Honor Roll No. 4: Austin Staab

During the months of June and July, we are releasing the 10 winners of this award, one by one. Our previously announced members of the Honor Roll are volleyball's Alix Klineman, soccer's Christen Press and football's Andrew Luck. Our fourth announced member of The Bootleg's 2011 Honor Roll is swimmer Austin Staab.

In a June 3 article, we released the 30 finalists for The Bootleg Honor Roll award for the 2010/2011 school-year.

The criteria are as follows:

Each academic year, The Bootleg's Honor Roll will recognize the top ten Stanford student-athletes who have performed at an exceptional level, with athletic accomplishments that are both extraordinary and inspirational. While achieving athletic success, these athletes should also have displayed uncommon leadership, sportsmanship and respect towards their fellow teammates and opponents. Finally, these honorees' performances and actions should also demonstrate their love for their particular sport as well. An NCAA Champion. A 12-time All-American. A four-time Pac-10 Champion. A four-time school record holder.

Then, Austin Staab began his senior season.

It would be his best yet.

Staab won two individual and three total titles at the 2011 NCAA Championships, pacing the Stanford men to a third-place finish. In the 100 butterfly, his signature event, Staab's 44.69 beat out the field, and brought him closure after winning the event in 2009 (44.18), but missing last year's NCAA Championships on a spring semester leave of absence for a personal/family issue.

Staab's second solo national title came in the 200 IM, where he swum a 1:41.57 in the finals. The 200 free relay brought Staab his final national title, with the Cardinal swimming a 1:15.84 – and beating Cal by .08 seconds.

The Pac-10's 2010-11 Swimmer of the Year, Staab all but assured an already loaded Stanford squad of its 30th straight Pac-10 title weeks earlier, with victories in the 100 fly and 200 IM, his fifth and sixth Pac-10 titles. Further, his 200 IM time at Pac-10s set a school record (which he would reset at NCAAs, lowering his time by another half-second).

The 200 IM marks but one of Staab's six school records, three of them individual, all of them standing today, in the: 200 free (1:32.71); 100 fly (44.18); 200 IM (1:41.57); 200 free relay (1:14.22); 400 free relay (2:47.97); and 400 medley relay (3:01.91). Most notably, Staab's 44.18 time in the 100 fly at the 2009 NCAA Championships set a still-standing American record.

Staab set the above records in his sophomore and senior seasons exclusively, so one has to wonder how much more yet Staab could have done had he swum his junior year. The Bootleg salutes Austin Staab as our fourth member of the 2011 Honor Roll, and wishes him the best in the years to come, wherever his next flip turn may be.

PS: You can see video of Staab setting another record in the 100 fly, this one the high school national record, here. Maybe it was the camera work, but words can't do justice to seeing the excitement with one's own eyes.

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