The Virginia Cavaliers have gone to great distances to add two more men’s recruits in the spring signing period. In Augie Busch’s first recruiting season, he’s assembled a solid recruiting class that should help rebuild the depth that were lost by some transfers from the program this past season.
The two additions are Brendan Casey from across the country in Santa Monica, California; and Jack Smith from across the ocean in London, England.
Casey is a solid middle-distance swimmer across a couple of different events. In yards, he’s been 1:41.87 and 4:27.37 in the 200 and 500 yard freestyles; plus a 1:47.79 in the 200 yard backstroke and a 3:54.53 in the 400 yard IM. He has some potential to range up to the mile as well with a 1650 yards best of 15:37.32, as he is a member of the U.S. Junior National Open Water Team. While the overall depth of the ACC has improved, these distance freestyle races are still a place for teams that focus there to outscore what they might expect with sprinters.
“I believe it will not be long until Brendan is making significant contributions on our team, Busch said. “He has a great pedigree and skill set which is likely to serve him well at the next level. He is a great student, has a tremendous work ethic and is dedicated to maximizing his potential in the pool. We definitely are excited to work with him in the near future.”
Editor’s note: Casey is related to neither UVA junior Shaun Casey nor Notre Dame junior Bridget Casey.
As for Smith, he hails from the Plymouth Leander program that is currently the ‘it’ program in the UK. The 17-year old will swim at the European Junior Championships this summer for the second straight year, after having earned a silver on Britain’s 400 free relay last summer. He was 12th in that meet in the 100 free at that meet.
Smith is also the current English (but not British) Age Group Record holder in the 15-year olds and 13-year olds 50 free in long course with times of 23.86 and 24.65, respectively.
Smith is a true sprinter, and as alluded to above, with teams like NC State hanging around, this kind of sprinter is what is needed to compete in the ACC. In long course, his bests, all from 2013, are 23.33, 50.70, and 1:51.81 in the 50, 100, and 200 freestyles. To date, he’s been significantly better in long course than short course, but those are still times worthy of salivation.
As a point of comparison, the only American 18 & under thus far in the 2013-2014 long course season who’s been better in the 50 is Michael Andrew, and there’s only been about 4 or 5 in this senior class who were faster last summer when Smith did his swim.
They join a solid group of fall signees as well, and in combination should pull Virginia back into the hunt for ACC titles in a hurry. That fall class of signees was made up of Jack Bowtell, Luke Georgiadis, Nicholas Magana, Anthony Marcantonio and Henrik Pohlmann.