Cardinal's golden swimming team to make its debut


It's the much-anticipated season debut for the Stanford women's swimming and diving team on Friday. The Cardinal visits Osborn Aquatic Center to take on Pac-12 foe Oregon State at 2 p.m. The place is expected to be sold out.

Stanford hosts its first home meet on Thursday, Oct. 20 when the Cardinal welcomes Washington State to Avery Aquatic Center at 2 p.m.

Stanford finished second in the NCAA championships last year, behind Georgia. That was without Olympic gold medalists Simone Manuel and Katie Ledecky and Olympic diver Kassidy Cook, all of whom took the year off to prepare for the Rio Olympics.

The Cardinal was 7-0 in dual meets last season and ranked as high as No. 1 in the nation. Stanford finished second at the Pac-12 Championships with 13 total Pac-12 titles (three relays and 10 individual wins) and boasted the Pac-12 Coach of the Year (Greg Meehan), Pac-12 Diving Coach of the Year (Patrick Jeffrey), Pac-12 Newcomer of the Year (Ella Eastin) and Pac-12 Diver of the Year (Gracia Leydon Mahoney). Stanford totaled 35 All-America honors and five national titles (three individuals and two relays).

Two-time Olympic medalist Lia Neal, Lindsey Engel and Nicole Stafford were selected as team captains. The trio has helped guide Stanford to top-three NCAA finishes in their first three seasons.

Stanford's freshmen are also considered the top-ranked recruiting class, among them Katie Drabot, Allie Szekely, Erin Voss and Megan Byrnes.

The Cardinal will be favored to win its first national title since 1998, and its ninth overall. Stanford has been the runner-up four times since 1999, coming closest in 2010 when Florida won it on the final event.

— Stanford Athletics

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