Ranking the 2013 NCAA Women’s Recruiting Classes: #’s 1-4

  68 Braden Keith | August 18th, 2013 | College, Diving, Featured, News, Pac-12

And now, to reveal our top 4 women’s recruiting classes for the fall of 2013, who will begin their quests for collegiate greatness over the next few weeks.

To be totally transparent and honest, we’ve had Cal as the #1 class in the country for a month. Given that we, and most of the swimming community, only found out about the signing of World Championship finalist breaststroker Marina Garcia on Saturday, that says just how good this class is. The Cal women have had the best two-year run of recruiting that we’ve seen at least in recent memory.

4. Stanford Cardinal

Headliners: Lia Neal, Nicole Stafford, Grace Carlson, Kassidy Cook (diving)
Rest of the class: Bridget Boushka, Tara Halsted

Greg Meehan already has what will probably become the top group in the high school class of 2014, but his class of 2013 was none-too-shabby either. Start with Olympic bronze medalist Lia Neal, who swam in London on the American 400 free relay. During her senior season, her times indicate that her focus was more on high school and her yards times, and the results were spectacular. She was 22.4 in the 50, 47.9 in the 100, and 1:45.5 in the 200 yard freestyles. She didn’t go any best times in long course, but Greg Meehan will be thrilled with what she showed in 2013 regardless. She can immediately take Andi Murez’s spot on all three free relays and will be seamless (though she’s not quite as good in the 50 as the senior Murez was in a spectacular year last year).

Nicole Stafford from Georgia is a ten-time Georgia High School State Champion. She’s had some really scary health issues this summer, but if she’s at full-strength as a freshman this year, she could be a gem of this Stanford class. She’s primarily a butterflier, with bests of 53.4 and 1:58.0, but is also a fantastic backstroker (54.2) and freestyler (49.3/1:45.2). She should slide perfectly into that versatile role that senior-to-be Felicia Lee has had at Stanford for the last three years. Even with her health problems, she swam lifetime bests of 1:00.1 and 2:15.6 in the 100 and 200 long course butterflies this summer.

Halsted is a swimmer who is probably still looking for what her best event is, but the good news is that she’s clearly very talented. She’s been 55.0/1:55.4 in the 100 and 200 yard backstrokes, which is one of Stanford’s weakest areas. She’s also been a 1:58.1 in the 200 fly and a 2:01.1 in the 200 IM. She had a great senior year, just like most of this class did, which should help carry momentum.

Carlson, from Tualatin Hills in Oregon, is a great freestyle/backstroker, going 50.2/1:47.9 in the 100 and 200 yard freestyles plus 53.8/1:57.9 in the 100 and 200 yard backstrokes. That’s more resources invested in shoring-up that backstroke group.

And finally, their diver. Kassidy Cook from the Woodlands program is the number one women’s diving recruit in the country, and one of the best in years. She just barely missed the Olympic Team in the 3-meter at the Olympic Trials, placing 4th, and is a former multiple-time Junior National Champion on both springboards.She’s also been very good on the platform in the past, but as she’s moved to the more elite levels of the sport has shied away from that event. Given some battles with shoulder injuries, she may be a two-event diver at Stanford, but she could be an NCAA top three finisher, if not champion, as a freshman.

This is another small class, as women’s NCAA teams seem to be in the mode of shrinking their rosters a bit.

3. Georgia Bulldogs

Top Additions: Olivia Smoliga, Emily Cameron, Rachel Zilinskas
Rest of the Class: Kimberlee John-Williams, Anna Kolanowski, Elizabeth Ann Kirkland (diving)

It would have been improbable, especially in the fall signing period prior to hanging another ‘National Champions’ banner, for Georgia to replace their outgoing class that included Megan Romano and Allison Schmitt. However, their incoming freshmen class should result in a very strong, if new-look, Georgia team that suddenly should have incredible medley relays to go with their history in the free relays.

That begins with Olivia Smoliga, who was the first high school swimmer under 22 seconds in the 50 yard free (21.99) and could help in all four of the shorter relays immediately. In the freestyle races, she goes 21.99/47.89 in the 50 and 100; in the backstrokes, she goes 51.4/1:56.8 in the 100 and 200 yard races. That means immediately she will be a backstroke upgrade even from the great Megan Romano. She gives Georgia a big leg-up in their head-to-head rivalry with Cal, as she’s one of a handful of swimmers in the country who can challenge Cal’s backstroke dominance next year (she would’ve been in the A-Final in 2013 at NCAA’s).

Also joining the backstroke group is Kimberlee John-Williams, a native of Trinidad & Tobago who swam at the Baylor School in Tennessee; she is the defending Tennessee State Champion with a 54.04 in the 100 yard back, and has split 22.8 and 50.8 in the 50 and 100 yard freestyles on relays. She’s seen as a swimmer with a ton of upside, given her size and strength.

