Stanford's Williamson has a solid sports background


When it comes to sports and academics, the Williamson family is unique. Max Williamson, who just completed his freshman season at Stanford, set multiple Kentucky swimming records and earned multiple state championships.

Ellen Williamson will be a senior at Virginia this fall and also competes on the Cavaliers' women's swimming team. She was on the U.S. World University Games team last year. She also competed in the 200 back in Santa Clara.

Father Kenny Williamson played baseball for Northern Kentucky and mother Cindy was a volleyball player at Clemson.

All this and a historical footnote: Daniel Boone is a distant relative of the Williamson's.

"We each have our respective sports," said Max Williamson, who finished seventh in the men's 400 individual medley at the Arena Grand Prix of Santa Clara on Saturday. "I don't know how my sister and I got into swimming."

It's safe to say Stanford coaches Ted Knapp and Scott Armstrong are extremely happy about his decision to pursue swimming. Williamson will be at the heart of a team destined for bigger things in the coming years.

"The transition process was incredible," Williamson said of moving from high school to college. "Kentucky swimming is strong and proud and California has a storied history. I was going from being a sizable fish in a small pond to a team where everybody was a coaches' favorite and the star of their team."

Williamson remains excited at Stanford's prospects over the next few years, especially with the versatility of the swimmers and a top-notch incoming freshmen class.

Williamson swam Stanford's best 200 breast time of the college (short course) season at 1:56.15 and was second, to senior David Nolan, in the 400 IM. He also has reliable times in the back and fly as well.

"I thought our team had a successful season as a whole," Williamson said. "We're adapting to a changing environment and the team has all the components to be in the top two at the NCAA meet."

The Cardinal finished ninth in this year's NCAA meet, the 34th consecutive top 10 finish for Stanford.

Stanford lost six seniors, including Mason Shaw and Noah Garcia, who competed at the NCAA championships. Everyone who scored points will be back.

"We have a lot of versatile swimmers," Williamson said. "We're going to have good senior leadership and we have a really fast freshmen class coming in."

Several Stanford swimmers competed Saturday. Incoming freshman Curtis Ogren placed 18th in the 400 IM with a 4:32.31, five seconds slower than his prelim time.

Sacred Heart Prep grad Tom Kremer, who will be a junior, swam 12th in the 200 free (1:51.64) and Thomas Stephens was 17th in 1:52.76. Nolan swam in the 'D' consolation final and Cardinal grad Bobby Bollier was in the 'C' final.

Stanford senior Drew Cosgarea, swimming unattached in Santa Clara, was 10th in the 200 back in 2:03.01, a time that would have placed him eighth in the championship final.

Cardinal grad Alex Coville was eighth in the 50 free in 23.08 and Palo Alto grad Andrew Liang, also headed to Stanford, was in the 'D' final.

Coville, a 19-time All-American at Stanford, graduated in 2011 with the school's 50 free record at 18.87. He helped set the American record in the 200 free relay in the NCAA championship meet that year.

As for Williamson, he has an eye on the U.S. Nationals, to be held at UC Irvine beginning August 6. She hopes to qualify for the Pan Pacific or the World University Games.

"I want to realize my potential," said Williamson, who was ninth in the 400 IM during last year's U.S. Open and seventh at the 2012 short course nationals. He was also the junior national champion.

On the women's side, the 50 free showcased Stanford's sprinters. Incoming freshman Simone Manuel was fourth with a time of 25.44, just ahead of Stanford senior Maddy Schaefer's 25.52. Cardinal grad Felicia Lee was ninth in 26.02, while sophomore Lia Neal won the 'B' final in 25.93.

Palo Alto Stanford Aquatics' Karlee Bispo, the former Texas All-American, was 17th in 26.59. Gunn grad and Stanford sophomore Julia Ama competed in the 'D' final.

Stanford grad Maya DiRado was 12th in the 200 free in 2:01.64 while Stanford's Julia Anderson was 14th in 2:01.97. Bispo was 17th in 2:03.42 and PASA's Jennifer Campbell was 18th in 2:03.71.

PASA's Lisa Kaunitz swam in the 'C' final of the 400 IM, Gunn grad Rachael Acker was in the 'C' final of the 200 free, Stanford's Grace Carlson swam in the 'C' final of the 200 back and PASA's Marie-Pierre Delisle competed in the 'D' final.

The PASA women's 800 free relay team of Camnpbell, Ally Howe, Lisa Kaunitz and Sarah Kaunitz finished fourth in 8:26.00 while the men's 800 free relay team of Andrew Liang, Lucca Martins, Joe Molinari and Ogren was seventh in 7:52.25. The PASA team of Alex Liang, Daichi Matsuda, Willy Lee and Andrew Cho was ninth.

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