A for Athlete

Tara Kirk


  • Swimmer at Stanford Swimming (STAN-CA)
  • in 2008 = 25 DOB: Jul 12, 1982
  • 5' 6" (167.6 cm)
  • Hometown = Bremerton, Wash.
  • former resident of Bremerton, Wash.
  • Coach = Lea Maurer
  • Wikipedia:Tara Kirk
  • USA Swimming's media guide provided some source materials.

Career Highlights:[]

Three-time medalist at the 2007 FINA World Championships ... gold medalist in the 100m breast at the 2006 Pan Pacifics ... earned silver swimming prelims of the 400m medley relay, and claimed bronze in the 100m breast at the 2005 World Championships; narrowly missed a medal in the 50m breast, finishing fourth ... silver medalist (prelims) in the 400m medley relay at the 2004 Olympic Games ... finished her collegiate career at Stanford with a 35-0 record in the 100 breaststroke, winning four-straight NCAA titles


2004: Silver, 400m MR(pr); 6, 100m BR

World Championships[]

2005: Silver, 400m MR(pr); Bronze, 100m BR; 4, 50m BR; 6, 200m BR ... 2003: Silver, 400m MR-R(pr); 5, 50m & 100m BR

World Championships[]

2007: Silver, 100m BR/400m MR-R; Bronze, 50m BR; 8, 200m BR Duel in the Pool History: 2007: 1, 100m breast

2007 World Rankings:[]

3rd, 50m breast; 2nd, 100m breast; 16th, 200m breast

2006 World Rankings:[]

4th, 100m breast; 23rd, 200m breast

2005 World Rankings:[]

4th, 100m breast; 7th, 200m breast Intl. Results: Won gold medals in the 50m and 100m breaststroke at the 2007 Mare Nostrum Series.


Holds (United States (also known as USA) Flag of the United States / American Record) in 100y BR, set at 2006 ST ASC Time Trials ... Holds (United States (also known as USA) Flag of the United States / American Record) in 200y BR, set at 2006 ST American SC Champs ... Holds (United States (also known as USA) Flag of the United States / American Record) in 200m BR (Short Course Meters), set at 2004 Women's NCAA Champs

United States (also known as USA) Flag of the United States Swim Titles[]

100m Breast (2): '05 SPG, '03 SPG 200m Breast (2): '06 SUM, '05 SPG


National Teams: Five-time National A Team (2002-06) ... 2001 National B Team All-Star Team: ====2004==== Collegiate: Finished her collegiate career with a perfect record in the 100 breast, winning four- straight NCAA titles and breaking the world record (Short Course Meters) at her final NCAA meet in ====2004==== Collegiate: Was a Rhodes Scholar finalist ... 2004 Honda-Broderick Cup Award, given to the nation's outstanding collegiate woman; was the first Stanford woman ever to win this award ... eight-time NCAA All-American


High School: Bremerton HS '00 College: Stanford '05 College Major: BA in Human Biology, MA in Anthropological Sciences Graduate Studies: Masters thesis was "Reflections: Using H5N1 Avian Influenza to Investigate the Pandemic of 1918." ... "I compared the bird flu virus that is currently spreading across the world to an influenza epidemic that affected the whole world and killed about 50 million people in 1918- 1919. I proposed that the two viruses are a lot alike in several different ways, and what I found out was pretty scary. My ideas were proven by a group of researchers who published in Science magazine in October 2005."

Ambitions, Aspirations, Goals, Dreams[]

Work for the World Health Organization 

Family, Village, Community[]

Parents: Jeff and Margaret … both parents are electrical engineers Spouse: Engaged to Greg Sell Sibling(s): Younger sister (Dana) was a 2004 Olympian and National Team member … the two were the first sisters to ever swim on the same Olympic team ... also swam at Stanford together from 2002-04


One-time Olympian (2004) One Olympic medal (1s) Six World medals (4s, 2b)

International Medals[]

2007 World Championships 2007: Bronze, 50m BR; Silver, 100m BR; Silver, 400m MED-R 2007 Duel in The Pool 2007: Gold, 100m BR 2006 SC World Champs 2006: Silver, 400m MED-R (Short Course Meters) (WR) 2006 Pan Pacific Champs 2006: Gold, 100m BR