Emily Cameron didn’t have a great senior season, but she’s still the top breaststroker in the class with yards bests of 1:00.54 and 2:13.60. She’s also a strong freestyler, going 22.7/49.4/1:49.0 in the 50, 100, and 200 yard races. She’ll have a year to get her times straightened out, as Melanie Margalis remains as a great relay option, before taking over in 2014-2015.

The Dawgs also bring in Rachel Zilinskas, a tailor-made Georgia recruit. She’s 1:47.1 in the 200, 4:40.0 in the 500, and 15:59 in the 1605 freestyles. Coming from Germantown, she’s no stranger to hard work, though is another swimmer who could do well from a change-of-scenery after a sluggish senior season. Kolanowski will slide into that middle distance group, with her best race being the 200 free where she has gone 1:48.36.

This is not the world’s deepest class, but a medley relay next year of Smoliga, Margalis, Harrington, and Vreeland/van Landeghem is mouth-wateringly good.

2. Tennessee Volunteers

Headliners: Michelle Cefal, Camryne Morris, Christina Leander, Colleen Callahan, Lauren Driscoll (sophomore transfer from Cal)
Rest of the class: Trisha Forrester, Heather Lundstrom, Morgan Dickson, Gaffney Taylor (diving), Madeline Tegner, Bailey Wind (diving)

This class is insanely deep for Tennessee, which they needed after losing a good chunk of scoring from last year’s team that placed 3rd at NCAA’s.

One of those graduations is incredibly obvious in the focus of this recruiting class. Butterflier Kelsey Floyd completed her eligibility, and Tennessee has brought in four impressive butterfliers in the class. Michelle Cefal is the headliner and a Junior National Teamer. She has been 53.1 and 1:55.5 in the 100 and 200 yard flys, and is even better in long course, where she seems dead-red on track to fill the huge gap in the women’s 200 fly right now (she’s been 58.2 and 2:08.7 in long course).

Trisha Forrester, daughter of 1976 Olympic medalist Bill Forrester, comes from Savannah, Georgia, and is a two-time Georgia State Champion (in the 100 free and 100 back) but her best races are the butterflies, where as just a sophomore she was 55.0 and 1:58.8. Since then, she’s improved in a lot of other races, but in the hallowed halls of Knoxville, where they know butterfliers as well as anywhere, she’s being called a butterflier, which can only mean good things for her future.

Heather Lundstrom is an incredible worker. She won three-straight Missouri State Championships in the 100 yard fly, including a 54.57 as a senior a week after having her wisdom teeth out (and being out of the water for 5 days). Also at that senior state meet, she won the 500 freestyle title. For those unfamiliar with the American high school racing schedule, that’s about a 15-minute turnaround, with only the 100 free separating the two races. This is again while spending most of her taper out of the water.

She has been 54.3 and 1:57.6 in the 100 and 200 yard butterflies, and is the kind of driven swimmer that a coach like Matt Kredich can turn into a star.

Leander is a very good backstroker, with bests of 53.6 and 1:58.1 in the 100 and 200 yard races. She’s also a strong enough breaststroker and butterflier that she’ll probably wind up swimming the 200 IM (2:00.61) as her third event.

Colleen Callahan is one of the top 5 breaststrokers in the class of 2013. Tennessee has a good one returning in Molly Hannis, but Callahan gives them much-needed depth with bests of 1:01.2 and 2:15.2 coming out of high school.

Topping the class off is a pair of great middle-to-distance swimmers. Lauren Driscoll, who is transferring after one season at Cal. She didn’t improve in her core events, the 200 and 500 yard freestyles, as a freshman, though her bests of 1:45.3 and 4:39 show her potential. She did, however, extend her range up to the mile, where she dropped down to a 16:25.19. With what Tennessee has done with their distance group in the last year, she should thrive. Incoming freshman Camryne Morris, who spent time training with NBAC but now is at the Chelsea Piers Aquatic Club in Connecticut, should also help fill out that group. She has yards bests of 1:47.2, 4:42.7, and 16:19.3 in the 200, 500, and 1650 freestyles, and is on the verge of a big national breakthrough on the senior level. After so much focus at NBAC on long course swimming, expect even those very good yards times to drop right away at Tennessee.

And if all that weren’t enough, it’s two great divers. Gaffney Talor dove for the duo of Cynthia Potter (ESPN diving analyst) and Alex Kossenkov. Adding Dave Parrington to that trifecta will give her a huge chance for success; she’s a former Georgia high school state champion. Bailey Wind is an incredible story. After signing with Tennessee, she was involved in an auto accident on December 1, 2012 where a good friend and her boyfriend were both killed after being hit by a speeding driver, and Wind suffered a broken neck, lost several teeth, and had to have a titanium plate put in her jaw (it was ruled that there was no fault by her boyfriend, the driver of the vehicle that she was in). She returned to the boards in April, though she may redshirt her first year.

This is a phenomenal class, and it filled many big needs for the team. If they can find one more sprinter to partner with Faith Johnson, then this could be another huge year for the Vols. What’s really exciting about this class is that all of the swimmers still seem to be going the right way with their improvements: a rarity for a class of this size in women’s swimming. That jumps them up another few rungs on our ladder.

