Thanks to senior diver Kristian Ipsen, the Stanford men's swimming and diving team actually leads the Pac-12 Conference Championships, which won't even begin until Wednesday at the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way, Wash.
Ipsen etched his name into the Stanford record books during last week's Pac-12 Men's Diving Championships at the same site. Ipsen became only the second Stanford performer ever to sweep all three diving events at the showdown, joining that elite company with Matt Frawley (1988).
"It's March Madness time in the swimming and diving world," said Stanford head coach Ted Knapp. "With a great performance by our diving team last week, it's time for swimming to contribute as we battle for the conference championship title. Many members are shooting for spots on the NCAA squad while all are shooting for as many best times as possible."
Stanford claimed 31 consecutive Pac-12 titles from 1982-2012 under then head coach Skip Kenney before finishing second to Cal in 2013 and 2014. Knapp is still looking for his first conference crown as head coach.
Stanford has collected 350 swimming and diving titles (269 individual, 81 relay) at the Pac-12 Championships, including three in 2014. David Nolan, a three-time winner in the 200-yard individual medley, has a chance to become the first conference swimmer ever to win the event four straight times. Nolan also has won league titles in the 200-yard backstroke (2012, 2013) and 100-yard backstroke (2012). Drew Cosgarea holds league crowns in the 1,650-yard freestyle (2013) and 400-yard individual medley (2012).
Stanford enters the meet as the second seed in the 200-yard medley relay (1:26.11) and 800 free relay (6:25.01), while settling in at third in 200 free relay (1:18.78). The top seed in the 200 IM (1:43.24) is held by Nolan. Nolan is third in the 100-yard backstroke (46.74) and second in the 200 back (1:41.03). Gray Umbach is the top seed in the 200 fly (1:43.20). Max Williamson is third in the 400 IM (3:47.32). Danny Thomson enters with the third-best time in the 500 free (4:20.31).
Sacred Heart Prep grad Tom Kremer and Palo Alto High grad Andrew Liang are expected to help the Cardinal's title hopes.
Cal won its second straight title last season with 786 points while Stanford finished second with 661 points.
While the divers did their job last week, they'll be back in competition starting Monday at the NCAA Zone E Diving Championships in Colorado Springs, Colo. The NCAA Men's Swimming and Diving Championships will be March 26-28 in Iowa City, Iowa.