Nationally-Ranked Stanford Swimming & Diving Team Competes at UOP Invitational
Oct. 19, 2006
Skip Kenney is no stranger to success. A quick look at the stat sheet shows that during Kenney's 27 years as head coach of the Stanford men's swimming and diving program, the Cardinal has won 25 straight Pacific-10 titles, captured seven NCAA titles, finished in the NCAA Top 3 in eight of the past nine seasons, and in the Top 4 in the past 25 years. Year-by-year, Stanford has produced some of the world's best swimmers, and this year, the tradition will continue. At the start of each season, members of the Stanford swimming and diving program get together in a team setting to talk about team and individual goals given Stanford's great history and the talent that the current team possesses. As one swimmer stated, 'when you have a group of individuals who are completely commited to a team cause, you can achieve things that are greater than the sum of the individuals. It starts early in the season with finding ways to get better and as coach Kenney says 'being on the same page'.' Kenney and associate head coach Ted Knapp have assembled another team that looks strong in almost every event. It is a strong mixture of seasoned veterans and talented newcomers which will keep Stanford in the forefront in the development of great swimmers not only on the collegiate level but on the international scene as well.
Over the last three years, Ben Wildman-Tobriner has etched his name as one of the great swimmers in Stanford history. Now as he enters his senior season, expectations are again high, but Wildman-Tobriner is again ready for the challenge. Fourteen times Wildman-Tobriner has earned All-American honors including four national honors in the 50 and 100 free and five other honors as a member of the 200 and 400 free relay teams. In addition, Wildman-Tobriner returns as the defending Pac-10 champion in the 50 and 100 free. Wildman-Tobriner is the school record holder in the 50 free (19.15, 2005) and the 100 free (46.56, 2006). In addition to his workload for Stanford, Wildman-Tobriner will be among the 21 members of the United States team that will compete at the 2007 FINA World Championships in Melbourne, Australia. Wildman-Tobriner also is one of 15 United States swimmers who are members of the 2006-07 National 'A' team. This team consists of swimmers who have met the Top-8 world rankings in Olympic events. Jason Dunford is emerging as a future great Stanford swimmer. His credentials as a freshman bear that out. Dunford gained five All-American honors last year including accolades in the 100 free and as a member of the 200 and 400 free relay. Dunford also swam the leadoff leg on the Pac-10 winning 200 free relay team. Kyle Ransom and Matthew Crowe also swam on that winning 200 free relay team. Ransom and Crowe are veteran Stanford swimmers who are back to give Stanford added strength in the 50 and 100 free. Like the 50 and 100 free, Stanford is strong again in the 200, 500 and 1650 free events. Andy Grant and Shaun Phillips will lead a heavy arsenal attack of Cardinal swimmers in those events. Over the past two seasons, Grant has gained All-American honors six times including twice in the 200 free and the 200 free relay, and once as a member of the 800 free relay. Grant, the 2005 Pac-10 champion in the 200 free, is the school record holder in the event (1:33.97) and ranked fifth all-time at Stanford in the 500 free (4:17.28). Grant will be a member of the 25-man United States team that will compete at the Pan American Games in Brazil in 2007. Phillips, the two-time defending Pac-10 champion in the 1650 free, holds two school records at Stanford (500 free, 4:14.20; 1000 free, 8:50.93) which he set last year. Phillips also is second all-time at Stanford in the 1650 free (14:43.89) and fifth all-time in the 200 free (1:34.74). At the 2007 World University Games in Thailand, Phillips will compete for the United States in the 200 free and 800 free relay. Daniel Beal has been an All-American in the 200 free the past two years, and is ranked in the Cardinal Top-10 in the 200 free (1:34.75, 2006) and the 500 free (4:18.11, 2006). Phillip Morrison also gives Stanford good depth in the 200 and 500 free. Noa Sakamoto is a Pac-10 veteran in the 1650 free where he has competed the past two years. Sakamoto also competed in the 1650 free at the NCAA's last year. In short, Stanford has the capacity to contend in a number of freestyle events including the relays at the NCAA's this year.
Hongzhe Sun has emerged has one of the top swimmers in the United States and with his participation for the United States at the 2007 World University Games, his experience will be invaluable as he contends for NCAA top honors in the 100 and 200 back. Sun also competed at the 2006 Pan Pacific Championships in both backstroke events. Last year, Sun won the Pac-10 titles in the 100 and 200 back as well as the 200 IM. At the NCAA's, his second place finish in the 200 back and sixth place in the 100 back earned him All-American honors. Sun also swam on the 400 medley relay which gained him his third All-American accolade during the 2006 season. Sun has earned seven All-American honors during his three previous years at Stanford including six in the 100 and 200 back, as well as three Pac-10 titles in the two events. His credentials make him a prime contender for NCAA championship honors in 2007. Also look for top performances from such veterans as Andy Grant and Scott Lathrope along with freshmen David Dunford and Eugene Godsoe. Grant's fifth place finish in the 200 back at the NCAA's last year earned him All-American honors. Lathrope, a sophomore, gained valuable experience competing in the 200 back at the Pac-10 Championships, and during the summer, competed in three events, including the 200 back, at the 2006 USA National Championship. Freshman David Dunford, the younger brother of Jason Dunford, brings impressive credentials to the Stanford campus. Dunford has represented his country, Kenya, in several international meets including two World Championships, one Commonwealth Games, and one African Championship. Dunford is a holder of several Kenyan national swim records. Godsoe is an eight-time North Carolina state champion in the 100 back and fly, and was a member of the 2005-06 U.S. Junior National team.
