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The Georgia Bulldogs look to build on their mid-distance freestyle fame with Palo Alto, California’s Sloane Reinstein. Reinstein attends Sacred Heart Preparatory and trains with Palo Alto Stanford Aquatics (“PASA”). The Dawgs have enjoyed a lot of recent success recruiting across the country, including highly-touted Californians Gianluca Urlando, Zoie Hartman, and Eva Merrell. Recent graduate Aidan Burns and rising junior Teagan Cheney are also California natives. Reinstein will join Maxine Parker in the class of 2024.
Reinstein currently has just one junior national qualifying time (1:49.17 in the 200 yard free that she registered last month), but is a rangy freestyler who has already notched 6 personal bests in short course yards so far this year. With her widespread drops and more than a year left of high school swimming, her potential across the board is enough to make any Dawg’s mouth water. Reinstein took seventh in the 200 free (1:51.12, after the 1:49.17 in prelims) and sixth in the 100 free (51.24) at the 2019 CIF-Central Coast Section Championships. She also anchored the third-place 200 free relay (23.11) and third-place 400 free relay (50.95), contributing to Sacred Heart Prep’s fourth-place team finish. A week later she swam both the 100/200 at the California State Meet and wound up 17th and 14th in the respective events.
In club swimming, she kicked off the 2019 long course season last week at Santa Clara Invitational with finals appearances in the 50/100/200/400 free and 200 back and new PBs in the 50/200 free, 50 fly, and 200 IM.
Athens, Georgia recently served as the mecca of collegiate women’s individual 200 free and 800 free relay talent from 2009 through 2016. With Olympians and/or national champions like Allison Schmitt, Melanie Margalis, Hali Flickinger, Brittany MacLean, Shannon Vreeland, Megan Romano, Morgan Scroggy, and Jordan Mattern, it often took a sub-1:44 just to make the A relay. The Bulldogs have struggled to find the same depth the past two seasons. Rising junior Courtney Harnish was the only Bulldog to flat start sub-1:44 individually last season (1:43.53), and only two more joined her under 1:46 (Jordan Stout, 1:45.67, and Meryn McCann, 1:45.76). Rising senior Veronica Burchill went 1:44.22 leading off the Bulldogs’ 2018 NCAA 800 free relay but couldn’t return to top form during championship season after a stellar fall invitational. Of those 4 current Bulldogs, only Harnish will still be eligible to compete when Reinstein arrives on campus. If Reinstein can continue to make substantial improvements in her best event, she could find herself in elite company as a member of Georgia’s NCAA 800 free relay.
The UGA men’s team looks to have a lights out Class of 2024, snagging 2 of SwimSwam’s top 5 recruits (reranked #2 Luca Urlando and #5 Jake Magahey), while the women’s Class of 2024 has been a little slower off the blocks. #9 Maxine Parker looks to be a huge get, but the Bulldogs have since lost out on #6 Phoebe Bacon to Wisconsin, and Reinstein is just their second verbal pledge. Luckily, regardless of how the rest of the class shakes out, the Bulldogs should have plenty of point scorers, relay options, and training partners when the newest class arrives on campus: including 2 seasons with Olivia Carter, Dakota Luther, and Maddie Homovich, and 3 seasons with reranked #2 Zoie Hartman and, potentially, the former #1 ranked Eva Merrell (redshirt freshman). SEC champion freestyler Courtney Harnish (#1 ranked in the high school Class of 2017) will also be a senior.
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