One of Brazil’s best young sprinters is considering an NCAA pathway in the next year, according to an interview with globoesporte.
Speaking with Joao Paul de Castro at this week’s Jose Finkel Trophy (the Brazilian Short Course National Championship meet), Felipe Ribeiro says that he will “definitely have his next training cycle in the United States.”
Ribeiro says that he has been contacted by multiple universities, but that nothing has been closed so far.
The 18-year old Unisanta sprinter, a training partner of one of the country’s other young talents Matheus Santana, placed 5th in the 200 free in his first race of the meet.
But he’s primarily a sprinter, with long course bests of 22.58 and 49.16 in the 50 and 100 meter freestyles. Those times convert to 19-mid and 42-high, respectively, in the 25 yard course that is the basis of NCAA swimming.
Ribeiro (oft listed as “Felipe Souza”) was 3rd at last year’s World Junior Championships in the 100 free, placing behind only American Maxime Rooney and Australian Kyle Chalmers. Chalmers progressed a year later to win the Olympic title in the 100 free as still a teenager.
Many of Brazil’s best swimmers, most recently on the men’s side, have come through the American collegiate system:
- Cesar Cielo, Auburn – 6 NCAA event championships in 3 seasons (2005-2008)
- Joao de Lucca, Louisville – 2014 NCAA champion in the 200 free (2010-2014)
- Marcelo Chierighini, Auburn – 22-time All-American (2010-2014)
- Gustavo Borges, Michigan – 10-time individual NCAA Champion (1991-1995)
Auburn and head coach Brett Hawke have been a popular spot for Brazilian swimmers over the last decade both within and outside of the NCAA system. Ribeiro, however, didn’t mention any specific programs he’s considering in the interview.