The Virginia Cavaliers have grabbed another sprint recruit, this time out of the state of Connecticut. Sprint freestyler/backstroker John Whiteside of Wesport/Weston Family YMCA Swim Team has given a verbal to head coach Augie Busch. Whiteside also attends Fairfield Ludlowe High School, where he won the 100 backstroke at the Connecticut Class L Championships last year.
UVA has had its fair share of graduation losses/transfers/upperclassman upheaval in the last year or two, but brings in a large freshman class this season and is building a solid class of 2020 thus far. Whiteside has Winter National cuts in both the 100 and 200 backstroke as well as Winter Juniors cuts in the 50 through 200 freestyles. UVA lost top backstrokers Kyle Dudzinski and Luke Papendick after last season, and Whiteside will help fill the holes left behind in the Cavs lineup. His sprinting ability will also be helpful to boost free relays and possibly aid medley relays.
Whiteside’s Top Times
- 50 free – 20.93
- 100 free – 45.07
- 200 free – 1:39.27
- 50 back – 22.82
- 100 back – 49.86
- 200 back – 1:46.72
Looking at last year’s ACC Champs, Whiteside would have made the 200 back C final and would’ve been within less than a second of the C final of both the 100 back and 100 free with his current best times.
“My goal this short course season is to really develop more power in my freestyle and backstroke,” Whiteside told SwimSwam. He doesn’t necessarily have to have huge drops this season, but some small improvements at his already high level will make a world of a difference before he gets to UVA.
Whiteside complements the likes of fellow UVA commits Henry Keel and Ryan Baker. Keel is a hundredth faster than Whiteside in the 50 free but eight tenths behind him in the 100 free, while Baker is a 20.72 and 44.85 in the free. Those three will patch up holes in the Cavs sprint lineup, which is pretty thin right now. Baker is a also a bit faster than Whiteside in the backstroke, and the two will be pushing each other in those events in the future.
Along with Keel and Baker, Whiteside joins breaststroker Jared Norton in UVA’s men’s class of 2020 which is now four strong. He will also swim alongside his hometown club teammate Bryce Keblish, a current freshman with the Cavs.
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