Club teammates Chelsie Miller and Anna Patterson both currently train with the FLEET swim program in Northwest Houston (which quietly produces big-time D-1 talent every year). Starting next fall, however, they will be faced as foes, as Miller has committed to swim for Kansas, while Patterson will swim for their arch-rivals Missouri. The two programs face off every year in what is known throughout all sports as the “Border War” in a tradition that dates back to before intercollegiate athletics even existed.
Miller is a big-time signing for Kansas, and collegeswimming.com agrees by ranking her 84th in the class. She comes in with a 4:52 in the 500 free from Sectionals this past spring as well as a 9:53 in the 1000. I can only find a best of 1:56.0 in the 200 free for her, but if you do the math on that, that’s about what her average 200 split is in the 500 free, so you know she can destroy that time if she gives any focus to the race.
She’ll join a solid distance group that includes Rebecca Swank (junior this year) and Morgan Sharp (sophomore this year). Sharp is another FLEET alum, which undoubtedly had some influence on Miller’s decision. She’s also an above-average IM’er, with bests of 2:03.5/4:18.1, and distance breaststroker, with a 200 best of 2:17.9. In long course, it’s those three races where she’s really excelled, as those are the events (not the distance freestyles) where she has three Olympic Trials cuts. The highlight of her summer was a B-final in the 400 LCM IM (4:48.98) at the USA Swimming National Championships.
Across he border, collegeswimming.com’s #47-ranked recruit, Anna Patterson, will become the lastest part of a resurgent Missouri program led by new-ish head coach Greg Rhodenbaugh. She comes in with some good versatility, from the 50 on up through the 500 freestyle, and is also a very good butterflier.
Her freestyle versatility is exactly what the Tigers will need next year. The addition of Florida transfer Shara Stafford will help a lot, but she’ll only get one season in Columbia. Then it will be time for Patterson to take over. Her freestyle bests of 49.8/1:48.1/4:48.1 all would have put her either 1st (100 and 500) or 2nd (200) on the team last year. What’s more, those times were on huge drops from her sophomore season, for example she chopped 6 seconds off of her 200 free.
In the 100 fly, her best is a 54.5, done at short course juniors on a mid-season taper, and 1:59.0 in the 200 from the same meet. Those swims would have put her first and second, respectively, for Missouri in 2011 as well.
If she is even able to make smaller improvements in the next year, she could be a superstar for Missouri.
This is just another demonstration of how close-knit the swimming community is.