Arkansas, Kentucky Each Pick Up a Pair of Verbals

The Arkansas Razorbacks and Kentucky Wildcats have each added two verbal commitments to their recruiting classes.

For Arkansas, the names are Megan Strickland and Jessie Garrison.

Strickland comes from the Alamo Area Aquatic Association in San Antonio and Churchill High School (the same school that Jimmy Feigen and Annie Chandler went to), and is primarily a sprint freestyler, with best times of 23.35 and 51.10 in the 50 and 100, respectively (she’s been as fast as a 23.0 on a relay split).

As a sophomore, Strickland was the Texas 5A (big schools) state runner-up in the 50 free, missing a state title by just .02 seconds.

Garrison is not quite as good of a sprinter as Strickland is (bests of 23.80 and 51.66 in the 50 and 100 yard freestyles), but brings a little more versatility to the table. She’s also been a 56.49 in the 100 yard fly, as just a freshman, and a 2:03.98 (a U.S. Open cut) in the 200 fly in 8th grade.

Garrison, who swims for the Arkansas Dolphins – Lasers Swim Team, is the top in-state recruit in the class of 2014, so the Razorbacks successfully defended home turf with her commitment.

For Kentucky, the two additions came in the form of Annie Davies for the women’s program and Graham Baird for the men’s.

Davies, of the Northern Kentucky Clippers, is a solid breaststroker who’s been 1:04.25 in the 100 and 2:18.52 in the 200 yard breaststrokes. She’s also been 2:03.41 in the 200 yard IM – a race in which she made huge leaps as a junior (going from a 2:07.5 best as a sophomore to a 2:03.4 as a junior).

She joins Bridgette Alexander as members of the 2014 class who have publicly committed.

On the men’s side, Baird is a solid all-around freestyler. He’s been 21.9 in the 50 and 46.3 in the 100, and a 4:34.7 in the 500, but his best event is the 200 free, where at last year’s NCSA Junior Nationals meet, he swam his way to the D final with a 1:39.15 ( with a better morning swim, he could’ve been competitive in the B-Final).

He’s very good in long course as well, with best times of 52.5 and 1:53.4 in the 100 and 200 frees.

His 200 yard free time likely would’ve seen its way onto Kentucky’s 800 free relay that took 10th (last) at the 2013 SEC Championships.

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Graham Baird – Another Yuri / Gemmel NCAP product makes good.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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