Back in the fall, Missouri head coach Brian Hoffer explained, "We knew this was a big recruiting year for us.” Little did Hoffer know just how big of a recruiting year it would be. Sure, the Tigers brought in Canadian Trials semi-finalist Dominique Bouchard, but after that, well, to quote Hoofer, “we feel we're in pretty good shape.” Enter transfer Kim Jasmer who single-handedly led Washington to a 35th place finish at NCAA’s. That was two years ago, but if Jasmer can return to form, she’ll go a long ways towards moving Missouri up from this year’s 28th place finish.
The top in-state kids left for Indiana, Minnesota, SDSU and Louisiana State, but Missouri continues to capitalize on their beautiful new Aquatic Center and this year landed swimmers from two of the state’s marquee clubs (Rockwood and Parkway). Interestingly, Washington swimmers helped and hindered Mizzou’s ranking. A week ago they had a top-ten class. When ‘Zona inked Erin Campbell, however, they were bounced out of the top ten.
|Jasmer, Kim||72.7||33||North Bend, OR||Transfer: Washington|
|Bouchard, Dominique||69.96||47||North Bay, ON|
|Ripley, Rachel||57.85||183||Tempe, AZ|
|Paterson, Ashley||56.93||201||Satellite, FL||Brevard Swim Club|
|Cunningham, Cassie||56.23||213||Pflugerville, TX||Texas Gold|
|Selbert, Brigette||52.69||258||St. Louis, MO||Parkway Swim Club|
|Masters, Amanda||50.45||295||Wentzville, MO||Rockwood Swim Club|
|Schaefer, Sydney||44.19||393||Hinsdale, IL|
|Courey, Sasha Menu||Etobicoke, ON|
My how times have changed. Years ago Minnesota’s Gretchen Hegener broke the American Record in the 100 breaststroke with a 1:00.32. This Fall the Gophers welcome a pair of freshmen within 2/10 of that time. Paige Bradley and Haley Spencer headline a huge class of fourteen. The pair are the top two breaststrokers available this year.
Additionally, it used to be that Swimmers in the South wouldn’t look North, but Kelly Kremer has busted that myth. Bradley met one of the Gophers’ swimmers on a swing through the Midwest. “Since I was born and raised in California I really wanted to experience another part of the country.” Cal and USC both turned on the heat, but Bradley was struck by those Midwest family values, “It was clear from the combination of the family-like bonding of the team, the devoted coaches, the fantastic academics, and the the over-all atmosphere of the city of Minneapolis, I simply had to go to that school. Family-values also influenced Lauren Weis and Stephanie Solfelt. Both follow a pair of siblings to the UofM. Sleeper of the group is Abby Staats. The Sprinter from Winona could prove something special.
|Bradley, Paige||75.18||23||Danville, CA||Crow Canyon Sharks|
|Spencer, Haley||68.6||57||O'Fallon||MO||Rockwood Swim Club|
|Weis, Lauren||63.22||108||St. Paul||MN||Star Swim Club|
|Johnson, Katie||61.63||121||Golden||CO||North Jeffco Swim Team|
|Weiss, Meghan||57.06||196||St. Paul||MN||Star Swim Team|
|Colton, Annalise||56.93||198||Edina||MN||Edina Swim Club|
|Prewitt-Thomas, Eleanor||52.54||259||Lees Summit||MO||Team Dolphins|
|Chu, Brianna||47.67||321||Racine||WI||South West Aquatic Team|
|Solfelt, Stephanie||47.48||324||Eden Prairie||MN||Aquajets Swim Team|
|Staats, Abigail||47.07||332||Winona||MN||Winona Swim Club|
|Takaki, Maddie||46.39||347||CA||Santa Clara Swim Club|
|Weitz, Elizabeth||45.65||362||Seattle||WA||Cascade Swim Club|
|Jackson, Emma||37.64||486||North Kingstown||RI||Bluefish Swim Club|
There weren’t a lot of recruits raised on the Farm this year. If you look at the current roster, however, it’s likely there wasn’t much scholarship money to go around. That’s good and bad. Good: Stanford more than replaced an outgoing group of seniors that didn’t score a point at NCAA’s this year. Bad: It will be tougher to send next year’s graduating class out with an NCAA team title. Good: They’ll be able to go on a spending spree next year when the likes of Dagny Knutson and Elizabeth Beisel go on the market.
