We’ve already done a deep dive into our recruiting archives, looking at how the top 20 recruits from the high school class of 2017 did after four NCAA seasons. Now it’s time to look back at a more recent recruit ranking: the current year’s freshmen, the first class we officially scouted from their sophomore years through their senior seasons of high school:
- Way-Too-Early Sophomore Ranks, Class of 2020 Girls
- Junior Ranks, Class of 2020 Girls
- Senior Re-Ranks, Class of 2020 Girls
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.
As always, our notes on this data:
- The data included is only individual scoring at NCAAs. That’s not an exact measure of an athlete’s contribution to a program: many of these swimmers (and others not listed) were relay scorers at NCAAs, scored significant points at conference meets and provided great leadership and culture-building for their programs. This data isn’t a perfect analysis of the best recruits – it’s merely a quick look at the data we can compile.
- A college swimming career includes four years of eligibility, and sometimes more. Revisiting scoring after one year is an incomplete analysis of a swimmer’s career – this is not the final word on any of these prospects, and we will revisit this data over the next three seasons to get a more complete evaluation.
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
|Rank||Name||College Team||Total NCAA Points||2021 NCAA Points|
|8||Abby Arens||NC State||0||0|
|16||Chase Travis||Virginia Tech||0||0|
|19||Katherine Zenick||Ohio State||0||0|
|HM||Emma Atkinson||Virginia Tech||21||21|
|HM||Megan Deuel||Notre Dame||0||0|
|HM||Nicole Oliva||Cal||0||no invite|
|HM||Chloe Stepanek||Texas A&M||26||26|
- This class was touted as one of the best to ever come through the NCAA recruiting ranks, and boy did they deliver. Even with four really key top 20 swimmers deferring their enrollment, this group scored a huge amount of points at NCAAs as complete rookies.
- Three athletes in this class have already won individual NCAA titles (Phoebe Bacon of Wisconsin; Alex Walsh of Virginia; Tarrin Gilliland of Indiana). One more (Emily Gantriis of Cal) has won a relay title.
- Factoring out deferrals, we had 23 ranked or honorable mention swimmers compete as freshmen. 22 earned individual NCAA invites and 12 scored individual points.
- Our entire top 7 scored big. Bacon is currently the class leader with 51 individual points. Walsh is close behind at 48.
- Further down, two honorable mentions had great rookie years: Emma Atkinson scored 21 for Virginia Tech and Chloe Stepanek 26 for Texas A&M.
- There really weren’t many in this class. It’s not easy to score at NCAAs as a freshman, and only two of our top 10 recruits didn’t score individually. Both were breaststrokers, for what that’s worth. Keating was close, placing 18th in the 100 breast and 21st in the 200 breast. Arens would have scored in the 200 breast had she held up her time from ACCs. Arens also chipped in an 800 free relay leg on day 1, which is pretty good versatility for a breaststroker.
And of course, we’ll include everyone’s favorite part: which unranked recruits earned NCAA invites and projected to score points this season – both domestic up-and-comers and international pickups.
|Rank||Name||College Team||2021 NCAA Points|
|Early ’21 (#12)||Reilly Tiltmann||Virginia||23|
|Maya Geringer||Ohio State||3|
|Anna Havens Rice||Kentucky||1|
- Tiltmann was the #12 recruit in the high school class of 2021, but graduated early and joined the NCAA, the way former #1 recruit Izzy Ivey did a few years back. Tiltmann scored 23 points even as an extra-young freshman.
- Two of these athletes were in our “best of the rest” (BOTR) ranks as of their senior years. Northwestern’s Mull had a top-8 finish in the 1650 as a freshman.
|Name||College Team||2021 NCAA Points|
|Yara Hierath||NC State||1|
- Perhaps the additions of Mona McSharry and Anna Elendt contributed to our two top-10 ranked breaststrokers missing scoring. Both McSharry and Elendt were high-level breaststroke scorers as rookies in a class that scored a lot of breaststroke points.
|Name||College Team||2021 NCAA Points|
|Aranza Vazquez Montano||UNC||47|
|Anna Bradescu||Georgia Tech||2|
Archives: Revisiting Recruit Ranks
|Analysis as of:||Spring 2021||Spring 2020||Spring 2019||Spring 2018||Spring 2017|
|Class of 2020||After Freshman Year|
|Class of 2019||After Sophomore Year||After Freshman Year|
|Class of 2018||After Junior Year||After Sophomore Year||After Freshman Year|
|Class of 2017||After Senior Year||After Junior Year||After Sophomore Year||After Freshman Year|
|Class of 2016||After Senior Year||After Junior Year|
|Class of 2015||After Senior Year|
|Class of 2014||After Senior Year|
|Class of 2013||After Senior Year|