Stanford senior Maya DiRado and head coach Greg Meehan took home Pac-12 Conference postseason awards, the league office announced Wednesday. DiRado earned the Pac-12 Women's Swimmer of the Year honor, while Meehan was named the conference's top swimming coach.
Stanford senior Maya DiRado. Photo by Norbert von der Groeben/isiphotos.com.
After a tremendous showing at the NCAA meet last week, DiRado was given the highest swimming honor in one of the top conferences in the nation. The senior swept the NCAA's IM events, finished second in the 200 fly and contributed on two national championship relay squads as well as another third-place relay. She totaled six All-America honors to give her 21 over four years at Stanford.
The Santa Rosa native has also excelled out of the pool. DiRado carries a 3.6 GPA, while majoring in management, science and engineering. She has yet to decide her future plans after graduation.
DiRado becomes the 11th different Stanford swimmer to take award.
Meehan led DiRado and the rest of the Cardinal to a surprise second-place showing at the NCAA championships. His team won seven events, which equaled its total from the last four years combined, to finish behind national champion Georgia and ahead of Pac-12 title-holder California.
In his second year on The Farm, Meehan guided Stanford to move up six spots from its eighth-place effort in 2013, as the Cardinal accumulated its most points since 2000 and best finish since 2010.
Meehan, who earned Stanford's seventh conference coach of the year honor, was voted the national Swimming Coach of the Year by the College Swimming Coaches Association of America at the conclusion of the NCAA meet.
Cal's Missy Franklin was named the Pac-12 Freshman/Newcomer of the Year.
All of the Pac-12 accolades are voted on by the conference's coaches.
Four Stanford gymnasts combined for five All-Pac-12 honors, as announced by the conference Wednesday.
Kristina Vaculik earned first-team all-conference honors in the all-around, and Nicolette McNair was named to the first team on vault and bars. Amanda Spinner claimed second-team honors on beam and Samantha Shapiro was a second-team selection on bars.
It is the first All-Pac-12 award for Vaculik, McNair and Shapiro, and the second selection for Spinner.
Vaculik was terrific all season and led Stanford with 15 individual victories, hitting 90 percent (37-of-41) of her routines.
She led the conference with three Pac-12 Gymnast of the Week selections. Among her multiple highlight performances, Vaculik showcased the impact she has provided Stanford this season when she delivered a career-best 9.950 on floor in the final routine of the meet to secure a 197.000-196.300 victory over then-No. 4 Utah.
Vaculik concluded regular-season conference competition by claiming four of five individual victories (UB, BB, FX, AA) against then-No. 22 California.
It was the second time this season Vaculik claimed four of five individual wins, doing it earlier in the year in the same events at then-No. 24 Washington where she scored a career-high 39.600 in the all-around.
McNair had a great freshman season, earning six individual victories and hitting 94 percent (31-of-33) of her routines in her regular lineup spots on vault, bars and beam.
McNair got stronger as the year went on and the competition got tougher, hitting each vault, bars and beam routine in the final eight meets of the year and scoring 9.850 or higher in 21 of 24 routines during that span. She was named the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year.
Spinner hit 100 percent of her routines on balance beam for the third consecutive season and posted five individual victories on the year.
Spinner began the season with four consecutive individual wins, capped by a career-high 9.975 at the UC Davis quad meet on Jan. 26. She earned the fifth individual victory against then-No. 4 Utah to help lead Stanford to a 197.000-196.300 win.
Shapiro competed in all 11 meets on bars and claimed two victories, posting a season-best 9.925 at the UC Davis quad meet and the Pac-12 Championships.
Her performance at the conference championships helped secure a second-place finish for the Cardinal the team's best finish since 2010. Shapiro recorded four of Stanford's top-10 scores on bars.
Maciek Romanowicz outlasted Tamas Batyi 7-6 (5), 7-6 (5) at the No. 3 spot, clinching Stanford's 4-3 nonconference victory over host UNLV on Wednesday afternoon.
The Cardinal (6-2), navigating through a stretch that features four dual matches to be played over seven days, picked up its second road win of the year.
Meanwhile, the Rebels (10-8) saw their six-game winning streak come to an end.
Despite losing the doubles point, Stanford rallied to take the match with strong singles play.
The Cardinal built a 2-1 lead following victories from Anthony Tsodikov and John Morrissey. After UNLV moved in front 3-2, Trey Strobel chalked up a 7-6 (5), 6-3 triumph on court five to tie the match.
Romanowicz then clinched the match at the No. 3 spot.
Stanford's road swing continues at Utah on Friday.