The Cal women, in the course of a few weeks, have rewritten the future of the program, grabbing verbal commitments from the #1, #2, and #3 recruits in the high school class of 2025 (in addition to #13 and a number of other top-50 recruits).
- #1 Alex Shackell
- #2 Teagan O’Dell
- #3 Claire Weinstein
- #13 Elle Scott
- BOTR Sprint Free – Gracyn Aquino
- BOTR Distance Free – Ella Cosgrove
- BOTR IM – Alexa McDevitt
The Cal women are in a nearly-perfect storm scenario. Most programs that have head coaching changes don’t get a trio of Dave Durden, Dave Marsh, and Josh Huger, which is a recruiting cheat code, taking over their program. The Golden Bear women simultaneously got fresh energy and instant stability injected into the program at the same time.
Couple that with a Cal roster that doesn’t have a ton of scholarship money tied up beyond next year (though a few huge international recruits in the class of 2024 complement this class).
The natural comparison is going to be to the Virginia men, who had #1, #2, #8, and #12 commit simultaneously a few weeks ago. It’s hard, of course, to compare boys and girls recruits until they’re done, because boys take a lot more projection, whereas girls, as demonstrated by this class, tend to be much closer to their peaks coming out of high school (and are way more likely to have times already with big NCAA point values even early in their junior years of high school).
If we were to plug the individual bests from those top 3 recruits into last year’s NCAA Championship meet (when they were sophomores in high school), they would have scored 116 points. Without relays, without divers, without the 20-some odd other swimmers on the roster, that’s more points than all-but-12 of the teams did at last year’s NCAA Championship meet.
Cal’s entire women’s team last year only scored 137 points.
Individual Scoring, Big 3:
|Alex Shackell||Teagan O’Dell||Claire Weinstein|
|Event||200 fly – 7th||100 back – 6th||200 free – 8th|
|Event||200 free – 7th||200 IM – 6th||500 free – 1st|
|Event||200 IM – 7th||200 back – 7th||1650 free – 8th|
Then we start to layer on top of that some relays:
400 medley relay:
- Back – O’Dell – 50.96
- Breast – Scott – 1:00.19
- Fly – Shackell – 50.47
- Free – Weinstein – 48.76
- Total Time (with 1.2 for exchanges): 3:29.18
- 10th at NCAAs = 14 points
400 free relay:
- Shackell – 47.44
- O’Dell – 48.47
- Weinstein – 48.76
- Scott – 49.73
- Total Time (with 1.2 for exchanges): 3:13.20
- 11th at NCAAs = 12 points
800 free relay:
- Shackell – 1:43.60
- Weinstein – 1:43.93
- O’Dell – 1:43.94
- McDevitt – 1:46.72
- Total Time (with 1.2 for exchanges): 6:56.99
- 4th at NCAAs = 30 points
Extrapolating that out for the other relays, that’s another back-of-the-napkin 75 points out of relays.
To put a neat bow on all of that, this class alone, with their sophomore in high school times, is bumping on the door of 200 points. That would have put them 9th at last year’s NCAA Championship meet.
And that’s without accounting for Mia West or Mary Molluh who come next season. That’s without swimmers like Finley Anderson (2024) and Kathryn Hazle (2023) who are already at, or very close to, NCAA points already. That’s without two more years of development.
And just like that, the Cal women are back, are a force, and are going to be chasing national titles again. They’ve got the superstar, they’re rebuilding the depth in a hurry – with a class that checks basically every box. They’ve got three swimmers who are already racing internationally and could very well be the backbone of the American women’s team heading toward the massive Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Games.
And what if they’re not done yet? There are still a bunch of top 20s left. Some are probably already committed to Stanford (those commits always announce left). But probably not all of them.