With most of this fall’s recruiting action focused on the West Coast for the men’s side, one of the best from California is making his way across the country. Young Tae Seo from SwimPasadena and Crescenta Valley High, the latter of whom he led to somewhat of an upset victory at the California South Section DII Championships last season.
Seo is unmatchably-versatile among this class, second perhaps only to Jack Conger in the bredth of events he excels in. He has Summer Nationals cuts in 5 yards events already.
In the breaststrokes, that means a 55.81 in the 100 and a 1:58.91 in the 200. That makes him among the top 5 in the class nationally as a breaststroker, though the Gators are very deep in those events with youth.
In the butterflies, he’s good for a decent 49.81 in the 100 fly, and a spectacular 1:46.37 in the 200 fly. That 200 fly is another event where the Gators are loaded, but he still has every ability to score at SEC’s in year 1.
He is, no surprise, a great IM’er as well, with bests of 1:48.21 in the 200 and 3:47.74 in the 400 IM. Again, the Gators are loaded in the 400 IM, but they could have as many as 5 swimmers in the 400 IM A-Final at the SEC Championships in the spring of 2014, including Seo, Dan Wallace, and Eduardo Solaeche-Gomez.
Like we’ve seen in much of this class after the Olympic Year, most of Seo’s best yards times came as a sophomore. Similarly, however, he did a lot of good things in long course in the summer of 2012 – including a 4:26.0 in the long course 400 IM. He’s still a better yards swimmer than meters swimmer, however.
Though he went after a bit more sprint recruiting with the women last fall, Florida head coach continues to bring in the kind of swimmer than he knows he can develop: IM’ers, and 200 yard strokers. Winning a team NCAA Championship for the men centered around those events would be quite a challenge (NCAA swimming is so weighted toward sprinting), but it will keep his status as one of the best coaches in the country if they continue to perform in the longer distances.
Next year, though, with sprinter Bradley DeBorde, sprint butterflier Marcin Cieslak, and Sebastien Rousseau all being seniors, plus the maturation of a great class of 2016, plus the addition of a swimmer like Seo, the Gators could be looking at a high-water mark in terms of a team finish at NCAA’s.