1. Cal Golden Bears

Headline additions: Missy Franklin, Celina Li, Kristen Vredeveld, Farida Osman (Egypt), Sophia Batchelor (New Zealand), Marina Garcia (Spain)
Rest of the class: Taylor Young, Abi Speers,

Another Teri McKeever class that goes 5-or-6 deep with future NCAA Champion-type swimmers. The class gets knocked a little because Missy Franklin, an unbelievable next-level recruit, will only be there for two years, but even that can’t damped this class much. Celina Li is the top butterflier in the class and among the 5 best meters IM’ers (of any age) in the country. Kristen Vredeveld is one of the fastest sprinters ever in high school, a former 15-16 National Age Group Record holder, and the lock-down sprint freestyle specialist that Cal was missing last year.

Abigail Speers will join Vredeveld in that sprint group; she’s been 23.1 and 50.8 in the 50 and 100 yard races

Then there’s two huge internationals. Sophia Batchelor from New Zealand, the National Record holder in the 100 meter fly who is going to be an international-level competitor for the next decade if she wants to be (including at this year’s World Championships). Farida Osman is an Egyptian who was born in the United States; she finished 7th in the 50 fly at this year’s World Championships with a best of 26.12 – basically the same time that American Dana Vollmer, also training at Cal went. Imagine adding Dana Vollmer to your 200 medley relay. She has the potential to have the fastest split in the country on that leg as a freshman if she wants to.

Taylor Young, from nearby Santa Rosa, is another added piece of depth to a Cal breaststroke group that needs it. She was a 1:01.2 and 2:14.9 in the 100 and 200 yard races as a senior. She has shown steady improvement throughout her high school career, which surely attracted the likes of Cal in a relatively-weak breaststroke class nationwide.

And then, the late addition of Marina Garcia Urzainqi from Spain really was the icing on Cal’s cake. Whether you look at a straight long-course comparison, or rely on meters-to-yards conversions, Garcia is the best breaststroker in this freshman class, bar-none, having been 1:07.0 and 2:22 in the 100 and 200 meter breaststrokes. In fact, that 200 time is 4th in the world, and faster than any current NCAA swimmer. National Championship worthy is an understatement.

Comments

  1. bobo gigi says:
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    I’m not a NCAA specialist but where is Auburn in these rankings? Not in the first 12? It’s curious they don’t attract more great talents there. I believed it was one of the biggest places in NCAA swimming.

    • zebrafeet says:
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      Auburn’s tricky. While there men have had a huge run in SEC dominance, the women are more up and down. With the addition of TAMU (and Mizzou) to the SEC last year, Auburn realistically is looking at a fight for the 3-5 spot in conference (between Tennessee, UF and Auburn). Since this is based on incoming students, they might be (a) scholarship short or (b) just didn’t attract as many high level recruits. I’m surprised (even in orange colored glasses) to see UT this high: I’d place them more 4-5th.

      But I am surprised that Alabama was able to score a better recruiting class than Auburn.

  2. NOVA Swimmer says:
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    No mention of Janet Hu at Stanford. Is she still swimming there?

    • Braden Keith Braden Keith says:
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      NOVA Swimmer – she’s the class of 2014. This is the class of 2013, who are about to begin their freshmen seasons. Hu has one more year of high school left.

  3. FREEBEE says:
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    nice job Braden–I must admit I was really looking forward to this breakdown. It is fair and thorough–nice surprise nuggets of info (I didn’t know lNicole Stafford could really help Stanford 800FR relay (especially with some improvement)

  4. TREE says:
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    Did Franklin go pro and I missed it? Why is she only at Cal for two years?

    • Braden Keith Braden Keith says:
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      TREE – she announced at the time she committed that she would swim at Cal for two years and then go pro. That isn’t 100% of a binding deal – she could go back on it – but there’s been no indication that she would unless the wheels totally fell off the bus somehow.

    • Swim fast says:
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      Does anyone else find it odd that out of the schools that placed top 5 at NCAAs last year, Arizona’s recruit class is nowhere on this list? Including the lower rankings?

  5. bobo gigi says:
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    Which events will Missy swim at the NCAA championships?
    50 free on day 1, 200 free on day 2, 200 back on day 3?
    Or perhaps the 200 IM on day 1 if she improves her breaststroke?

    • NoMissyFitty says:
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      No way will Missy do the 50. The 500 is more likely. She has a much better chance at winning that one.

      • bobo gigi says:
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        Ok, you want Missy in the 500 free and at the same time you want to see her shining in the 100 free internationally? You can’t do both.

        • John Sampson says:
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          She wouldn’t need to train for a 500 to win it bobo; her 4:34 is good enough. She could still train for the 100 and swim the 500 ‘for fun’ on a drop taper and still be a contender for the title. I doubt missy will even taper fully for NCAAs; although next year is a very light year internationally. So maybe she will just for fun.