Sticking to the here and now, Coach Maurer lands a top recruit from back home. Glenview, Illinois’ Alisa Finn has developed into a multi-tooled NCAA scorer. You can’t label her a breaststroker when she’s a top-ten flyer. That would lend itself to being an IM’er, but the girl can sprint too. Freestyler Andi Murez has blossomed of late, capturing a pair of LA City CIF Championships.
|Finn, Alisa||78.26||13||Evanston||IL||Wildcat Aquatics|
|Murez, Andi||71.86||39||Venice||CA||Team Santa Monica|
|Simmons, Kaia||59.96||143||Providence||RI||Bay & Ocean State Squids|
|Hammes, Jessie||59.1||158||Carmel||IN||Carmel Swim Club|
#14 Virginia Tech
The Hokies recruited a double-digit class this year. For years head coach Ned Skinner has succeeded with a formula built around sprinting. He typically takes good athletes who aren’t overly polished or recruited. After a year or so of work he’s got them on relays that send other teams into fits. He’s not going to bedazzle recruits. He’s not going to sell parents on something they’re not. He even speaks with a little bit of pride when showing off the worst (and soon-to-be-replaced) facility in the ACC. Then he’s going to coach the heck out of them.
This year’s group IS impressive though and moves away from a sprint-based approach. Meaghan Holloway and Becky Flora are big signees and with Keri Sink and Laura Simon move VaTech away from the all-sprint approach. Addie Carne and Lindzi Smith ensure they don’t neglect sprinting altogether.
|Holloway, Meaghan||66.67||70||Yorktown||VA||Unique Swimming|
|Carne, Addie||64.16||94||Simpsonville||SC||Y-Spartaquatics Swim Club|
|Sink, Keri||60.02||142||Elgin||IL||Virginia Gators/Elgin YMCA|
|Flora, Becky||59.55||149||Owings Mills||MD||Eagle Swim Team|
|Smith, Lindzi||58.65||165||Marietta||GA||Dynamo Swim Club|
|Kalnins, Dana||53.97||238||Manassas||VA||Curl Burke|
|Steeves, Katie||46.75||341||Newark||DE||Delaware Swim Team|
#15 Louisiana State
One of the most storied swimmers in LSU history, Adam Schmitt arrived in Baton Rouge aiming to return the Tigers to the glory days. Like any young coach, the timeline was simple –now. That’s not easy to do in the SEC, but five years later, Schmitt and the Tigers are beginning to gain traction.
Amanda Kendall is one example. The talented sprinter from Fairfax, Virginia considered SEC rivals Tennessee and Georgia, but was taken by the ferocity of LSU’s environment. “The campus is amazing and the family atmosphere and their incredible team spirit were matched by none.” She was also struck by the level of academic and athletic support afforded LSU athletes – this, coming from a woman who also considered Texas A&M where athletic spending takes on a new level.
The big pickup is Sally Wood. The native of Scotland will give LSU help in middle-distance, fly and IM while Amber Green strikes us as a potential big-time player. The rest of the crew aren’t as polished as these three, but each brings something to the table. A foreign addition or two could put this class over the top.
|Wood, Sally||79.09||10||Edinburgh, Scotland||
|Kendall, Amanda||65.94||78||Fairfax, VA||Mason MAKOS|
|Green, Amber||63.26||107||Eureka, MO||Rockwood Swim Club|
|Griffiths, Chelsea||58.09||176||Canyon Country, CA||Canyons Aquatic Club|
|Haley, Sara||55.87||217||Oak Ridge, CA||Sierra Marlins Swim Team|
|Mader, Kaelee||55.18||223||Houston, TX||Cypress Fairbanks Swim Club|
|Lawson, Audrey||54.7||229||Erlanger, KY||Northern Kentucky Clippers|
|Ruimerman, Jana||46.54||345||Aurora, CO|
#16 Arizona State
When Dorsey Tierney left Auburn she left a Canadian gift box in the form of Tess Riordan. Maybe it’s luck, maybe it’s coincidence, or maybe it’s the metric system, but Tierney not finds herself with a pair of Canadians on her new team, both of whom should benefit from Tierney’s straightforward training approach.
