Teri McKeever’s Legendary Recruiting Run Adds Mid-Season Verbal from New Zealand

  6 Braden Keith | January 29th, 2013 | College, Featured, News

pinit fg en rect gray 28 Teri McKeevers Legendary Recruiting Run Adds Mid Season Verbal from New Zealand

Cal women’s head coach Teri McKeever is on every high school swimmer’s shortlist. The only limitation to her recruiting right now is managing scholarships. She brought in the most prodigious high school recruit in history in Missy Franklin, along with three other top-20 recruits. Last year, they did even better with the addition of two high school swimmers who have already competed internationally in Rachel Bootsma and Liz Pelton (and that was just a start). McKeever, though, might have tipped this year’s class ahead of last with her latest addition: a verbal commitment from New Zealand’s Sophia Batchelor.

Batchelor’s commitment was first reported by collegeswimming.com and then confirmed by independent sources. Consider this a “soft verbal” for now; she wouldn’t be able to sign until the spring signing period opens anyway, and hasn’t yet actually visited Cal – a trip she has planned in the next few weeks.

She’s only 18 but is already the New Zealand National Record holder in the 100 fly in long course after a 58.71 at last year’s New Zealand National Championships. In 2011, she actually became the first in her country’s history to break a minute.

Batchelor was heartbreakingly left home from the Olympics; she missed the FINA automatic qualifying time by .01 seconds in the 100 fly, but Swimming New Zealand chose to leave her home, even though she was in line to be called up for one of the provisional “B” standard slots. That converts to around a 51-mid in yards, which would put her into an NCAA A-final, at the very least, already.

Batchelor is a backstroker/butterflier combo, though one would imagine she’ll focus on the butterflies in the short term, given the glut of backstrokers Cal has. In the 200 in long course she’s been 2:12.3 in the 200 back and 2:11.9 in the 200 fly.

This will set up Cal in the butterfly and backstroke events for years to come, between the overlap of Missy Franklin’s two years there, the end of Cindy Tran’s college career, and the rest of Rachel Bootsma and Liz Pelton’s tenure, and Batchelor’s classmates Celina Li and Egyptian Farida Osman, two of the best 2013’ers in the country. They still don’t have a true long-term solution to their breaststroke group, it would seem, that has emerged yet. There’s not a lot of great breaststrokers in this year’s junior high school class, but expect someone like Heidi Poppe (1:00.38) to get called early and often this coming fall by McKeever.

Comments

  1. Marley09 says:
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    Why wouldn’t NZ allow her to swim in the olympics if she had the OST? It’s not as though they had anyone else swimming the fly? Wonder if she’s bitter towards swimming New Zealand (or whatever they call themselves)? Best of luck at Cal.

  2. jman says:
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    I think the scholarship situation on the womens side hampers competitiveness between teams because when all these talented girls end up at a few schools limits who can win NCAA’s. If Cal draws top notch swimmers with all 14 scholarships and you get 16 to 18 girls scoring high at NCAA’s they cannot be beat. As much as i hate guys being limited to 9.9 scholarships i do think it allows for more team competition on the mens side.

    • FREEBEE says:
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      thank you–I can’t blame the coaches for building the best teams they can but it does make NCAAs boring- -or on occasion exciting if the stars squads blow it and an underdog breaks through

  3. GatorChomp says:
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    Guys NCAA meet is much harder and more competitive for that exact reason

  4. Daniel Barth says:
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    If they can find a solid breastroker or get solid production from someone currently on the team, would not wanna have to go up against Cal next year… If Batchelor comes in, it will just add to their handful of world class swimmers. Definitely looking forward to seeing them next season!

    • duckduckgoose says:
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      Congrats to Sophia and Teri. Lauren Boyle is a New Zealand national teamer who had a solid career at Cal. Agree that the only thing missing in 2014 is a solid breastsroker, but Teri’s team will be extremely talented everywhere else.

      Ethan Hall, Natalie Coughlin’s husband, is one of Heidi Poppe’s club coaches, so it wouldn’t be a huge stretch to see her stay in the East Bay for college, just like Breed, Nanfria, and Li.

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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 in the game, become one of the most prolific writers in swimming at a level that has earned him the nickname "the machine" in some circles. He first got his feet …

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