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Canadian junior national team member James LeBuke has verbally committed to the University of Michigan for 2020.
“I would like to thank my amazing teammates and coaches for helping me grow and develop into the swimmer I am today. I am excited to announce that I am verbally committing to the University of Michigan! I am ready to keep improving on this new journey in Ann Arbor. GO BLUE!”
LeBuke swims with Columbia Shuswap Selkirks Swim Team, not far from Kelowna (where Canadian record-holder Taylor Ruck was born). He will be competing with Team Canada at the upcoming 2019 World Junior Championships in Budapest, having qualified after making the A final at the 2019 Canadian Trials in both the 50 and 100 free.
TOP TIMES (LCM // SCY CONVERTED)
- 50 free – 22.99 // 19.99
- 100 free – 50.47 // 44.02
- 200 free – 1:54.48 // 1:40.25
- 200 IM – 2:07.92 // 1:52.36
LeBuke is in just his second season of year-round swimming. Until he was 15 years old, he would spend the winter months playing hockey while he’d focus on swimming in the summer. His switch coincided with large drops– check out his year-to-year progression below (including his big 2017 to 2018 drops once he focused on swimming), and note that he has yet to peak for World Juniors later this summer.
Though the conversion to SCY is hard to predict, most any NCAA team would be pretty thrilled to have a rising high school senior join their program who is already under 23 in the 50m free and is close to being sub-50 in the 100. His converted times have him just off of making B1G C-finals in the 50 and 100 free.
LeBuke is the latest in a collection of Canadians who have chosen to swim collegiately with Michigan. The most notable name in recent news is rising sophomore Maggie Macneil, who just crushed the Canadian record in the 100 fly and upset Sarah Sjoestroem for gold at World Champs. Worlds roster member Richard Funk also swam for Michigan, while Monica Babits, Victoria Kwan, Octavia Lau, and Evan White are current or recent members of the Wolverine roster who also happen to be Canadian.
Michigan’s top sprinter from last year, Gus Borges, will have a year of overlap with LeBuke.
LeBuke will join verbal commits Alexander Capizzo, #15 Bence Szabados, #8 Jake Mitchell, #12 Wyatt Davis, and Yugo Tsukikawa in the Wolverines’ class of 2024.
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