Paige Schultz, fresh off her Bronze-medal performance at the Junior Pan Pacs leads the way. Primarily a backstroker/IM’er, Schultz will also lend a hand on Sun Devil relays. Versatile freestyler Cassie Morrice has the type of times that are good to build a team around.
The pool of in-state talent headed to ASU has dried up faster than a popsicle dropped on a Tempe sidewalk. That should change as Tierney and assistants Simon Percy, Brian Pursley and Demare Christainsen do their thing and show that ASU is once again a place where they’ll get faster.
|Schultz, Paige||80.54||6||Toronto, ON||Toronto Swim Club|
|Morrice, Cassie||68.72||56||Victoria, BC||
|Landgrebe, Shannon||60.64||132||Palm Springs, CA||Piranha Swim Team|
|Kuczynski, Caroline||60.03||141||Parkland, FL||Coral Springs Swim Club|
|Luttrell, Elizabeth||53.53||248||Memphis, TN||Memphis Thunder Aquatic Club|
Sometimes trying to find volunteers can be impossible, but Matt Kredich and Jennifer Arndt have managed to find a way to do it. The autumn signing period was a relatively quiet one for UT. That’s understandable, what with the opening of the new Allen Jones Center and Kredich having to go to Beijing for that swim meet last summer.
The spring, however, has been another story. The late additions of Sloane Pitman and Villanova transfer Lindsey Hagens bolster a team that loses just two point-scorers from last year’s NCAA meet. “We signed four swimmers and a diver who are all improving dramatically at this point in their careers,” explains Kredich who put a focus on in-state recruiting. “We feel we have signed the best prospects in the state of Tennessee, and we¹re very excited to have signed two legacies of UT athletics.”
Sloane and Breanna Folk slot into the roster nicely to fill gaps left through graduation. This is still a young team, though with only a handful of rising Seniors meaning UT will need to have spent money wisely to make a run a next year’s all-star class . . . that or enlist more volunteers.
|Pitman, Sloane||77.24||16||Hixson||TN||Baylor Swim Club|
|Folk, Breanna||67.45||64||Mohrsville||PA||Parkland Aquatic Club|
|Hagens, Lindsey||57.15||192||Gardner||MA||Transfer: Villanova|
|Watson, Brooke||56.54||206||Memphis||TN||Memphis Tiger Swim Club|
|Floyd, Kelsey||52.45||261||Lexington||KY||Wildcat Aquatics|
#18 North Carolina
The past couple of years have brought bumper crops of big recruits to Chapel Hill. Those classes haven’t always translated into points in March however.
Stephanie Eisenring, Lauren Schmittle and Rebecca Brooks are the versatile freestyle types that have long been a part of UNC History. Those two should help the Tarheel relays get un-stuck. The rest of the group, highlighted by local star Carly Smith, and should help them stay close to Virginia in the ACC standings.
This year North Carolina saw Virginia, Navy and NC State pluck three of the top kids from in state. You can be sure they’ll be putting on miles up and down tobacco road this fall when the Tarheel State offers up a marquee class.
|Eisenring, Stephanie||73.43||29||Fort Lauderdale||FL||Pine Crest School|
|Brooks, Rebecca||66.52||74||Rochester Hills||MI||Oakland Live Y'ers|
|Smith, Carly||62.81||112||Chapel Hill||NC||North Carolina Aquatic Club|
|Schmittle, Lauren||58.98||160||York||PA||WSY Swimming|
|Leiker, Amber||54.7||230||Huntersville||NC||Mecklenburg Aquatic Club|
#19 Ohio State
Ohio State head coach Bill Dorenkott doesn’t care about rankings. Bill Dorenkott cares about results. Bill Dorenkott can afford to because he’s got a record of producing results. Some of those best results, in fact, have come not from the stars, but from the kids willing to outwork the stars.
It’s something he readily acknowledges: “I am not sure how many stars any of these young ladies have in the rankings from the various experts. However, I do know that they are the type of people you can build a program around.” Freestylers Angela Severen, Megan Detro, Kim Bowman and Emily Creran certainly fit the bill. They’re relay-builders with room to grow. They’re also connected with some top clubs.
