Seventh at the NCAA Championships
ATLANTA - Stanford finished seventh overall at the NCAA Championships on Saturday with a total of 231 points. This marked the best finish at the NCAA Championships since 2017-18, and an improvement over last year's 14th place finish.
"I couldn't be prouder of our performances this week top to bottom in both swimming and diving," said the Goldman Family Director of Men's Swimming, Dan Schemmel. "A seventh place finish is a huge improvement over where we were last year and it means even more seeing how competitive it was."
The Cardinal faced the competitive nature head on and capitalized on it during day four of the Championships. Three individuals made it into A finals after only one Stanford appearance in an individual A final over the previous two days.
"It was brutal to even qualify for this meet and then it somehow ended up being faster and more competitive than anyone thought it was going to be," added Schemmel. "So for us to be in seventh place with the competitors out there is just awesome, I couldn't be prouder."
Stanford had a complete meet with points coming in nearly every event. The Saturday finals session began with Grant Shoults swimming his second-fastest 1,650 ever and finishing ninth overall in the event.
"I'd like to give a special shout out to the seniors, Grant finished out his sixth year with his second-fastest mile of all time," said Schemmel. "That's just a testament to his character and how much he cares for this team. That was an incredible finish."
Leon MacAlister got himself into the A final by swimming the fastest 200 back in Stanford history with a 1:38.95, good for sixth place in prelims. In finals, he moved up a spot to take fifth overall.
Andrei Minakov also had two impressive swims in the 100 free, breaking his own Stanford record in the event twice. His 41.07 in finals secured him third place in the event and All-American honors.
"Andrei closing out and getting third in the 100 free, that was an amazing swim," added Schemmel. "And Leon being an All-American in the 200 back was so awesome to see."
Daniel Roy was the third individual Stanford swimmer to make the A final in an event on Saturday. The breaststroke specialist set a season-best time in the 200 breast at 1:51.17, only one tenth of a second off his own Stanford record.
The entire meet was made up of impressive swims and Schemmel pointed to his seniors as the leaders who guided the team to success.
"Overall, I'm very thankful for the seniors," said Schemmel. " I'm so proud of Daniel and his swim, and being an All-American in the 200 breaststroke."
"Mason being here with us and being on that 200 medley relay that wasn't slated to score points, and then getting us into scoring position was amazing," said Schemmel. "I'm also really proud of Conor who stepped up and scored points on both the 1-meter and 3-meter this week."
"And Jon Cook being here for his leadership, keeping the team morale up and being so optimistic."
The Cardinal closed out the meet with a podium finish in the 400 free relay. Andrei Minakov, Leon MacAlister, Ron Polonsky, and Luke Maurer combined for eighth place in the event.
"And a shoutout to the four guys, Andrei, Leon, Ron, and Luke for getting us on the podium and being All-Americans," said Schemmel. "I just couldn't be happier or prouder of this team."
Stanford will head into the collegiate off season with plenty to look forward to, with all but three swimmers and divers who scored points at the NCAA Championships were freshmen, sophomores, or juniors.