          I wonder how much missy will train LCM vs SCY. Does anyone know if she will hopefully keep up some weekly LCM training or will she be full blown yards during the NCAA season?

        • beachmouse says:
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          Yep, welcome to the US college system, where you’re frequently swimming off events either for a bit of fun or because your team thinks they can get more points that way. Natalie Coughlin was also a really good 500 swimmer, and her untapered dual meet times would have typically ended up somewhere between 1st and 3rd at NCAAs, but the points worked out best for Cal to have her 3rd individual event be something else.

          Foreign athletes either really buy in to the US team process/mentality here or wander off after a year or two because they feel like the university isn’t letting them ‘properly’ focus on their 1-2 key events.

        • matthew says:
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          also – don’t underestimate what cross-training in the 5 SCY could do for her finishing power in the 2 LCM. franklin was almost caught by pellegrini & muffat at worlds…this training wouold help her finish stronger. and besides – Cal NEEDS her in this race. who else will swim it?!?

          the fact that franklin could simultaneously win the 100 back and 500 free at NCAA’s might be a pinnacle achievement on her “best female swimmer ever” journey. not that she’s going for that title…but the versatility is breathtaking.

          • duckduckgoose says:
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            Missy’s versatile enough that she could win 5 individual events (200 back, 200 free, 100 back, 100 free, 500 free) and score in two other events (50 free, 200 IM). As such, Teri leaves points on the table in any event where Missy doesn’t finish in the top 3 (at worst). 2014 will be Teri’s best team ever, so Missy probably doesn’t swim her best individual events and anchors Cal’s weakest relays too.

            Cal returns 4 scorers in both the 200 free (Pelton, Acker, Piehl, Breed) and 100 back (Bootsma, Tran, Klaren, Au), so Missy may skip one of those events. 200 free relay will be Cal’s weakest relay, so Missy potentially anchors that and skips the 800 free relay.

            Pelton and Li will both score in the 200 IM. Breed scored in the 500 free and Klaren and Garcia are on the bubble. Cal didn’t have any 50 free scorers last year and if Acker and Bing don’t improve and Vredeveld doesn’t get closer to her best times, I could see Missy in the 50 free. Would be far less taxing than the 500 free, and would set her up well for the 200 free and 400 medley relays.

          • Braden Keith Braden Keith says:
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            duckduckgoose – good analysis. We could have a whole season-long series of posts about who Cal should put in which scoring spots…actually…that’s not a bad idea….

            Wonder if Missy could score in the 100 fly. Don’t think it’s a realistic option, but she’s been 55.2 at an in-season meet where she was three seconds shy of what she can probably go in the 100 back…so doing some ‘swim math,’ maybe.

          • swimmer24 says:
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            missy should not swim the 100 fly. They have too many butterfliers for that and her stroke/underwaters aren’t very good.

          • aswimfan says:
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            Garcia on the bubble?
            She will score big, no doubt.

            Granted it’s LCM, but tell me another NCAA breastroker that can get close to 2:22

        • matthew says:
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          Ha, i’m a dork. here’s my FUN take (hint: don’t get snarky if u disagree..this is all fun)..i think Cal also needs Pelton in the 4IM after Leverenz graduation:

          200 Free Relay – Bootsma, Osman, Bing, Vredeveld
          500 Free – Franklin, Breed, Driscoll
          200 IM – Pelton, Li, Piehl
          50 Free – Vredeveld, Osman, Bing, Speer, Acker
          400 Medley Relay – Pelton, Garcia, Bootsma, Franklin

          200 Medley Relay – Bootsma, Garcia, Osman, Vredeveld
          100 Fly – Bootsma, Batchelor, Osman, Tran
          400 IM – Pelton, Li, Driscoll
          100 Breast – Garcia, Young
          200 Free – Franklin, Piehl, Acker, Vredeveld
          100 Back – Bootsma, Tran, Au, Klaren
          800 Free Relay – Franklin, Acker, Piehl, Pelton

          1650 Free – Breed, Driscoll
          200 Back – Franklin, Pelton, Tran, Au
          200 Breast – Garcia, Young, Kong
          100 Free – Vredeveld, Osman, Acker, Bing, Speer
          200 Fly – Bootsma, Li, Batchelor
          400 Free Relay – Franklin, Vredeveld, Pelton, Bootsma

          • Champ says:
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            Tran is a better 100y backstroker than Pelton and will probably keep her spot on the 400 medley relay assuming she’s healthy at NCAA’s.

            And how good is Pelton in the 400 IM? Her and Franklin have the potential to go 1-2 in the 200 free, whereas in the 400 IM, there’s stiff competition from Beisel, DiRado and Adams.

          • matthew says:
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            pelton was 4:10 in a dual meet vs. texas last year in the 400 IM. i think she could be a 4:04/4:03..which would be an easy 3rd. Her and Li will be an easy top 5 at ncaa’s in the event.

            leaving another cal swimmer to be top-8 with missy in the 2 free. in the 2free they could even have 3 top-8’s: Franklin, Acker, Piehl. at this point Terri has to smartly decide where to put her women so they don’t conflict each other out of max points!

