Cardinal swimmers hope to splash to top times in Santa Clara


Olympic gold medalist Missy Franklin takes center stage this week at the Arena Pro Swimming Series in Santa Clara. Watch for Stanford sophomore Simone Manuel and Cardinal grad Felicia Lee to make a few waves of their own.

The last of six in the Pro Series, the Santa Clara meet is generally used as a platform for summer events such as the national and world championships. For swimmers like Palo Alto's Grace Zhao, it's a chance to see how they stack up against the sport's elite a year away from the Olympic trials.

Franklin discussed her first major pro contract. She signed with Speedo and is "excited to be part of the Speedo family."

Franklin has not competed since helping California win the NCAA championship in March. She returned home to Colorado and reunited with her long-time coach Todd Schmitz, under whom she has continued training.

Manuel is capable of beating Franklin, as she did in last year's Santa Clara meet, known then as part of the Grand Prix series.

The only local to compete on a two-event Thursday was Stanford sophomore Liam Egan, who placed 20th in the 800 free.

That changes Friday, with Stanford grad Maya DiRado joining Cardinal swimmers Lia Neal, Julia Anderson, Allison Brown, Sarah Haase and Heidi Poppe, among others, in the pool.

Stanford's men's team will represented by BJ Johnson, Drew Cosgarea, Tom Kremer and Eugene Godsoe.

Trials are at 9 a.m. every day, with finals beginning at 5 p.m.

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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