Palo Alto Weekly

Sports - July 12, 2013

Stanford gets top recruits

Cardinal women receive commitments from No. 2 and No. 5 swimmers

by Rick Eymer

Stanford women's swimming coach Greg Meehan is quietly putting together a prized recruiting class that could be No. 1 in the nation. In a Pac-12 Conference overloaded with swimming talent, that's a good thing.

Meehan, who just completed his first season, received commitments from two of the top 10-rated recruits during the first week of contact for high school seniors.

Janet Hu ranks as the No. 2 recruit out of the class of 2014 (some say she should be No. 1) and became the first swimmer of the group to make a commitment. Stanford has been her first choice all along.

Lindsey Engel, who will be a senior at Crean Lutheran South High in Irvine this fall, committed to Stanford a few days later. She's rated the No. 5 recruit by swimswam.com (No. 10 by Swimming World Magazine), and also one of the most versatile of the class.

Hu, out of Oakton High in Vienna, Va., swam lifetime bests in the 50-meter free (25.63), 50-meter fly (26.98) and the 100-meter fly (1:00.11) at the Phillips 66 National Championships in Indianapolis last month. She had three top-16 finishes. Her short course 100 fly mark would have been good enough to make the finals of the 2013 NCAA championships.

"I'm so excited to have made my decision to commit to swim for Stanford," Hu told Swimming World. "It has always been my dream school. Two years ago, I was there for Summer Juniors (2011) and I loved the campus and the pool. I've also gotten to know the coaches, Greg and Tracy, and I'm really looking forward to working with them."

Hu's top yard times are 52.07 (100 back), 52.03 (100 fly), 22.13 (50 free), 48.67 (100 free) and 1:46.74) (200 free). She set National Age Group records in the 50 free and 100 fly last December.

Hu brings plenty of versatility and potential big points to the nationals, especially on the relays.

Engel has recorded solid long-course times in the 50 free (26.25), 100 free (56.56) and 100 back (1:03.73). She's also looked strong in the 200 free (2:03.25) and 100 fly (2:00.93).

"Stanford University has an amazing swimming program as well as amazing academics," Engel said. "It felt like the perfect fit for me."

Engel made national headlines in May when she broke a 28-year-old CIF Southern Section Division III record in the 50 free (22.53) that had been held by the legendary Dara Torres (22.69 in 1985). That effort earned Engel a spot in Sports Illustrated's "Faces in the Crowd."

Engel has gone 22.24 in the 50 free, 48.96 in the 100 free along with 53.34 in the 100 fly and 53.27 in the 100 back.

Engel and Hu will join current Cardinal sprint standout Lia Neal, a 2012 Olympian, plus Maddy Schaefer to strengthen Stanford's sprint relays at the NCAAs for years to come.

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