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.
We are now releasing the 10 winners of this award, one by one. Our previously announced members of the Honor Roll are baseball's Mark Appel, field hockey's Becky Dru, swimmer David Nolan and distance runner Kathy Kroeger. Our fifth announced member of The Bootleg's 2012-2013 Honor Roll is diver Kristian Ipsen.
This is Ipsen's second straight appearance on The Bootleg's 10-person Honor Roll. Last year's inclusion was a no-brainer, as Ipsen won a bronze medal in three-meter synchronized diving in London with Tony Dumais, and an NCAA championship at the three-meter event. (He also was second at the NCAA's one-meter event, 10th at platform in his second-ever competition at that height, and nearly qualified to represent the U.S. in the Olympics at the three-meter individual event. Not a bad year, all things considered.)
This year, there were no Olympics, and so Ipsen made the most of his NCAA season instead. I don't know what you call sweeping the NCAA diving hardware – may I suggest diving for the cycle or a "Kristian slam" -- but whatever the nomenclature, Ipsen nearly went three for three in individual national titles. He won the individual NCAA titles at the one-meter and three-meter events, and then placed second at the platform, where he is still a newcomer facing competitors with decades of experience at that height. It bears repeating, of course, that Ipsen is just a sophomore, and he may yet pull off the 3-for-3 as an upperclassman.
David Lombardi had an interview with Ipsen a week after Ipsen's performance at the NCAAs helped the Cardinal men to yet another top-ten finish. In it, Ipsen admits to feeling his share of fear and adrenaline waiting atop the 10-meter platform. He also mentions looking forward to Rio in 2016, which certainly is fitting for an athlete with a tattoo of the Olympic rings. Judging by his string of successes to date, we wouldn't bet against Kristian in Rio, or in this year's World Championships in Barcelona.
Did you know?
- Men's swimming last won a national title in 1998. The men will have two great chances these next two seasons to snap that drought if Ipsen can continue to accumulate a huge point total. After all, the squad would have been third this year if not for two disqualified relays, so they're mighty close as is.
- Kristian is Stanford's first men's diving champion in 82 years.
- He is a 16-time(!) junior national champion.
- He is majoring in science, technology and society.
- His father Kent owns a six-restaurant pizza chain, "Skipolini's", in the East Bay's Clayton, Calif.
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