Are the Auburn men once again an NCAA Championship contender this year? If NCAA titles are built upon sprinters, they certainly have to be in the conversation, especially with their latest addition.
Australian Cam Jones, who will sign his letter next week, has verbally committed to join the Auburn Tigers in the spring of 2014, meaning that before year’s end, the Tigers will have picked up another sure-fire NCAA finalist. This marks the second-straight year where Auburn has brought in a butterflier at the semester; last year it was Brazilian Arthur Mendes, and this year it’s the 17-year old Jones. Jones may be an even better addition though.
“I believe this is the best choice for me as the guys at Auburn have very similar mindsets to my own, and I feel that when you form a really strong group all striving together towards a common goal then that’s when something special and exciting can happen.” Jones said. “I’m very eager to be a part of that.”
He’s the 2013 Junior World Champion in the 50 fly, where he was a 23.96 this summer. For those American fans who might be a tad unfamiliar with what long course 50 times look like, consider that in that race he beat Dylan Carter, who’s joining USC in the spring, Justin Lynch, and Matthew Josa, all of whom were the best junior butterfliers in the United States last year.
That is really his primary event, but he’s also been 55.0 in the 100 fly, 22.6 in the 50 free, 50.9 in the 100 free. In yards, those times convert to 48-low in the 100 fly, 19.1 in the 50 free, and 44.4 in the 100 free, give-or-take.
In the very least, this should give Auburn another option for their medley relay, where they’ll now have right around a 20.0 on the fly leg and an 18.5 on the free leg; and their 200 free relay; and an apt replacement for the graduated Kyle Owens, who is the only loss from the NCAA-title winning 200 free relay last season.
Jones’ plan is to make the spring NCAA Championships his focus meet for the season, despite Commonwealth Games and Pan Pac Championships qualifying in the (American) spring as well.