The LSU women have picked up 3 backstrokers to add to their roster next season, as Katie Smith, Ellie Baldwin, and Grace Horton have verbally committed to join the Tigers next fall. Smith, Baldwin and Horton all specialize in the backstrokes. The trio will also add some sprint free and IM depth for the Tigers.
Smith is a native of Kensington, Maryland, and will travel to Louisiana after she graduates from Bethesda Chevy Chase High School at the end of this school year. Her club training base is with All Star Aquatics, where she’s coached by Bob Walker.
Smith has consistently been a finalist for her school at the DC Metropolitan High School Swimming Championships. Last season, she finished 5th in the 100 back and 11th in the 50 free at that meet. She was also the silver medalist in the 100 back at the 2016 Maryland Public 4-5 State Championships.
Smith’s Top Times:
Last season, Smith qualified to compete at the 2016 NCSA Spring Championships. There, she won the B-final in the 50 back with her personal best 25.99. She also set new best times of 56.40 in the 100 back and 2:02.06 in the 200 back.
Baldwin will make the move to LSU from Great Britain. Since she’s an international recruit, she doesn’t have any yards experience yet, but we can get an idea of her speed by using the Swimming Time Conversion Tool. Her best events are the 100 and 200 backstrokes, but she also extends her schedule to the sprint freestyles and 200 IM.
Baldwin’s Top Times:
|Event||Best time (LCM)||Conversions (SCY)|
Baldwin’s long course best 1:02.95 in the 100 back translates to a 55.63 in short course yards. That would put her within tenths of what it took to score at last season’s SEC Championships.
Horton will be staying in state next season, as she’s a native of Louisiana. Her club training base is with the City of Lafayette Aquatics (COLA), and she also competes for Saint Thomas More High School.
On her commitment:
“Proud to announce I’ve decided to verbally commit to swim at Louisiana State University! I am so thankful for all I’ve been blessed with! I chose LSU because of the amazing team and coaching staff. The campus is gorgeous and I love the Louisiana culture! I am so excited to become a Tiger!”
Horton’s Top Times:
Horton has only been swimming since she was 14, but she’s continued to make improvements on her way to junior nationals cuts and high school state records. At last season’s Louisiana Division 2 Championships, she earned gold medals in the 100 free and 100 back.
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