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Over the last few years, Dave Salo’s Trojan Swim Club has developed a reputation as one of the best breaststroke training spots in the world, with swimmers like Rebecca Soni, Yuliya Efimova, Eric Shanteau, Kosuke Kitajima, and Jessica Hardy all training their as professional swimmers. Yet, his collegiate breaststroke recruiting has been a bit thin; there are a few good swimmers in his college ranks on the women’s side (Kasey Carlson, Brianna Weinstein, and recently Andrea Kropp) but the men have been noticeably thinner (Sergio Lujan-Rivera was their only breaststroker under 54 seconds last season).
Now, for three straight seasons, Salo has brought in a very good recruit, and the men’s breaststroke group is getting some good depth. Two years ago, they signed Lujan-Rivera; this fall they brought in Morten Klarskov, who is a 59.6 in short course meter; and now Steven Stumph from Orinda Aquatics and Campolindo High School in Northern California has given his verbal pledge to swim for the Trojans.
Stumph, who we rated as our #3 men’s recruit in the class of 2013, is the California North Coast Section Record holder in the 100 yard breaststroke with a 54.06. That makes him easily the top breaststroker in the class. He also has a 1:57.00 in the 200 breaststroke and a 1:47.52 in the 200 IM. He was this summer’s 200 breaststroke Junior National Champion in the 200 breast in long course. Stumph is a bit older than most freshman, as he will be 19 by the time he graduates high school.
Orinda Aquatics has some legacy with USC, as one of their most famous male alums, John Dorr, went to train with Salo and the Trojans in 2007.
Stumph has had a slew of injuries that basically cost him his entire sophomore season. First he injured his groin, which is about as bad as it gets for a breaststroker, then had both hips surgically repaired last August, which is even worse. Somehow, he still tore his way through California’s championship season to drop almost three seconds off of the times he went in 2010: his last healthy year. If he can stay out of the trainer’s room, with more preparation, his stock could soar both nationally and internationally.
It will be curious to see how many more bodies Salo brings in this fall. For the 2012-2013 season, he has expanded his roster to 37 (from 30 listed the year before). This is significant due to the high costs of tuition and housing at USC (running toward $60,000 a year), and the relative few scholarships available to men’s swimming, this expanded roster is a good sign for the health of this program.