. The importance of this Buckeye team goes beyond the sum of the points they’ll score. These are Dorenkott-type swimmers who will work hard, get better, set the stage for even bigger things in Columbus.
|Severn, Angela||67.66||63||Harleysville, PA||Germantown Academy Aquatic Club|
|Creran, Emily||64.48||90||Haddonfield, NJ||GPAC|
|Detro, Megan||63.3||106||Carmel, IN||Carmel Swim Club|
|Bowman, Kimberly||60.21||138||Surrey, Canada||Pacific Sea Wolvves|
|Brousseau, Jacqueline||58.78||162||Thousand Oaks, CA||CLASS Aquatics|
|Massey, Lauren||55.14||224||Indianapolis, IN||Washington Township Swim Club|
|Heidersbach, Evann||47.53||324||Elmira, OH||
|Draves, Shannon||47.15||332||Gilbertsville, PA||Pottstown Seahawks|
|Tavierne, Elisabeth||45.15||372||Aurora, IL||St Charles Swim Team|
#20 Notre Dame
Brian Barnes always seemed a little out of place Auburn. He’s not slick. He’s not flashy. He’s always carried himself with an air of maturity that belies his youthfulness. C’mon, he lists woodworking as a hobby in their media guide. He is also a heck of a coach and someone parents would have no problem entrusting their daughters’ futures to.
Barnes adds four daughters to his Irish family. They’re not the highest profile names on the list, but there swimmers who will carry on the tradition of Big East Championships while also building towards national-level success. Backstroker Kim Holden and freestyle Jaime Malandra are good ones to build around. Grace Fredlake and Lauren Scott are additional building blocks who should thrive under Barnes and new assistant Kate Kovenock. As word of their success spreads, so should interest in the program. Just don’t expect Barnes to shout it from the rooftops. After all, there’s some things he finishing back in the workshop.
|Holden, Kim||69.01||53||Mount Kisco, NY||BGC-N. Westchester Marlins|
|Malandra, Jaime||68.45||59||Orefield, PA||
|Fredlake, Grace||62.08||119||Tampa, FL||Tampa Bay Community Aquatics|
|Scott, Lauren||60.94||127||Fayetteville, GA||Southern Crescent Aquatic Team|
#21 Texas Christian
Texas Christian cracks the top twenty-five this year with a couple of additions "I'm excited about this class and where it can help us," said head coach Richard Sybesma. "We feel that this group will really be able to improve our program in and out of the water."
This class helps the Horned Frogs on a couple of levels. For one, it bolsters a team that continues to rise up the Mountain West. More than any other MWC school, TCU continues to recruit aggressively and see gains in the standings. The other place it could help is in March. Sabine Rasch arrives in Fort Worth from Germany with impressive short course sprint skills. If they can transfer to yards, the Frogs are in business. Teamed with Indian River transfer Mary O’Sullivan and TCU will make a run at some Mountain West relay titles.
|O'Sullivan, Mary||68.75||55||Transfer: Indian River State College|
|Rupp, Madison||50.64||285||Fairfax||VA||Curl Burke Swim Club|
|Dena, Kristi||49.98||295||Fort Worth||TX||Fort Worth Area Swim Team|
|Smith, Margaret||42.35||417||Richardson||TX||City of Richardson|
#22 Penn State
John Hargis returns to Penn State with an eye on returning his alma mater to the glory days of Big Ten titles and upper-level NCAA finishes. Amy Modglin and Merritt Krawczyk will help in both of those endeavors. The pair of top-100 pickups will give the Penn State medley relays a front half. Modglin is especially versatile and will see time in the IM’s. Bryeanne Ravettine will also bolster the Nittany Lion Squad.
Paige Whitmire is a huge catch for the Nittany Lions. The sprinter is a little one-dimensional right now, but found a program with a coach – Hargis – uniquely qualified to put her on the big stage. Whitmire is also important because she represents the lone Pennsylvania recruit.
