Manuel to redshirt swimming season to prepare for Olympic trials


Stanford sophomore Simone Manuel will redshirt this season to concentrate on preparing for the U.S. Olympic team trials in 2016, Cardinal women's swimming coach Greg Meehan announced Thursday.

"After careful thought and discussion with my coaches, I have decided to redshirt and shift my focus to long-course training and competition for the upcoming year," said Manuel, a Scholar All-America first team selection. "I am still training with Stanford and will continue my journey academically. I am fortunate and grateful to be a part of the Stanford family, as we share and support each other on our journeys."

Simone Manuel
World record holder Katie Ledecky, who is committed to Stanford, delayed entry to school a year for the same reason.

"This is a great decision for Simone," said Meehan, who guided Stanford to a third-place finish at the NCAA championships last year. "Continuing her academics, training and social life here at Stanford allows for consistency over the next eight-plus months leading up to the Olympic Trials. Simone will still benefit from training in the team environment and our program will certainly benefit from her presence."

Sophomore All-American diver Kassidy Cook is also redshirting the season.

"Our lineup looks slightly different, but I'm excited about the opportunities for our team," Meehan said. "So far, I've been really impressed with how they are taking advantage of these opportunities."

Manuel's success as a freshman resulted in both national and conference honors. In addition to capturing NCAA titles in the 50 free, 100 free, 400 free relay and 400 medley relay, Manuel also earned Pac-12 Swimming Freshman/Newcomer of the Year honor as a three-time conference champion.

Manuel established school records in the 50-yard freestyle, 100-yard freestyle, 200-yard freestyle, 400-yard freestyle relay and the 800-yard freestyle relay.

Manuel was also part of a historic 100 free race at NCAA championships that saw African-American swimmers claim the top three spots for the first time. Cardinal Lia Neal finished second while Florida's Natalie Hinds placed third.

Manuel, who has emerged as a role model in the swimming community and joined Neal as a guest on MSNBC's NewsNation to talk about her historic accomplishment, was also announced as a swimming and diving finalist for the Honda Sports Award.

— Palo Alto Online Sports/Stanford Athletics

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