          • duckduckgoose says:
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            Sorry to out nerd you, but (counting Driscoll) you’ve got 19 swimmers. Rowley probably makes it again as a diver, so you have to get rid of at least two swimmers, and Naze probably qualifies in the 200 IM and 100 fly (Cal’s deepest event: Bootsma, Tran, Osman, Li, Batchelor, Naze). Teri’s not going to carry 3 breaststrokers, so either Young or Kong stays in Berkeley (if either qualifies). Don’t think Speers makes it either.

            Speaking of nerds, I’m no Nate Silver but an Excel-based linear algebra based point maximizing spreadsheet is a mid-level quant project in b-school. Haas grad Lauren Boyle or Caroline Piehl could slap one together for Teri.

            Teri wouldn’t trade the cards she’s holding for any other roster, but she’s still got a pretty tricky job. Balancing roles as Cal coach, National Team Coach, and Missy’s personal coach is no picnic. As much as we appreciate the international contributions here, NCAA swimming is hard to grasp for non-Americans and a quarter of Teri’s 2014 team is international. Teri immediately focuses everybody’s egos on team goals by having Missy swim off events where everybody will be gunning for a win against her even if it’s the 50 or 500 free. Natalie felt pressure in trying to keep an undefeated streak in the 100 fly and 200 back alive, even though she knew those weren’t international events for her. Tracy Caulkins went 12 for 12 in NCAA individual titles and Natalie was 11 for 12. Doubt that Missy goes 6 for 6 in individual titles, but her teams should have significantly better chances for NCAA team titles than Natalie’s teams had. Teri’s not overly sentimental, but if her team doesn’t overqualify and Garcia is the lone breastroker, think she brings Melissa Bates as a relay swimmer since she’s a senior, who got left home for Kong in 2012, and is the best-liked swimmer on the team.

            All things considered, it’s probably much better for both Missy and Teri that she won’t still be an NCAA swimmer in 2016. Way too many conflicting goals and would hurt team chemistry. Teri really does have a lot of pressure in coaching Missy since the expectations are so over the top,

  6. duckduckgoose says:
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    Emily Cameron and Colleen Callahan were the top 2 breaststrokers on signing day, but that was without considering Gracia. Taylor Young had strong Spring and Summer seasons. How would class of 2013 breaststrokers be ranked now?

    • CoachGB says:
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      You forget the American system the hey swim everything at anytime. John Nabor once won the 1650 Nat. Because he had nothing else to swim on the last day. Track some of our swimmers as age groupers. One doesn’t effect the other just do it. In NCAA you do it for the team. That is why US teams jell together so quickly. That is a part of the “tude” you asked about one time past. Otherwise known as attitude, you have to have it without limitations. That is what club, High School, YMCA and College give to set our swimming apart. Many swimmers learn that in coming here.

  7. bobo gigi says:
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    I hope Miss Smoliga will rebound in NCAA after a disappointing long course season. I think she can beat the Cal girls in the 100 back.

    • ArtVanDeLegh10 says:
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      She probably isn’t going to beat Bootsma anytime soon. Yes, Smoliga won Short Course Worlds last winter or whenever it was, but her time only converted to 51.3 or so. Bootsma is a full second faster. Even if Smoliga drops a lot of time, and she might, who’s to say Bootsma won’t improve too.

      • bobo gigi says:
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        I agree Bootsma is the girl to beat. She has huge underwaters. And we know she can swim under 50. But Miss America Olivia Smoliga can do it too. Anyway, it will be the race on the women’s side.

        • bobo gigi says:
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          Olivia has won the 100 back at the last short course world championships in 56.64 and has also finished second in the 50 back with a new American record in 26.13.

  8. Josh says:
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    Oh to be a fly in the air when Missy “Golly Gee” Franklin moves to Berkeley and gets taken out to San Francisco to go clubbing and gets off BART at, let’s say 16th and Mission for the first time to find people openly defecating and drug users shooting up in the plaza, or the first time she encounters the drug-addled schizophrenics at Civic Center..

    • heh says:
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      I hope that’s not why the picture caption says “This shot captured ominously a then 15-year-old Missy Franklin …. ”

      Ominously? web definition “ominous: Giving the impression that something bad or unpleasant is going to happen.”

      Has Braden Keith seen the future and there’s something he’s not divulging?

    • Daaaave says:
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      Josh, what’s your point, brother? That Missy should have gone somewhere more “wholesome” than the Bay Area or that she doesn’t have the chops to experience the edgier parts of her college town? She will be fine–how is she different in this respect than any freshmen going to college in a city for the first time? She’s actually better-traveled and more adult-socialized than most incoming freshmen.

      • Daaaave says:
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        Hahaha, sorry for the self-reply:

        Oh to be a fly on the wall when Yannick “zut alors” Agnel moves to Baltimore and finds himself in Hampsterdam slinging for the Barksdale crew.

