Sacred Heart Prep senior Tom Kremer, one of the top freestylers and backstrokers in the nation, won't be leaving the area to continue his swimming career next fall.
Kremer has verbally committed to swim for the Stanford men's team in 2012. He picked the Cardinal over Cal and Southern Cal.
"I am both honored and excited to represent Stanford next year," Kremer said. "I know that Coach Skip Kenney will help me become the best athlete I can be and that Stanford will provide one of best academic environments in the world."
Kremer won the 200-yard freestyle and 100-yard backstroke titles at the Central Coast Section Championship in 2010 and 2011, establishing a section record of 1:36.72 in the 200 free last spring.
He finished his junior year ranked third nationally in the 200 free, qualifying him as an All-American. Kremer ranked No. 1 in the state in that event. Kremer also was No. 7 nationally and No. 1 in the state in the 100 back (48.50) and No. 26 in the 100 free (45.12). Kremer also led off the Gators' 400 free relay team that ranked No. 38 -- earning All-American status in all his events.
Kremer currently holds five of the eight individual school swimming records at Sacred Heart Prep.
"Tom has worked so hard in the pool and in the classroom," said SHP coach Kevin Morris. "I'm truly in awe of everything he has accomplished. I'm so excited for his senior year season, and I know he'll accomplish great things at Stanford.
"Tom is the epitome of a student-athlete. It has been such a privilege to coach him and teach him."
Morris is a math teacher at SHP and currently teaches Kremer in AP Computer Science.
Kremer has dual citizenship with the United States and Israel, and is hoping to compete for Israel in the 2012 Olympics in London. Kremer did compete at the European Junior Championships this past summer and was the only Israeli swimmer to medal by taking the bronze in the 200 IM.
Moving on to state
Gunn freshman golfer Anna Zhou shot a 2-over-par 72 at the Stanford Golf Course on Monday while finishing in a four-way tie for second place at the girls' NCGA/CIF NorCal Championships. Zhou's finish qualified her for the CIF State Championships, set for Nov. 15 at Poppy Hills in Pebble Beach.
The top nine individuals not on a qualifying team advanced, and Zhou did easily while equaling the score turned in by 2011 Central Coast Section champion Hannah Suh of Evergreen Valley. Zhou was even-par through three holes before taking a bogey-4 on the 102-yard par-3 fourth hole. She got back to even with a birdie-3 on the the 340-yard ninth hole. Zhou dropped another stroke on the 343-yard par-4 11th hole and suffered a bogey-6 on the par-5 16th. Other than that, she was consistent with 14 pars.
Despite tying for second, Zhou had to settle for the fourth-place medal after losing a four-way playoff on the par-4 18th hole. Zhou and two others made par, forcing a second playoff hole. While standing over her putt, Zhou's ball moved. She called a violation on herself and had to accept the fourth-place medal.
Palo Alto High will have 11 seniors committing to colleges on Wednesday. That group includes Kimmy Whitson (Pacific volleyball), Melanie Wade (Washington volleyball), Caroline Martin (Connecticut College volleyball), Maddie Kuppe (UConn volleyball), Kimmy Flather (San Diego State lacrosse), Skylar Dorosin (Stanford watrer polo), Jasmine Tosky (USC swimming), Megan Bredenberg (Pepperdine swimming), Byron Sanborn (Princeton swimming) and Nicky Hu (Harvard tennis).
Gunn, meanwhile, also has its share of athletes headed off to college to continue their careers. Among those making commitments on Wednesday:
Among that group is: Rachael Acker(Cal swimming), Julia Ama (Stanford swimming), Casey Lincoln (Yale swimming), Elizabeth Anderson (Santa Clara water polo), Allison Doerpinghaus (Eastern Washington State volleyball) and Cat Perez (Seattle University basketball).
Acker will be in position to replace former Paly sprint standout Liv Jensen, in her senior year at Cal. Acker has best of 22.7 and 49.0 in the 50- and 100-yard freestyles. She's already being projected as an NCAA scorer in the 50 free her freshman year.
At Menlo School, two student-athletes have committed during the early decision signing period to play intercollegiate sports.
Right-handed pitcher Freddy Avis, who verbally committed to Stanford on July 6, will sign his national letter of intent to play baseball today. As a junior, Avis compiled a 10-1 season, was second on the team in RBI, and helped lead the Knights to a second consecutive Central Coast Section championship.
Outside hitter Natalie Roy has committed to play volleyball at Colby College. As a junior, Roy was third on the team in kills and digs. This season, she is the lone senior on a team which has gone 23-7 overall entering this week's CCS quarterfinals.
The next signing period closes in February 2012, and several more student-athletes are expected to commit to play their sport at the collegiate level.
Swimming in Singapore
A handful of Palo Alto Stanford Aquatic athletes just returned from Singapore, where they competed in FINA World Cup short-course (meters) meet on Friday and Saturday.
Palo Alto High senior Jasmine Tosky was among the busiest as she finished fifth in the 200 fly, fifth in the 400 IM, fifth in the 200 IM, sixth in the 100 fly and eighth in the 200 free.
Sacred Heart Prep sophomore Ally Howe was sixth in the 200 back and seventh in the 100 back; Palo Alto sophomore William Lee was eighth in the 200 back and 400 IM; Menlo-Atherton sophomore Kindle Van Linge was 12th in the women's 400 IM; Gunn senior Julia Ama was eighth in the 50 fly; and Palo Alto senior Byron Sanborn was ninth in the 200 IM. Andrew Liang of Palo Alto also competed, taking 12th in the 100 back and 14th in the 200 fly prelims.
Moving on up
The Palo Alto girls' volleyball team has risen to No. 65 in the nation, according to Maxpreps, which also lists the Vikings No. 15 in the state, No. 11 statewide in Division I, No. 3 in the CCS and No. 1 in CCS Division I heading into this week's section playoffs.