Greg Meehan made an easy decision yesterday: to put Simone Manuel on the 800 Free Relay. Though, the common reaction was, “Why’d you do that?”

At Pac 12’s, Stanford walloped the field and the American Record and the NCAA Record in the Women’s 800 Free Relay without Simone Manuel. Their time from Pac 12’s would have won NCAA’s last night with ease. 

So why in the Helen of Troy would Greg Meehan put the most dynamic sprinter in the world today on the 800 Free Relay rather than on the 200/400 FR or 200/400 MR?

  1. When you are as good as Stanford is, what’s a few points between friends?
  2. To make a point. To build momentum. To show the college swimming world who is boss.
  3. Lia Neal is a Senior. When will you have four swimmers this talented ever again? Bury the record now. It would have been a shame to not have seen this fearsome foursome swim an 800 FR together.

It’s not every day you have an opportunity like this. Strike while the coals are hot!

Interestingly, Teri McKeever and Cal did the opposite. They pulled Abbey Weitzeil from the 800 FR so she could swim on the four shorter relays. They ended up getting 2nd, as they expected, and gained a swim for their best sprinter.