2019 Women’s NCAAs: How Did Our Top 20 Recruits Perform As Freshmen?


We’ve already done a deep dive into our recruiting archives, looking at how the top 20 recruits from the high school class of 2015 did after four NCAA seasons. Now it’s time to look back at a more recent recruit ranking: the current year’s freshmen, whom we ranked in the spring of 2017, then re-ranked one year later after the close of their high school careers.

Relevant links:

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 listed below are from our re-rank last summer – they are not current ranks of NCAA athletes. We also do not rank international athletes as recruits, as it’s hard to predict if and when they’ll come to the U.S., and which class with which to include them.

Top 20 Ranked Recruits

HM=Honorable mention

Rank Name College Team 2019 NCAA Points
1 Taylor Ruck Stanford 50
2 Zoe Bartel Stanford 6
3 Julia Cook Texas 2
4 Vanessa Pearl Florida 2
5 Erica Sullivan USC deferred enrollment
6 Morgan Tankersley Stanford 3
7 Eva Merrell Georgia redshirt
8 Emma Muzzy NC State 0
9 Olivia Carter Georgia 17
10 Lucie Nordmann Stanford 20
11 Amalie Fackenthal Stanford 4
12 Gabrielle Kopenski Texas A&M no invite
13 Dakota Luther Georgia 9
14 Grace Ariola Texas 1
15 Samantha Shelton Harvard 0
16 Easop Lee Duke 0
17 Cassidy Bayer Cal 2
18 Madison Homovich Georgia 0
19 Leah Braswell Florida 0
20 Allie Raab Stanford 21
HM Sarah Grinalds Princeton redshirt
HM Kylee Alons NC State 15.5
HM Anya Goeders Stanford 5
  • Taylor Ruck is pretty clearly the early winner here, scoring more than double what any other ranked athlete did this year.
  • By contrast, the rest of Stanford’s loaded class were solid, but not eye-popping in NCAA points. It is impressive, though, that all of Stanford’s 7 athletes among these top 23 scored NCAA points as rookies.
  • Only three of our top 10 didn’t score as freshmen. Two didn’t compete: Erica Sullivan will focus on open water and defer her enrollment until after the 2020 Olympics. Eva Merrell took a redshirt season and has recently opened up about her medical struggles, including Bradycardia and an eating disorder.
  • Emma Muzzy didn’t score at NCAAs, but would have if she’d repeated her ACC times at nationals.
  • The only two of our top 20 not to earn individual NCAA invites (besides the two absent ones explained above) were Kopenski and Lee.
  • Of our honorable mentions, NC State’s Kylee Alons looks like one to watch – she scored the fifth-most points of any of our ranked recruits.

Unranked Recruits

And of course, we’ll include everyone’s favorite part: which unranked recruits scored NCAA points as freshmen, both domestic up-and-comers and international prospects who competed as freshmen this year.


Name College Team Total NCAA Points
Izzy Ivey (Early ’19) Cal 37
Alexis Wenger Virginia 13
Noelle Peplowski Indiana 13
Kensey McMahon Alabama 12
Ema Rajic Cal 11
Kaki Christensen Virginia 11
Mackenzie Looze Indiana 4
Alena Kraus Louisville 3
Sinclair Larson Tennessee 2
Emily Hetzer Auburn 2
  • Isabel Ivey jumps into this class, though she was technically the #1 recruit in the class of 2019. But Ivey graduated early and joined Cal this year, putting up more points than any domestic freshman except Ruck.
  • This was a good freshman class, with four unranked recruits scoring double-digit points as freshmen.


Name College Team 2019 NCAA Points
Maggie MacNeil Michigan 45
Sophie Hansson NC State 32
Ida Hulkko Florida State 14
Sarah Watson Akron 6
  • This is also a huge class internationally. Maggie MacNeil is actually the second-highest scorer, and three of the top four scorers would be internationals if you count Ruck, who technically competes for Canada internationally, but only made our ranked list because of her background in club swimming in the United States.
  • NC State’s Sophie Hansson is anther 30+ scorer in a fantastic freshman class for the Wolfpack.
  • This is an outstanding class in breaststroke, where Hansson and Hulkko both scored most of their points.

More recruiting rank analysis:



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5 years ago

“Emma Muzzy didn’t score at NCAAs, but would have if she’d repeated her ACC times at nationals.”

Might be a reason she didn’t….

5 years ago

Honorable Mention?!?? Really?? WOLFPACK ON TOP

5 years ago

“The only two of our top 20 not to earn individual NCAA invites (besides the two absent ones explained above) were Kopenski and Lee.”

Didn’t Easop Lee was invited to this year NCAA?

Reply to  Wirotomo
5 years ago

She was not.

5 years ago

I’m used to college football and basketball players leaving school early to join the pros. Seeing Isabel Ivey graduate high school early to join Cal early (and scoring the way she did) was an interesting counterpoint.

5 years ago

How did this class do versus previous classes?

Reply to  Jared Anderson
5 years ago

Did the 2015 class set a freshmen scoring record?

5 years ago

Sophie related to Louise?

Reply to  Thomas
5 years ago

Yes. They’re sisters

Reply to  USA
5 years ago

Nope it’s her dad

Reply to  Jimbo
5 years ago


Chris P. Bacon
5 years ago

Another HM of yours, that you didn’t list, didn’t not make secure an invite either.

5 years ago

Mackenzie Looze has so much talent.

Reply to  uptown423
5 years ago

Probably safe to say most of these women have a lot of talent

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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