The Texas A&M women’s team have gotten a huge lift at the 11th hour in their recruiting class of 2014. Late on Saturday night, the program announced two last-minute signees: one is Sarah Vinezeano from Allen, Texas, and the other, the big star, is Beryl Gastaldello from Miramas, France.
The 19-year old Gastaldello will swim for France at the European Championships in two weeks, and is a fantastic sprinter (one of her country’s best). Her long course bests:
- 50 free – 25.49
- 100 free – 55.63
- 200 free – 2:02.47
She’s also got enough fast-twich to swim the butterfly or backstroke legs of the 200 medley relay if implored to do so. That includes a 26.36 in early June in the 50 meter fly, which ranks her just outside of the top 20 in the world this year.
Harkening back to a swimmer who was a part of the revolution in College Station that led to their current string of top-10 NCAA performances, Gastaldello feels like the next coming of former Aggie All-American (and almost NCAA Record holder) Triin Aljand. Gastaldello’s times are even better than Aljand was when she came to the United States, and Gastaldello adds a very good 50 backstroke to her list as well.
Gastaldello will almost certainly be an immediate-impact swimmer for A&M at the NCAA level as a freshman.
Vinezeano comes from Allen in the northern part of the state, near the border with Oklahoma. While Allen is best known for Eagle Stadium, a $60 million, 18,000 seat high school stadium built for their football team that is probably incredible high school stadium in the country, produced the All-State swimmer Vinezeano. She’s a 7-time regional champion in Texas and was a part of two regional team champions. If we could re-rank them (and we won’t), these last two additions would probably slide them up at least a spot or two ahead of Indiana and Princeton.
Vinezeano is a 55.8 100 yard butterflier as her best event, and also brings a 24.4 in the 50 yard free and 52.0 in the 100 yard free.
The addition of Gastaldello and Vinezeano bring the Aggies’ 2014 signing class to 11 members, joining Lisa Bratton (Richland, Wash.), diver Lauren Crown (Southlake, Texas), Bethany Galat (Mishawaka, Ind.), Esther Gonzalez (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada), Kristin Malone (Shorewood, Wisc.), Caitlynn Moon (DeKalb, Ill.), Laura Norman (Keller, Texas), Nancy Schuchhardt (Berlin, Germany), and Jessica Sloan (Magnolia, Texas).
Texas A&M’s women’s class, when we ranked them earlier this month, were in the #7 position.