    • Braden Keith Braden Keith says:
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      That’s a little ridiculous Josh. Aside from the fact that Missy has had plenty of exposure to troubled populations…don’t have time to go through her entire charitable history for you, but she’s worked at the Excelsior Youth Center, with teens that were on their 10th foster placements, she has worked hands-on with programs for children of drug addicts, and I don’t know if you are aware of what her mother does, but I assure you she’s seen PLENTY through volunteer work she’s done with her mom’s office.

      Josh, all I can say is this: everyone on this site knows you’re a die-hard Florida fan. If you don’t want people to constantly sling arrows at Florida in these comment boards, then I’d expect that you would handle yourself with a little more dignity and represent the program a little better.

      • Josh says:
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        I live in San Francisco. I walk by 16th and Mission every day, at least twice a day and spend a fair amount of time in the Tenderloin. I came from a pretty rough environment and thought I had seen it all until I got here.. It’s been pretty sobering, and I certainly didn’t come from a wholesome or affluent background. That’s what I was getting at.

        This isn’t about Cal or UF, it’s about San Francisco, and bringing either school up is completely unnecessary. That said, it is good to hear that perhaps she won’t be as shellshocked as I might have thought when she gets here. The divide between the haves and have nots in this city is striking, to say the least, and is only getting worse. If you’re not prepared for it, it can be a bit much. There aren’t many (if any) other areas of the country where someone will leave a $3000 USD/month one bedroom apartment only to have to step over human excrement and drug needles left by the junkie who slept on your stoop overnight, but that kind of thing happens all the time here.

        • CALRESIDENT says:
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          There are several upscale areas of SF. Ever been to the Marina? Among many other areas. Seedy exists in just about every town and every where. She can also venture east through the tunnel. Your comments are ignorant. Like a few others on these comment pages, distorted facts are stated for self interests.

          • Josh says:
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            Yes, there are affluent areas, but do you go clubbing in Marin, or Sausalito or Tiburon or St. Francis Wood? Better yet, have YOU been to, and do you go clubbing in the Marina? When people come from out of town to go out here, they usually go to The Mission (where I live), The Castro, or the TL. The people who club in The Marina by and large are people who live in The Marina, and many of them very rarely leave The Marina except for work.

            A company recently created a private shuttle line that mimics the 30x so that Marina residents don’t have to interact with the hoi polloi on MUNI, which is ironic, because the 30x is a Marina-only bus. It costs 12 dollars a day for the same ride that costs 2 dollars on MUNI, and they can’t keep up with the demand. That should tell you all you need to know about the Marina.

            My self-interest is the same as anyone who has ever watched a reaction video on YouTube.

    • SWIMSHARK says:
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      Dude, no offense, but you spend so much time complaining when people make accusations like that towards the program you support but when you say stuff like that you’re asking for it. You’re clearly connected with the Florida program, but they’ve had their fair share of problems (which I won’t get into because I also support some members of that team). Nobody is commenting on their ranking and mentioning any of that. Partying happens in California. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen in Florida, Georgia, Tennessee or anywhere else. Nobody is gonna push her on to the plaza with the drug shooters. She’s going to be a college aged student and will make her own decisions. It’s not like responsible people and safe places don’t exist in Berkeley. Please don’t dish it if you can’t take it. You are embarrassing yourself and others who support UF since you associate yourself with them on these message boards so often. It’s inappropriate and an insult to the hard working women’s team at Cal.

      • Josh says:
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        Dude, no offense, but you need to work on your reading comprehension.

        1. I never said she wasn’t responsible. I never said partying doesn’t happen anywhere else. I said I’d like to see how she handles the things she is going to SEE when she comes to San Francisco to go out. She’s painted with this totally wholesome, almost hermetically sealed in a bubble image. Braden set me straight on her history of volunteer work, so perhaps she won’t be as shellshocked as I might have imagined, but she’s still going to see some shocking things, no doubt. Did I mention Berkeley at all? Did I mention Cal at all? No.
        2. I live here. That’s a very important point to make, so let me state it again: I LIVE IN SAN FRANCISCO.
        3. Unless the Cal women’s team has something to do with the civic issues plaguing San Francisco, I did not insult them.

        • SWIMSHARK says:
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          Is this an article about San Francisco? If your comment had nothing to do with Cal then why did you post it?

      • zebrafeet says:
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        aside from parts of boston (where i live) and NYC, no Josh, I can’t think of another single part of the country. Oh, wait. Yes, I can. can we please limit the topic to the emire Matt Kredich is building in Knoxville. :)

    • Jg says:
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      It is ok . Community minded ladies hand out large paper towels for the nekkid men so they can sit on the public furniture.

      All is well . All is well.

  9. gosharks says:
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    Just to point out, Chantal van Landeghem (UGA) made some significant improvements this summer, swimming 24.89 in the 50 at Worlds and split 53.57 on Canada’s free relay.