There is no dominant swimmer in this group, just a congregation of good, talented swimmers who will give Stanford valuable conference and national points in the 100 and 200 fly. Ben Wildman-Tobriner, Jason Dunford, Hongzhe Sun, Daniel Beal and Matthew Crowe are just a few names who will compete in the fly during the 2006-07 season. For the second straight season in 2006, Wildman-Tobriner gained All-American honors in the 100 fly, and finished second at the Pac-10 Championship. Dunford was a five-time All-American as a freshman last year which included All-American honors in the 100 fly. Sun was one of Stanford's top swimmers in the 200 fly last year. Beal competed in the 200 fly at the NCAA's last year. Crowe, although mainly a freestyle swimmer, also gives Stanford valuable depth in the fly. Look for freshman Sven Hinrichsen to make an impact on Stanford's fortunes in 2007. Hinrichsen, a member of the 2006 United States Junior National team, was a 2005 junior national champion in the 200 fly.
At last year's NCAA Championship, Paul Kornfeld and Nate Cass combined to earn four All-American honors. Both swimmers are back to give Stanford a powerful 1-2 punch. Kornfeld, as a freshman last year, swam a 1:54.41 in the 200 breast at the NCAA's, the second-best time in school history. Kornfeld also captured the Pac-10 title in the 200 breast. In addition, Kornfeld finished second in the 100 breast to help lead Stanford to its 25th straight Pac-10 title. Kornfeld then enjoyed a highly productive summer in 2006 by competing in the 100 and 200 breast at the USA Swimming National Championship. Cass, the 2006 Pac-10 Newcomer of the Year, is ranked in the Top 10 in three events in the Stanford record book, including fifth in the 100 breast (53.32) and the 200 breast (1:57.18). Cass gained valuable experience this past summer by competing at the USA Swimming National Championship. Also returning to give exceptional depth in this event are Chris Ash, Karl Boehringer, BJ Johnson, Keenan Newman and Paul Zaich. Ash was a Top 5 finisher in the 100 breast at the Pac-10 Championship last year as well as competing in the 200 breast. His times in both events rank in the Top 15 in the school record book. Ash later competed at the 2006 U.S. Summer National Championships. Boehringer, a junior, is a two-year veteran in both events, and gained added experience competing in the 100 breast at the U.S. Summer National Championship in 2006. Johnson was a versatile swimmer who competed in several events at the Pac-10 Championship, including the 100 and 200 breast. Newman is a three-time All-American at Stanford, including earning national honors in the 200 breast in 2006. Zaich competed in the 100 and 200 breast as a freshman last year at the Pac-10 Championship, as well as competing in the 200 breast at the 2006 USA Swimming National Championship.
At the NCAA Championship last year, Stanford showed its strength as four Cardinal swimmers gained seven All-American honors. In 2007, look for Stanford to again be extremely strong in this event. At the Pac-10's last year, Hongzhe Sun and Nate Cass finished 1-2 to help garner sizable chunks of points as Stanford captured its 25th straight Pac-10 title. There is excellent returning depth with the likes of Paul Kornfeld and Scott Lathrope. Sun, in addition to his incredible swimming success in the 100 and 200 back, is third all-time in the Stanford record book in the 200 IM (1:44.49) which he recorded last year. Just behind Sun in the Cardinal record book (200 IM) is Cass, who is fourth all-time (1:44.99). Kornfeld swam the 200 IM at the Pac-10's last year in addition to his success in the 100 and 200 breast. Lathrope gave Stanford depth in the 200 and 400 IM last year. Look for freshman Sven Hinrichsen to give Stanford added punch in the IM as well as the fly events. At the 2006 U.S. Junior National Championship, Hinrichsen captured the 400 IM title.
Since 2000, Stanford University has won six relay titles at the NCAA Championships, and with excellent talent returning, the Cardinal will be a prime contender for top national honors in all five relay events (200 free relay, 400 free relay, 800 free relay, 200 medley relay, 400 medley relay) at this year's NCAA Championship. At last year's Pac-10 Championship, all five relay teams finished no lower than third which included a first place finish by the 200 free relay team of Jason Dunford, Ben Wildman-Tobriner, Kyle Ransom and Matthew Crowe. In fact, nine of Stanford's ten swimmers who competed on Stanford's five relay teams are back this year including Jason Dunford and Ben Wildman-Tobriner who competed on four relay squads. All five relays teams competed at the NCAA's last year, and four teams finished in the Top 6. That included a third place finish by the 400 medley relay team of Hongzhe Sun, Paul Kornfeld, Jason Dunford and Ben Wildman-Tobriner. At the NCAA's, eleven Cardinal swimmers competed in the five relay events. Ten swimmers return which will give Stanford valuable experience and depth.
Last year, then-freshman Dwight Dumais emerged as one of the up-and-coming collegiate divers in the country. The statistics bear that out. Dumais finished second in one-meter diving and three-meter diving, and third in platform diving to help Stanford win its 25th straight Pac-10 title. Dumais then gained All-American honors in one-meter and platform diving at the NCAA Championship. Also returning to add to Stanford's depth this year are Nathan Kim, Kevin McLean and Casey Weston. Kim finished in the Top 10 in all three diving events at the Pac-10 Championships last year, while McLean earned a zone qualifying score and competed at the conference championship. The lone newcomer is freshman Luke Henesy who was a three-time Massachusetts diving champion and an eight-time USA Diving National qualifier.