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Men's Swimming & Diving: Year in Review

Jul 10, 2021

The future continues to look brighter and brighter for Stanford men's swimming and diving. Led by a youth movement of underclassmen, the Cardinal continued to make strides during a challenging 2020-21 season as the effects of the pandemic continued to impact the program.

This was the second season under the direction of the Goldman Family Director of Men's Swimming Dan Schemmel, with both of his seasons on The Farm being interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Youth Movement
Freshmen led the way for the Cardinal during an abbreviated 2020-21 season. Newcomers combined to bring home nine All-America honors on the year, with freshmen contributing on the 200 free relay, 400 free relay, 800 free relay and 400 medley relay teams.

Of the three Stanford swimmers to collect three All-American honors at this year's national championship, two were freshmen – Preston Forst and Luke Maurer.

Divers Make a (Little) Splash
Stanford's diving three-man diving contingent of Conor Casey, Hunter Hollenbeck and Noah Vigran put together arguably the strongest season for the Cardinal.
At the Pac-12 level, Vigran was named the Pac-12 Diver of the Meet with podium finishes at all three disciplines – including a conference title on the 3-meter. Casey defended his Pac-12 crown on the 1-meter – his score of 413.55 was the highest at the Pac-12 championships since 2015 – to give the Cardinal conference titles on two of the three disciplines. Hollenbeck was named the Pac-12 Men's Diving Freshmen of the Year.
The Cardinal continued its strong performances at the Zone E Diving Meet, with Casey winning both the 1-meter and 3-meter events, while Vigran was second on the 3-meter to lead a 1-2 sweep for Stanford.
Casey and Vigran concluded the season as All-Americans on the 1-meter and platform, respectively.

Roy's Success at the Breaststroke
Few Stanford swimmers can lay greater claim to owning a single stroke than Daniel Roy at the breaststroke. The junior broke a 12-year old school record in the 200 breast with a 1:51.07 at the Pac-12 Championships, becoming the first Cardinal swimmer to break the 1:52.00 barrier in the event. Roy nearly broke the 52-second barrier in the 100 breast, with his 52.06 ranking fourth in school history.
Roy earned All-America honors with a fifth-place showing in the 200 breast at the national championship, and he would conclude the year with a seventh-place showing in the 200m breast at the U.S. Olympic Trials to fall just short of making the Olympic team.

No Shortage of All-Americans
Eleven swimmers and divers combined to bring 20 All-America honors back to The Farm this season. A complete list of Stanford's All-Americans can be found below:

  • Jonathan Affeld (400 Free Relay)
  • Shane Blinkman (400 Med Relay (2nd Team))
  • Conor Casey (1 meter Diving)
  • Preston Forst (800 Free Relay, 400 Free Relay, 200 Freestyle (2nd Team))
  • Mason Gonzalez (800 Free Relay, 400 Free Relay)
  • Ethan Hu (100 Butterfly (2nd Team), 400 Med Relay (2nd Team))
  • Alex Liang (400 IM (2nd Team))
  • Luke Maurer (800 Free Relay, 400 Free Relay, 400 Med Relay (2nd Team))
  • Daniel Roy (200 Breaststroke, 400 Med Relay (2nd Team))
  • Grant Shoults (800 Free Relay, 1650 Freestyle (2nd Team), 500 Freestyle (2nd Team))
  • Noah Vigran (Platform Diving (2nd Team))

Scholar Athletes
 To the surprise of none, Stanford continued a trend of producing a high volume of student-athletes who were honored for their accomplishments in the classroom and the pool. Alex Liang was named the inaugural Pac-12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year in men's swimming and diving, as well as being named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District 8 at-large team.
The Cardinal placed 22 swimmers and divers on the CSCAA Scholar All-America teams – the second-highest total of any program in the country, either men's or women's programs.
True Sweetser also earned a NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship to study Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies at Stanford, with the hopes of working with a corporate law firm with offices in Russia.
An Abbreviated Season
 Due to health and safety restrictions, Stanford held only four competitions during the regular season – with only two duals being scored. Three duals – two in the fall – were against Stanford's cross-bay rivals California.
The Cardinal opened the spring with a 171-66 victory over Pacific at Avery Aquatic Center on Feb. 6. On Feb. 19, Stanford fell just short of an upset at No. 2 California, losing 167.5-130.5.
A Pair of Olympians Join the Cardinal
 Stanford's youth movement will receive a pair of upgrades next year with the arrival of a pair of Tokyo Olympians. Andrei Minakov, who sat out 2020-21 to train for the Olympics, will compete in his first collegiate season after earning a spot of the national team for the Russian Olympic Committee. Minakov will race both the 100m free and 100m fly at the 2020 Olympics.
The Cardinal also added the talents of Ron Polonsky, who will arrive on The Farm after competing in the 200 IM in Tokyo for Israel. Polonsky's sister, Lea, will attend California.
Thank You, Seniors
 Stanford will bid farewell to the senior class of Johannes Calloni, Jordan Greenberg, Matthew Hirschberger, Alex Liang, True Sweetser and Grant Shoults.