  10. Gio says:
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    She went 157.1 in the 200IM junior year-Emily Cameron

  11. BIBO GIGO says:
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    (Bobo mode on)
    I repeat Missy has no chance to swim these many events and win the NCAA. She has a big margin and can swim outide her pet races on her giant talent. But don’t forget yards is not the same as meters. And the underwaters will be another story. The question about her future in college is clear. It’s very logical if Missy want to become only a specialist she can break many back and free records for Teri McKeever. OK but for your information she needs to stop wasting her time on fun but useless events. Then her opponents must cry. I continue my lobbying. And my English continue to improve.

    (Bobo mode off)
    In my opinion fans on the Missy bandwagon should hold their horses a bit and curb their inflated expectations for her upcoming performance in the NCAAs.

    Franklin will naturally be an important contributor to the Lady Bears just like all their other recruit headliners; no more no less. The objectivity of this SWIMSWAM write up reflects the reality of this, in that a single sentence is devoted to America’s swim sweetheart in passing, compared to some of the other talented athletes who deservedly gets a full paragraph. Thankfully no cringe inducing fandom gushing over how Missy Franklin will destroy all the competition and change the face of NCAA swimming forever!

    Honestly, Missy isn’t going to be anywhere near the major factor in SCY that she currently is in LCM. Walls are the key components in short course as we all know. That is Franklin’s glaring Achilles’ Heel, one which McKeever will surely focus on with her star recruit, but the fruits of which won’t be clearly discerned until the 2nd season which is when Franklin will already be turning her sights towards the pro horizon and Rio. After all, it took Todd Schmitz a full decade of closely working with his protege, including calling upon the considerable resources of the National Team coaches & facilities these past few years, just to get her underwaters to the level that they are now… So don’t expect any mystical magic or sudden miracles to be wrought there by McKeever in such an abbreviated timespan!

    As someone has already brought up here, what will the SCY to LCM ratio be in her training, seeing as to the national importance of Franklin to Team USA and McKeever’s involvement with that? It seem unlikely that Franklin will ever contest NCAAs in fully tapered mode either, reserving her best instead for 2014 trials (Pan Pacs may be considered a competition of lesser priority, but qualifying for Kazan 2015 World Champs the year before will be of paramount import). And then there’s the question of how much of an adverse impact long term training at close to sea level will have on Franklin after having reaped the benefits of altitude training all her life up in the heights of Colorado?

    Yes, never underestimate “Wonder Woman without a cape” as Campbell had so admiringly dubbed the American Missile in Barcelona, but let’s not get too carried away and already crown CAL as next year’s champs before the competition has even started!

    Franklin is quite versatile, but she can’t do everything on her own. I can definitely see her scoring valuable points along with Breed for the Golden Bears in the 500 and bostering their relays, in particular their weaker sprint variants. Franklin will also pair up with Pelton to dominate the 200 back (with help from Klaren/Tran/Au points wise), though I’m sure Beisel, along with Stewart/Dirado/ Brandon/Russell/Snodgrass/Bartholomew/Denninghoff and the ilk may have something to say about that!

    Missy could also be a minor factor in the IMs and perhaps even in the breasts, bringing a bit of depth behind Pelton/Li/Piehl and Garcia/Young/Kong respectively, especially if all these unconfirmed rumors swirling around of McKeever planning to work with Franklin on her breaststroke actually pan out (her fly technique also have room for improvement).

    But let’s not overlook or dismiss the other equally potent weapons McKeever has lying around in her impressive arsenal!

    Franklin’s services may not be called upon at all in the 100 back & 200 free as Duckduckgoose had perceptively pointed out, there’s plenty of scoring depth already in the guise of Bootsma/Tran/Klaren/Au, and Pelton/Piehl/Acker/Breed respectively (now that the Lady Dawgs present less of a threat having lost the services of Romano & Schmitt).

    Vredeveld (among others) should be a key component in the sprints, and Osman/ Li/Batchelor will complement Bootsma/Tran nicely in the fly discipline.

    Footnote: Don’t worry Bobo, we still love you :D

    • bobo gigi says:
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      I don’t even want to read your comment.
      After the impostor gogo bibi, here’s the impostor bibo gigo.
      And you are the same sad person.
      Congrats for your sense of innovation!
      Your life must be boring if I’m your obsession.

      • GoGo BiBi says:
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        Just to clarify, Bibo is an entirely different person than me. I am the real deal, I’m not mocking you when I post, just stating my own opinions. I feel like Bibo Gigo is my impostor and now I am mad!!!

        Missy should swim the 500 free or 200 IM on day one, definitely not the 50

    • aswimfan says:
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      Can’t help LOLOLing at Bibo Gigo

    • aswimfan says:
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      anyway, CAL with Missy at their disposal will destroy some NCAA records.

  12. John Sampson says:
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    It will be interesting to see the battle in the 400 relay…especially between Georgia Cal and dark horse Stanford.

    Georgia has: Smoliga and Vreeland who could possible split 46s (more likely smoliga), Van Landeghem, Margalis, Locus, and outside chance of Cameron.

