#11 Recruit in Class of 2013 Kristen Vredeveld Makes Verbal Commitment

  19 Braden Keith | September 17th, 2012 | College, College Recruiting, Featured, News

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If  the Cal women have a “need” next season, it’s probably an uber-elite sprint freestyle specialist, along the lines of the recently-graduated Liv Jensen. Of course, “need” is a very relative term with the number of horses that began class in Berkeley this fall.

The Golden Bears have just received a verbal commitment from a monster of a recruit in Kristen Vredeveld from the Baylor School in Tennessee, who CollegeSwimming.com ranks as their 11th-ranked recruit in the class of 2012. In the minds of most college coaches, a swimmer with Vredeveld’s freestyle skills carries an even more extreme value due to the number of sprint races on the college schedule: she probably sits behind only Olympic gold medalists Missy Franklin and Lia Neal in terms of free-relay value in the class of 2013.

Vredeveld comes in with yards bests of 22.17 in the 50 free in 48.32 in the 100 free. Those two swims alone would have scored her double-digit points at NCAA’s last season, and faster than any returning Cal swimmer was in the 2011-2012 season.

Her swim in the 50 free, done as a junior, is also the National Age Group Record in the event for 15-16 year olds. The 100 mark ranks third all-time. Vredeveld, like many of her caliber, focused on the Olympic Trials last season, so there is a lot to look out for during her senior season – one that will now have much stress relieved after this early commitment.

She will also add value to the 800 free relay – a newfound event for Cal that they finished 2nd in at NCAA’s. She has a 1:45.3 best in the 200, which will help replace one of their two bookends (Jensen and Sara Isakovic) that graduated after last season.

Vredeveld was also the leadoff leg of the Baylor School’s National High School Record setting 200 free relay.

Missy Franklin, who has already taken an official visit to Cal, is the big prize of the class, but let’s consider just known quantities. For at least three seasons, Cal will have a medley relay with American Record holder Liz Pelton on the backstroke leg, Olympian Rachel Bootsma on the butterfly leg, and a 15-16 National Age Group Record holder as their anchor. The signing also will help give McKeever a lot more options – afterall, Pelton and Bootsma are more valuable in three individual events than they are in 5 relays.

Every top recruit in the world will have their compasses pointed toward the two-time defending champs, but at this point one has to begin to think that Cal will be very carefully selecting based on their needs. Unless Franklin or Neal is willing to sign, expect that to come in the form of breaststrokers primarily, and butterfliers secondarily.

Kristen is the younger sister of Virginia senior Nathan Vredeveld.

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Comments

  1. SwimNerd says:
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    #11? That doesn’t even make any sense. She’s a Top 3 recruit.

    She’s an elite sprinter who can score in 3 events and can swim on any relay.

    No distance swimmer should ever be ranked in front of a sprinter.

    It’s the exact reason why Cal and Auburn have recently won titles and Florida and Stanford have not.

  2. John Sampson says:
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    huge grab for cal! they seem unstoppable. my guess would be they go after celina li-she can fill the voids left by caitlin leverenz in the IMs/breast or flys.

    does anyone even know where lia neal is visiting?

    • duckduckgoose says:
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      Heard just after the Oympics that Lia Neal planned to visit Cal, Stanford, USC, and Texas, but she hasn’t taken any trips yet. Missy and Celina Li are still on Teri’s radar.

    • duckduckgoose says:
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      Lia Neal is taking a recruiting trip to USC this weekend.

  3. Sam I Am says:
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    She is NOT the #11 recruit in the nation. College Swimming does a terrible job of ranking the top swimmers. Once you get into the top 1%, they are all grouped with a ranking of 1, so if a top sprinter goes 22.8 or 22.1 they are given the same ranking, or for a backstroker a 53.8 is the same as a 51.5. and as everyone knows they are NOT the same.

    She is a solid top 5 and I would put her number 2 behind Missy.

    • Freebee says:
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      sorry you can’t be number #2 behind Missy unless you’ve already proven yourself numerous times on the big big stages–i.e. nationals and bigger–I still agree she’s a great recruit, great catch for CAL but #2 is a stretch

  4. bobo gigi says:
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    Ok, end of the competition. Imagine next year Cal will have Elizabeth Pelton, Rachel Bootsma, Cindy Tran, Lauren Driscoll, Kristen Vredeveld and perhaps Missy Franklin. Don’t forget Cal also has a breaststroker for the future with Kelly Naze. I think she will surprise many people.

  5. Joan says:
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    Good thing these parents don’t seem to have any money issues….

  6. swimcoach242 says:
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    I’m a big Cal fan here, and moreso a fan of Teri’s program and how it is run, but all of these top swimmers going to one place takes away the fun of College Swimming and the NCAA meet. I understand the allure to go swim at Berkeley right now, but is anyone going to be able to compete with these classes?

  7. Rick Allred says:
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    Which swimmers are considering the University of Alabama?

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    Great. Congrats to Baylor accomplishments.

  9. Josh says:
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    I can’t imagine that Cal has money left but one or maybe two more girls at this point.

  10. jman says:
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    Women’s swimming/recruiting has become so predictable and boring. Particularly with recruiting. Few step outside of Cal, Stanford, USC, Arizona, Georgia, Florida and Texas. Can’t say i blame them. But it seems the better male recruits are more likely to look at ‘other’ schools.

    • JoJo says:
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      Male swimmers look broader because they have to for the $$$. 14 scholarships at each of the girls schools goes pretty deep in the talent pool.

  11. cynthia curran says:
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    Well both Rachel and Cindy are also faster than Elizabeth at 50 yard back , not certain if Rachel or CIndy is the fastest at 50’s. So, you could have Tran still on the 200yard medley relay and Rachel or Elizabeth on the 400 yard medley relay.

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Braden Keith

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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