Hargis and his staff did a good job of fanning out across the country to land recruits. As they begin to settle in, they’ll be able to stem the flow of swimmers headed out of state.
|Modglin, Amy||69.51||49||Fort Myers, FL||Swim Florida|
|Krawczyk, Merritt||65.31||85||Kingwood, TX||Eagle Swimming Association|
|Ravettine, Bryeanne||60.41||134||Mahwah, NJ||Cougar Aquatic Team|
|Whitmire, Paige||50.63||286||Souderton, PA||
|Lewis, Amy||42.77||407||Rudolph, WI||
|Mascari, Ashley||Annapolis, MD||Naval Academy Aquatic Club|
|Bofinger, Hannah||New Market, MD||FAST|
A year ago Michigan signed a great class right out of their own back yard. The Wolverines again hold onto a top-100 Ann Arbor native, but this year the Wolverines were able to draw from a much wider recruiting base.
"This is one of the better classes we have ever recruited," said head Coach Jim Richardson. " They are all very solid swimmers and the ones who aren't quite as fast yet, they have tremendous potential for improvement which is one of the things we really look for.”
Ashley Cohagen is this year’s homegrown talent. The backstroker has Trials cuts and a dolphin kick that makes her an excellent flyer as well. The Wolverines also added Trials qualifiers Mattie Kukors and Julia Andracki.
Richardson also notes the class’ potential. “We have been fortunate that probably 95 percent of our swimmers swim appreciably faster once they come here, so we try to keep our eyes open for people that haven't been burnt out or tapped out and still have room for improvement." Deirdre Jones is already proving that point. The Nashville native’s stock has risen quickly since her signing in the fall.
|Jones, Deirdre||64.61||89||Nashville, TN||Nashville Aquatic Club|
|Cohagen, Ashley||64.09||96||Ann Arbor, MI||Club Wolverine|
|Kukors, Mattie||62.73||114||Auburn, WA||King Aquatic Club|
|Carl, Katherine||60.37||136||Bloomfield Hills, MI||Birmingham Blue Dolphins|
|Andracki, Julia||57.87||180||Mt. Prospect, IL||Arlington Alligators Inc|
|Fayhee, Kally||53.05||252||Aurora, IL||Academy Bullets Swim Club|
|Lang, Melissa||52.95||253||Edison, NJ||Scarlet Aquatic Club|
|Meinert, Corinne||Upper Arlington, OH|
#24 West Virginia
The Mountaineers brought in the best class since Vic Riggs’ arrival. This class doesn’t have some of the star power that his predecessor Sergio Lopez attracted, but some of that star power was short lived.
This class, however, provides a good foundation for the Mountaineer’s climb up the Big East. Rachael Burnett , Austen Carrington, and Breanna McCann are good foundation for this team. They’re versatile. They come from successful programs, and they’ve got room to improve.
Wildcards for this class are the internationals. Great Britain’s Amanda Nugent and Aussie Danielle Redman’s times were hard to come by, incomplete, or just didn’t convert that well. If their times translate well stateside (we’re assuming their language skills will), this could be a much, much better class than what you see on paper.
|Burnett, Rachael||64.1||95||Springfield, VA||VA||Potomac Marlins|
|McCann, Breanna||63.89||100||Akron, OH||OH||Firestone Akron Swim Team|
|Nugent, Amanda||58.72||164||Great Britain|
|Fodor, Kata||55.78||219||Sarasota, FL||FL||Sarasota YMCA Sharks|
|Storie, Sloan||48.96||309||Corvallis, OR||OR||Corvallis Aquatic Team|
|Carrington, Austen||45.17||372||Alpharetta, GA||GA||Swim Atlanta|
|Vetterlein, Nikki||42.73||409||Seattle, WA||WA||
|Vavra, Samantha||33.79||539||Lansford, PA||PA||Atlantic Aquatic Club|
|Redman, Danielle||22.81||628||Gold Coast, Australia||AL|
This year Clemson assembled a class that’s long on numbers but a little short on top-end talent. That’s enough for us to agree with recruiting coordinator Lance Asti’s assertion that "This is arguably the best early signing class Clemson Swimming has seen.”
We also agree with his assessment that they also have some big shoes to fill. None of the signees will immediately make up for the loss of Meghan Parkhurst and Rachel Regone, but the class does show a lot of promise.
