Ryan Kao from La Mirada Armada and Kennedy High School in Southeastern Los Angeles (near Fullerton and Anaheim) has verbally committed to Cal.
Kao is one of the best male middle-to-distance freestylers in the class of 2014, though he’s not limited in versatility to just the freestyle races.
His best yards times:
- 200 free – 1:36.76
- 500 free – 4:20.28
- 1000 free – 9:13.21
- 1650 free – 15:21.56
- 100 back – 50.66
- 200 back – 1:50.08 (as a high school freshman)
- 200 fly – 1:49.02
- 200 IM – 1:51.49
- 400 IM – 3:58.96
Kao is the third-ranked 500 freestyler in the class of 2014, just a few tenths behind Virginian Henry Campbell and Texas commit Jonathan Roberts. That 500, as well as the 200 yard free, are Kao’s most exciting times. Cal was 4th at NCAA’s in the 800 free relay, but graduated half of that relay.
They could, though, rebuild in a hurry: between current freshmen Ryan Murphy, Sven Campbell, and Long Gutierrez, the Golden Bears have a lot of pieces to play with for their relay of the future.
Further, in the Pac-12 Conference where distance swimmers can really put up some inflated point totals at the conference level, Kao could be a huge, immediate contributor. Though of course Cal is more concerned about winning national than conference titles, for the first time in over 30 years last season they won the Pac-12, despite Stanford putting up a relative dominance in the distance events (including three of the top five milers).