Stanford women are gearing up for home swimming debut


Olympic gold medalist Katie Ledecky will make her Stanford home debut on Thursday and will be joined by fellow gold medalists Simone Manuel and Lia Neal and an all-star cast of women swimmers when Washington State visits for a 2 p.m. Pac-12 meet.

Admission is free to all Stanford swimming and diving meets at Avery Aquatic Center. Gates open at 1 p.m.

Stanford (1-0, 1-0 Pac-12) won its season opener at Oregon State on Friday, 141-109, while the Cougars (0-1, 0-1) fell at home to USC on Sept. 30, 161-96.

In the last meeting between these two programs, the Cardinal posted a 142-119 win in Pullman on Sept. 25, 2015. This will be Washington State's first visit to Avery Aquatic Center since Stanford's 147-104 win on Oct. 3, 2013.

Stanford has won eight straight dual meets and eight straight Pac-12 dual meets, the last loss for each was at No. 3 Cal (158-142) on Feb. 14, 2014. The Cardinal has also won seven straight dual meets at home dating to Oct. 30, 2014 against Texas (156-144).

In the season opener, Stanford performed at a sold out Osborn Aquatic Center in Corvallis.

Stanford had the fastest time in all 14 events. That included four individual wins by freshmen and a pair of victories for sophomore Kim Williams in the breaststroke.

Also returning are defending NCAA champions Ella Eastin (200 IM, 400 IM), diver Grace Leydon-Mahoney (platform) and three of the four competitors of the 200 and 400 medley relay teams: Sacred Heart Prep grad Ally Howe, Janet Hu and Neal).

Eastin is the American record holder in the 200-yard IM and also placed second in the 200 fly. The 200 medley relay also owns the American record.

The Cardinal was 7-0 in dual meets last season and finished second at the Pac-12 Championships with 13 total Pac-12 titles (three relays and 10 individual wins). Stanford then finished second at the NCAA Championships, a meet that came down to the final event.

Ten Cardinal swimmers earned a total of 35 All-America honors and five national titles (three individuals and two relays). The Cardinal returns seven of its 10 All-Americans, and five of six national champions.

In addition, Olympians Manuel, an American record holder, and Kassidy Cook return to the team after redshirting the 2015-16 campaign.

The Cardinal also finished with the top-ranked recruiting class which includes Katie Drabot, Allie Szekely, Erin Voss and Megan Byrnes.

Ledecky deferred her freshman year for the Olympics, where she won five medals (four gold, one silver).

— Palo Alto Online Sports/Stanford Athletics

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