Taylor Garcia, the number 8 recruit in the women’s class of 2015, has verbally committed to the Arizona Wildcats.
Garcia is member of the USA Swimming Junior National Team and one of the top backstrokers in the class. In addition to the backstroke events, she has the potential to contribute in the 100 fly and in the sprint freestyles, and will likely see a 100 fly/100 back double on day 2 of NCAA’s as a freshman.
Yes, Garcia is easily good enough to qualify for NCAA’s as a freshman in college. At the last Winter Junior National Championships, she swam lifetime bests of 52.07 and 1:55.85 in the 100 and 200 yard backstrokes, plus 53.69 in the 100 yard fly.
Garcia is the second-best all-around backstroker in the class behind only Cal commit Kathleen Baker.
That makes an even 10 verbal commitments for Arizona still standing, including another top-20 recruit Daniela Georges on Saturday. The strongest leg of Arizona’s medley relays in the 2014-2015 season should be backstroker Bonnie Brandon, who has been as fast as 51.87 in the 100 (she was only 52.5 last year).
For that reason, in the one year of overlap between the two, Garcia may be used on the butterfly leg for Arizona, where they will be significantly more wanting. Garcia has also been 23.46/51.21 in the 50 and 100 yard frees.
She is the three-time defending Michigan Division 2 State Champion in the 100 fly, two-time defending state champion in the 100 back, and the 2011 state champion in the 50 free for Holland High. In total, she’s a perfect 12-for-12, including relays, at the State Championship meet, and adds to that a perfect three-for-three in state titles.
Garcia first rose to prominence while training with Michigan Lakeshore Aquatics, but followed coach Don Kimble to nearby Byron Center in the summer of 2013.
Rick DeMont and staff’s other verbals include #13 Katrina Konopka, making three out of the top 17 recruits in the country as ranked by SwimSwam.
The remaining uncommitted swimmers in the class are:
- #2 Abbey Weitzeil
- #5 Amy Bilquist
- #10 Nora McCullagh