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The North Carolina State Wolfpack have been busy early in this recruiting season, and this week have landed three more verbal commitments to go along with Finnish sprinter Lotta Nevalainen, who gave her verbal almost a month ago.
The women picked up pledges from Kayla Brumbaum, and the men added Canadian Alex Hamilton and Matt O’Donnell.
Brumbaum hails from the Rappahannock Y Swim Team and Riverbend High School in Northeastern Virginia and specializes in the breaststroke events. She swam matching 1:02.63′s at both the 2011 and 2012 NCSA Junior Nationals. She also has a 2:17.7 in the 200 breaststroke.
She’s even better in long course – having had the thrill of winning heat 4 of the 100 breaststroke at the Olympic Trials: something not many people can say they have accomplished, winning a race at the Olympic Trials.
She starts to fill one of a few major areas of need for this team: the breaststrokes. Last year, NC State only had one swimmer break a 1:03, and that was 20-year old freshman Lauren Poli in 1:02.97 – earning the team only a single point at the ACC Championships. Brumbaum should immediately ramp that up – and with all of the members from the School Record breaking medley relays returning, whoever emerges from the battle between her and Poli should be a part of relays that again destroy the school records.
For the men, O’Donnell and Hamilton both will join the NC State distance group that was led by senior-to-be Brandon Kingston last season.
O’Donnell, another YMCA swimmer who committed in parallel to his Sarasota YMCA distance teammate Taylor Katz. He has bests of 4:34.1 in the 500 free and a 15:38 in the 1650. He’s also got some potential in the 200 back, where his best is a 1:49.4. The challenge for Wolfpack coach Braden Holloway will be finding a way to instill a little bit more speed into his young freshman, whose best in the 100 is only a 51.4.
Hamilton has a best of 4:01.80 in the 400 free in long course and a 16:01.9 in the 1500.