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In college swimming, is there ever too much of a good thing? Virginia coach Mark Bernadino seems intent on experimenting with that theory, as he’s gotten a verbal from yet another 200 butterflier, with the newest addition to that group being Erin McElfresh from Lansing, New York.
McElfresh brings in bests of 54.63 in the 100 fly and 1:59.88 in the 200. She joins a group that should have at least 4 swimmers in the A-Final at the ACC Championships this year, with none of those 5 being seniors. That includes the 2011 ACC Champion Rachel Naurath, the 2012 ACC Champion Megan Fox (both of whom won their titles as just freshmen), sophomore Sarah White, and sophomore Alison Haulsee.
Though UNC freshman Emma Nunn, already with a 1:56, could upset Virginia’s dominance in the conference, the Cavaliers are still stacked in the race for years to come.
What McElfresh brings to the table that’s a bit different from most of those 200 butterfliers is her ability to sprint. Among those mentioned above, McElfresh is already faster than any of them were coming out of high school in the 100 fly, and has another season to widen that margin.
Not that the Cavaliers are short on sprint butterfliers though, either. White had a good first year doing the 100/200 double, dipping under 54 seconds in the 100 fly. Her fellow sophomore Ellen Williamson, who is also a phenomenal backstroker for the Cavs, dipped under 53 seconds as a freshman.
Still, McElfresh’s potential to crossover the two groups will be another unique piece to this Virginia team that has swimmers with a lot of different nuanced specialties.
On the men’s side, Virginia has added Austin Quinn from the small, but academically prestigious, Chagrin Falls High School outside of Cleveland.
His times don’t immediately catch one’s eye among some of the names that we’ve seen commit lately, but he popped big-time as a junior last season. His 200 free, for example, went from a 1:46 to a 1:41; and his 500 went from a 4:36 to a 4:30.
In his 200 IM, in his very first swim of the 2011-2012 season, he knocked a full second off of his best time. Then, at the Ohio High School State Championship meet, he took that swim all the way to a 1:51.4: eight seconds faster than he was at his taper meet the year before. To top it all off, in the 400 IM, he dropped an amazing 17 seconds to go from a 4:15 to a 3:58 in his 400 IM.
Despite training through it all with the Lake Eerie Silver Dolphins, Quinn had an insanely-good junior season. If he does even half that well as a senior (which of course there are no guarantees of), then he all of a sudden shoots into the top 60 (or better) recruits in the country.