.
Junior Daria Lenz scored 240.15 to finish 14th in the platform diving competition to also earn second-team All-American honors and the sixth overall All-America honor of her career. In the last event of the meet, Wheal, Goeders, Green and Fackenthal took 12th in the 400 free relay in 3:14.20 to score 10 more points for the Cardinal. Stanford totaled 159 points throughout the meet in its ninth-place finish, while Virginia won with a total of 491 points.