Stanford swimmers ready for the FINA World Championships


With the 2016 Summer Olympic Games almost exactly one year away, Stanford women's swimming will be well-represented at the 2015 FINA World Championships.

Two current, one former and one future Cardinal swimmer will be in Kazan, Russia, this weekend for the summer's biggest meet.

Maya DiRado ('14), Simone Manuel, Lia Neal and signee Katie Ledecky will swim for Team USA while Cardinal head coach Greg Meehan serves as an assistant with the American women's squad.

Swimming events run Aug. 2-9, while diving, synchronized swimming, water polo and open water swimming already have begun.

DiRado has been building momentum since a fourth-place showing in the 400-meter IM at the 2013 World Championships. She also picked up a gold medal in her first Worlds meet with a prelim swim and was 12th in the 200-meter fly. Since then, the 21-time All-American and management science and engineering graduate of Stanford won a silver (400-meter IM) and gold (200-meter IM) at the 2014 Pan Pacific Championships and four NCAA titles in 2014 (200 IM, 400 IM, 400 free relay, 400 medley relay).

Manuel is another title contender for Team USA. She enters her second World Championships as one of the top freestylers in the world after an impressive seven All-America performance at the 2015 NCAA Championships as a freshman. The four-time collegiate national champion is listed on the USA roster in the 50- and 100-meter freestyle events.

Neal is on the team for the 400-meter freestyle relay, an event she helped the USA to bronze at the 2012 Olympic Games. This will be her World Championships debut and second international competition of the summer after helping the American 400-meter free relay squad to gold at the World University Games in Gwangju, Korea earlier in July.

Ledecky, one of the most-prized recruits in college swimming history, is already a four-time World Championship gold medalist and one-time Olympic gold medalist. She is currently the world recordholder in the 400-meter, 800-meter and 1,500-meter freestyles and is set to swim all those long-course events at this year's Worlds plus the 200-meter free.

At the 2013 World Championships, Ledecky bypassed the 200, which has its semifinals minutes after the 1,500 final.

Team USA has been training in Croatia preparing for the year's most important meet.

— Stanford Athletics

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