Sarah Andrews, is an Olympic Trials qualifier is in the backstroke, but she’s still untapped in the IM’s and middle distances. Victoria Cervone drew the glances of several ACC schools that see her as a big-time scorer. Both are top-100 recruits. Working down the list you find several more swimmers capable of scoring at an increasingly-competitive ACC meet, but maybe not quite in multiple events yet. That could change, afterall Parkhurst and Regone didn’t arrive at Clemson as the stars they are today.
|Andrews, Sarah||66.56||74||Centerville, OH||
|Cervone, Victoria||66.19||77||Closter, NJ||New Jersey Wave|
|Redmond, Kristen||63.52||105||Roswell, GA||Swim Atlanta|
|Savage, Heather||59.49||151||Canandaigua, NY||Canandaigua Aquatics - YMCA|
|Krauss, Kelsey||58.5||169||St. Petersburg, FL||Saint Petersburg Aquatics|
|Anderson, Meg||57.27||191||Tampa, FL||TBAY|
|Angell, Kellyn||56.3||211||Nashville, TN||Nashville Aquatic Club|
|Browning, Laura||44.09||394||Alpharetta, GA||Dynamo Swim Club|
|McGee, Kelly||39.56||457||Colorado Springs, CO|
Other Classes Of Note
California-Berkeley – Signing of Caitlin Leverenz gives the Bears the top recruit in the country for the second straight year. That’s not enough to replace Vollmer or Rodgers, but may allow them to save some money for next year’s dynamite class.
Cal Poly –Tom Milich has found a niche as the anthesis to the “big time” programs of Southern California and the kids are buying it. Angie Haven, is one. “Most of my swimming friends are committing or considering only the top schools in NCAA,” she explains. And while she considered the usual Pac 10 Powers, she, “didn't feel that it was necessary to be on that kind of a team to become great.” It isn’t and with Milich at the helm and a new pool nearly finished, greatness can be expected.
Colorado State University – CSU keeps three in-state including Arianne Lujan. Woodlands’ Genevieve Swartz rounds out solid group.
Columbia University – Classes continue to improve under Caskey and assistant Brethauer. Eight solid recruits from eight states.
Duquesne – McGeath’s versatility and trio of breastrokers fill holes in Dukes’ lineup.
Duke – The Blue Devils’ staff continues to improve each class. This one impresses not just because of who they signed, but for the others that had Duke on their short list. Getting kids like Emily Kintz “wanted to be part a swim team that is continuing to improve” ensure continued success.
Fordham University – Fordham? That’s the destination for sprinter/breaststroker Brienne Ryan. She’s no Teuscher, but could, like the Columbia star, single-handedly get a college from New York City to the meet.
Fresno State - Jeanne Fleck built a contender with a bunch of overlooked kids at Northern Illinois. She’s doing it again at Fresno State.
Indiana University– A small class, but Taylor Wohrley and breaststroker Ashley Specht keep the Hoosiers in contention for another Big Ten title.
Iowa State University – Danielle Harris and Boise State transfer Johanna Wubbena, follow DMSF club coach Kelly Nordell to Ames giving the Cyclones their highest-profile Iowa recruits in years.
Maryland – No stars here, but double-digit class lays a good foundation. It pulls from eight states in the heart of ACC country.
Missouri State – An big time international heads to a Springfield, Missouri university not named Drury? That’s newsworthy. Marta Nogueroles of Barcelona becomes a Bear. More interestingly – Drury picks up backstroker Tiffany Van Dongen from the Long Horn State.
North Texas – Hannele Luoma joins the Mean Green from Finland where about the only thing green is Lichen. Catia Weickgenant could have gone anywhere, but continues Dykstra’s trend of landing higher profile kids from in state.
Rice University – Stephanie Wei has her sights set on a four-year NCAA career and is star of a small, but potential-laiden class.
Richmond – Typically big guns come from afar with locals providing depth. Barany turns the table with his big four, led by backstroker Lauren Hines, staying close to home while drawing depth from Florida, Tennessee and Connecticut.
Tulane University – What is it with New Orleans schools bringing huge classes? Lena Guarriello begins rebuilding campaign by drawing prospects from eight states.
Villanova – Hayley Edwards spurned big programs to avoid getting lost in the crowd, but with Natalie Elphick, and Summer Cook take ‘nova a big step forward in the Big East.
Yale University – This Alex won’t be mistaken for a certain Yale sprinter, but Alex Forrester gives Yalies a top-flight backstroker and sprinter.