On the heels of its 63rd conference championship, the Stanford men's swimming and diving team begins its 2016-17 season this week when it travels to compete in the Pacific Invitational in Stockton on Saturday.
"Nationally, our goal is to be in the top five. There are some very strong teams with a lot of talent, but we're going to see a quantum leap within our squad this season from all classes," said Director of Swimming Ted Knapp, who welcomes a class of seven talented freshmen to The Farm.
"The enthusiasm and energy from the freshmen is what we had hoped for," Knapp said. "They've come in excited and have taken on every challenge in and outside of the pool. They're buying into the process and are excited as can be to be a part of a team that will surprise a lot of people this season – a big part of that will be because of them."
Seniors Max Williamson, Sacred Heart Prep grad Tom Kremer and Spencer DeShon, along with junior Patrick Conaton, will serve as team captains for 2016-17.
"Our main goal is to shoot for the top at NCAA's – we want to challenge ourselves with huge goals and put in the daily work that reflects those goals," said Williamson, who also praised the quality of the incoming class. "The freshmen are in a great position to be able to learn from the top performing guys already here, but are already extremely talented in their own right. They will make great additions to an experienced and already-talented team."
Kremer, a five-time All-American including third in the 200-yard freestyle at the 2013 NCAA Championahips, returns to Stanford after taking a year off to train for the 2016 Rio Olympics.
"Having Tom Kremer back will be huge for us. We struggled without his contributions last season, and our performance was less than we expected," said Knapp. "Although we had a lot of lifetime best times, the points weren't all there at the end of the day, and having that leadership back in the team is going to make a big difference for us this year."