In 2012, the Princeton Tigers outrecruited conference rivals Harvard on the men’s side. In 2013, early on it has been Harvard that has stolen the majority of the Ivy League recruiting headlines.
The Tigers, however, made up significant ground yesterday when Floridian Sam Smiddy finally made his commitment known to swim for Princeton next fall.
Smiddy’s primary events are the IM’s, where he has a best of 1:50.75 in the 200 from the Florida State Championship meet during his junior season and a 3:55 in the 400 IM from a Winter Champs meet a week later.
Smiddy is the Florida 3A State Champion (big schools) in both the 200 IM and the 100 fly from this season, and though both times were short of his bests (50.13 in the 100 fly), he carries tremendous value for Princeton. He may be saving his big taper for Junior Nationals that will be coming up in a few weeks; dipping under :50 in the 100 fly and 1:50 in the 200 fly would be great psychological barriers for him to clear headed into his NCAA career.
The Ivy League is going to be very interesting next year. The Princeton Tigers just graduated a class that was a perfect 4-for-4 at the Ivies after being ranked as the #5 class in the country by collegeswimming.com when they started their careers. Their margin over Harvard was less than 100 points this year, and with so many graduations, this year’s freshman will have to pick up a huge portion of the scoring load to keep the streak alive. It would seem as though we might see a bit of a shift in power on the men’s side in that conference, but both sides are recruiting well enough that this should remain as one of the most interesting and hotly-contested conference championship meets for at least the next few years.
As a freshman, he should be a double-digit Ivy League scorer in at least the two IM races. Princeton is already very deep in the butterfly races so one would presume that the IM’s will be his focus. He joins a diverse class of immediate conference-impact swimmers that includes:
- Joseph Martinez, a 4:25 500 freestyler from Austin;
- Lance Rutkin, another 4:25 500 freestyler out of Ft. Lauderdale;
- Brett Usinger, a 56.6/2:02 breaststroker from California;
- Jeffrey Williamson, a 1:39.8 200 freestyler from New York;