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The Georgia Bulldogs men’s and women’s programs combined for one of the most impressive co-ed recruiting classes in college history last season.
It’s a new year, though, and Jack Bauerle and his staff seem to have tied a brick to the accelerator and are snapping up yet another incredible class after early verbal commitments from Pace Clark from Memphis and Emily Cameron from Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
We named Cameron our #3 recruit in the class of 2013 thanks to being by far the best sprint breaststroker in what is a bit of a down class for the discipline nationwide. The senior for the Lancaster Aquatic Club and Warwick High School already has a lot of experience as a member of the Junior National Team and as the defending NCSA Junior National Champion in the 200 IM.
She comes in with yards bests of 1:00.54 and 2:13.60 in the 200, and should immediately become a valuable relay piece for the Bulldogs. She’s already faster than any of the incumbents were last season in an increasingly-deep Georgia breaststroke group, though not by much. Combined with this year’s freshman Annie Zhu, it won’t be as though the medley spots are handed to her, but she definitely seems to have an inside track, especially in the sprint 200 medley (sophomore Megan Molnar is the only other swimmer on the roster who is better in the sprints than the 200).
With this verbal, the best breaststroker left in the class is Colleen Callahan out of New Jersey in a 1:01.29.
Cameron’s value doesn’t stop there; as mentioned, Cameron is a Junior National Champion in the 200 IM and has a best of 1:57.74 in yards that would’ve scored at last year’s NCAA Championships. She’s also a 22.75 in the 50 free and a 49.45 in the 100 free. Georgia is stocked with young sprinters, but in the hands of Jack Bauerle she’ll probably end up on free relays at least as a sophomore, if not sooner.
In other races, she’s also got a 55.1 in the 100 fly and a 4:12.3 in the 400 IM. In long course, she has a 1:10.9 in the 100 breast and a 2:15.9 in the 200 IM, giving her international potential.
On the men’s side, they’ve brought in Tennesseean Pace Clark: a pure butterfly specialist. He has bests of 48.99/1:48.19 in the 100 and 200 flies in yards (54-high and 2:02-mid in long course).
The Bulldogs only have one returning butterflier who was under 49 seconds last season (junior Doug Reynolds in a 46), though by the time Clark comes to campus they’ll be in much better shape, with the likes of Yousef Alaskari and Matt Ellis as freshmen this season.