2018 WOMEN’S NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS
- Wednesday, March 14th – Saturday, March 17th
- McCorkle Aquatic Pavillion — Columbus, OH
- Prelims 9AM/Finals 5PM (Eastern Time)
- Defending Champion: Stanford (results)
- Live stream: Wednesday/Thursday Prelims & Finals, Friday/Saturday Prelims / Friday/Saturday finals on ESPNU
- Championship Central
- Event-by-Event Previews
- Psych Sheet
- Live Results
We’ve taken a pretty deep dive back into years-old recruiting ranks over the past two days, and we have one more piece of that puzzle to reanalyze. Luckily, the ranking we’ll revisit today is much more recent: how did our top 20 recruits in the class of 2017 perform as freshmen?
- Top 20 recruits from 2014 after four NCAA seasons
- Top 12 recruiting classes from 2014 after four NCAA seasons
Naturally, this analysis has a far smaller sample size than our reports from the past two days, so it’s much more difficult to read too much into these numbers. Still, it’s useful to look at which first-year NCAA swimmers had the best performances relative to their recruiting ranks.
The ranks are from our top 20 story from July of 2016. Bear that in mind – a lot of these ranks would have changed if we had ranked them in July of 2017, after their senior years. In fact, there almost certainly would have been a different #1. Our recruiting ranks also only include domestic athletes, as international students are often hard to group into a specific recruiting class, and are generally shrouded in mystery as to when they’ll join an NCAA team, if they do at all.
|Rank||Name||College Team||2018 NCAA Points|
|5||Nikol Popov||Tennessee||no invite|
|9||Taylor Pike||Texas A&M||5|
|11||Victoria Edwards||Texas||no invite|
|12||Ashley Volpenhein||Stanford||no invite|
|15||Alexis Margett||Michigan||no invite|
|16||Anna Belousova||Texas A&M||27|
|19||Joy Field||Texas A&M||no invite|
|20||Regan Barney||Princeton||no invite|
- This year’s freshman class had a disproportionately small impact on NCAAs point-wise, scoring less than a third of what any other class scored. Some of that was due to a huge number of returning NCAA champs, and it shrinks our already-tiny sample size even further. It won’t be wise to close the book on this class until they get an opportunity in a less-loaded NCAA crowd.
- Texas A&M’s Anna Belousova had the best point haul. She’s technically listed as a sophomore, but joined the Aggies with this recruiting class. When we ranked her in July 2016, she was 1:00.5 in the 100 breast and 2:10.1 in the 200. This year, she went 58.9 and 2:07.2 at NCAAs to make the A final in both races.
- Stanford’s Brooke Forde scored 21 points in her team’s dominating NCAA effort. It became clear to us over the course of this class’s senior year of high school that Forde was probably the new #1 recruit in the class, especially when she dropped her 400 IM from 4:07 to 4:02, her 200 IM from 1:57 to 1:55 and her 200 free from 1:46 to 1:44 before even setting foot on campus as a freshman.
- Six of our top 20 didn’t even get an NCAA invite. That’s a big change from last year when all 20 of our top prospects made the big show. All six of those swimmers regressed fairly significantly from their best times – always a possibility in the tough transition from high school to college.
And of course, we’ll include everyone’s favorite part: which unranked recruits scored NCAA points as freshmen. There aren’t many, and 6 of the 9 are internationals, denoted with an asterisk (*):
|Name||College Team||Total NCAA Points|
|Tamila Holub*||NC State||11|
|Kristen Romano||Ohio State||7|
These don’t include diving or relay contributions.