Top Times[]

Event 100m BR 200m BR Best 1:06.34 2:26.25 Year Mar 07 Jul 04


SUM NATS - 3 Final, 100m BR; 10 Final, 200m BR MoO DiP - 1 Final, 100m BR WORLD - 3 Final, 50m BR; 2 Final, 100m BR; 8 Final, 200m BR; 2 Final, 400m MED-R


US OPEN - 2 Final, 200m BR PAN PAC - 1 Final, 100m BR; 9 Final, 200m BR SUM NATS - t2 Final, 100m BR; 1 Final, 200m BR SC WORLD - 3 Semi, 50m BR (Short Course Meters); 4 Final, 50m BR (Short Course Meters); 1 Semi, 100m BR (Short Course Meters); 1 Final, 100m BR (Short Course Meters); 2 Final, 200m BR (Short Course Meters); 2 Final, 400m MED-R (Short Course Meters) (WR)


US OPEN - 1 Final, 100m BR; 2 Final, 200m BR SUM NATS - 3 Final, 100m BR; 4 Final, 200m BR MoO DiP - 3 Final, 100m BR; 2 Final, 200m BR WORLD - 4 Final, 50m BR; 3 Final, 100m BR; t6 Final, 200m BR WC TRIALS - 1 Final, 100m BR; 1 Final, 200m BR


OLY - 6 Final, 100m BR; 2 Final(pr), 400m MED-R OLY TRIALS - 2 Final, 100m BR; 5 Final, 200m BR


US OPEN - 2 Final, 100m BR; 6 Final, 200m BR SUM NATS - 3 Final, 100m BR; t5 Final, 200m BR WORLD - 5 Semi, 50m BR; 5 Final, 50m BR; 5 Semi, 100m BR; 5 Final, 100m BR MoO DiP - 3 Final, 100m BR; 5 Final, 200m BR SPG NATS - 1 Final, 100m BR; 3 Final, 200m BR


SUM NATS - 5 Final, 100m BR; 3 Final, 200m BR


(continued) Started Swimming: "I did a lot of other sports when I was younger, but the sport that I was really serious about was gymnastics. One day I had a really hard fall in a meet off of the uneven parrallel bars and broke my arm. Six weeks later, when I got my cast off, I had nerve damage and couldn't move my hand. My arm was really shrunken down, so I started swimming with my younger sister's team for rehab. I slowly got better and better and haven't stopped swimming since." Sports Played Before Swimming: Soccer, gymnastics, track, diving Nickname(s): Captain Kirk … “I hate it, but it obviously comes from my last name.” Hobbies Outside the Pool: Cooking, reading, learning how to play golf and speak Chinese Ultimate Way to Relax: Taking a nap Most Influential Person: Parents … “They taught me and my sister good values and made sure we could take care of ourselves.” Charities: Serves as a "clean water ambassador" for the Global Water Foundation ... also volunteers with Special Olympics and various organizations with Bay-area Olympians or through Stanford Sponsor(s): Speedo

Training Notes[]


Swims 6-13,000 meters/yards per day, 3-8 hours a day, 6 days a week


Was a Rhodes Scholar finalist in the fall of 2005, which means she made the final interview round and was actually one of a few called back for a second interview; in the end, she wasn't chosen ... “I was pretty disappointed, but I'll just have to take a different path to change the world.”

Has family ties to China ... her grandfather, Leung Kwok-kong, was born in China in the province of Quangdong ... he and his family immigrated to Hong Kong when he was a young boy, then later to the Philippines when he was 16 years old ... her grandmother, Aw-yong Mei-Lan, was born in the Philippines to Chinese parents also from the province of Quangdong, and she went back to China later for her education.

Would have liked to have met the inventor of the smallpox vaccine.

When she was little, wanted to be a marine biologist or NASA astronaut.

Drives a red Jetta; her sister (Dana) has a matching car

Favorites: U.S. city: Seattle ... int'l destination: Australia, Ireland, Costa Rica

Favorites: Movie: A&E version of Pride & Prejudice ... t.v. show: TLC's What Not to Wear ... bands: John Mayer, Davivd Gray, Snow Patrol, Death Cab for Cutie, the Killers