    Cal: Franklin who can definitely split a 46 on anchor, Pelton and Bootsma, Acker and Vredeveld, even Tran and Osman.

    I wouldn’t count out Stanford either, however Georgia and cal have way more options. With Schaeffer, Neal Dirado and stafford they could put together a good team.

    • gosharks says:
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      Franklin’s split from 2011 Duel in the Pool (scm) actually converts to 45.

      I’d say Van Landeghem is UGA’s best returning sprinter based on her LCM improvements.

  13. FOOD4THOUGHT says:
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    I for one am quite chuffed that Ms Franklin will be focussing her attention & energies on all those quaint antiquated American collegiate yardage for the next couple of years of her life.

    All the better for our girls Emily, Belinda, Bronte and Kylie’s chances of improving their podium positions at the Pan Pacific’s and Kazan!

    • aswimfan says:
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      Oh no, the infamous Food4thought (really?) is back…

    • matthew says:
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      that’s right…because look at how horrible Schmitt, Vollmer, Soni & Coughlin (all multiple 4 year NCAA champs) have been in the last 2 olympics.

      oh no, wait…

      • FOOD4THOUGHT says:
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        That’s right cos I didn’t make a single reference to London or Rio in my OP, just the Gold Coast & Kazan…cos look at how horrible Schmitt, Vollmer, Soni & Coughlin (all multiple 4 year NCAA champs) have been in Barcelona, with one of them failing to even qualify…

        The one redeeming factor for you yanks is your superstar will have a full year to recover from her rather daft short course yards stint, to attempt to get back to a semblance of her former long course shape, before the big meet in 2016.

        Not that this will do Franklin any good of course, cos Cate will be down to the low 51 range in the 100 by then. We can safely predict that no amount of Lezak-esque feats in the relays from Romano will be able to compensate for Cate’s massive and utter dominance then! :)

        • CoacGB says:
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          Why all the comments about SC being negative. What is the big deal about LC except that it is where the big show is held which is fine. I think the comments about the difference are overdone. I think that people put it in younger swimmers head of how difficult it is at long course. There is some but I don’t think to what is being said. I think that you just put it out there and stop worrying about it. I don’t think that any swims not up to par probably have other reasons. Just check our swimmers and how they go from on e to another and there prperstion which is never given in detail. I don’t think it is the difference it is made to be.

          • aswimfan says:
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            Ignoring food4thought, he’s just a troll trying to stir up things. I don’t even think s/he’s from australia.

            However, there is certainly a big difference between SCY and LCM, otherwise Tom Shields would have been olympics/worlds multimedaliist and WR holder.

  14. Ahmed Osman says:
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    I need to clarify that Farida Osman was only born in the United States. She has never lived or trained there. She has lived for the past 18 years in Egypt and trained there during that time.

  15. Megladon M says:
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    No one has commented about Missy’s training at altitude. She has spent her entire career in swimming with her base training at altitude. Which is usually accepted as an advantage when competing at sea level. I am curious as to how well she will do training for an entire college season at sea level. Note the word curious please.

    • BIBO GIGO says:
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      In response to Megladon M’s comment above on training at altitude… *cough cough*

      BIBO GIGO says:
      August 19, 2013 at 11:11 am

      “And then there’s the question of how much of an adverse impact long term training at close to sea level will have on Franklin after having reaped the benefits of altitude training all her life up in the heights of Colorado?”

  16. cynthia curran says:
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    “Does anyone else find it odd that out of the schools that placed top 5 at NCAAs last year, Arizona’s recruit class is nowhere on this list? Including the lower rankings?”
    Well, Arizona had some better age groupers in the past get from the Phoenix area and the Tucson,except currently for the Scottsdale team on the girl sided there are no current good swimmers for the college ranks.. Tucson produced Catlin L who went to Berkeley and Lacey Newmayer who has been out of swimming since 2008 and of course Sarah D who transferred to Texas. During the 1990’s and early 2000’s Arizona also attracted a lot of folks that use to live in California because the housing was cheaper but the bust slowed this down, so not as many people come from another state that might have a kid or two that was into swimming to developed for age groupers in Arizona.

  17. cynthia curran says:
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    1. I never said she wasn’t responsible. I never said partying doesn’t happen anywhere else. I said I’d like to see how she handles the things she is going to SEE when she comes to San Francisco to go out. She’s painted with this totally wholesome, almost hermetically sealed in a bubble image. Braden set me straight on her history of volunteer work, so perhaps she won’t be as shellshocked as I might have imagined, but she’s still going to see some shocking things, no doubt. Did I mention Berkeley at all? Did I mention Cal at all? No.
    2. I live here. That’s a very important point to make, so let me state it again: I LIVE IN SAN FRANCISCO.
    So, what shocking about Berkeley or San Francisco, Denver Co has some gangs, not as known as much as Oakland but there are gangs in Denver Co. I think San Francisco has the same murder rate as Anaheim and Anaheim has some gangs.

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The most common question asked about Braden Keith is “when does he sleep?” That’s because Braden has, in two years... Read More »