Georgia Tech Add Verbal from Swedish Jr National Champ Mats Westergren

Braden Keith
by Braden Keith 4

February 02nd, 2012 College

Unlike many sports, in swimming a vast majority of the domestic athletes sign in the “early signing period” in the fall. They like to be settled in and know where they’re going as early as possible, given the heated competition for limited scholarships, especially in an pre-Olympic year.

That is not to say that classes are set in the fall, however. The spring signing period begins April 16th, and in that period there will be a flood of commitments from international swimmers, especially from places like Europe, Australia, and South America.

Georgia Tech has hit on this international market and earned a verbal commitment from Mats Westergren out of Sweden.

Westergren is a large Swedish swimmer who had a great meet at last week’s Swedish Short Course Junior Nationals (the meet where Sarah Sjostrom broke National Records). That included a Junior National title in the 400 free in 3:52.68, which is his best time, despite not being rested.

His long course bests in the freestyle races are 52.2/1:52.8/4:04.44. Those times convert to about 45.2/1:37.7/4:30 in their yards equivalent races. He also has decent times in the 200 fly (2:05.67) and 200 IM (2:06.73) in short course. He’s a very good short course swimmer because of his size – take into account the 400 short course mentioned above, it converts to about a 4:25 in yards.

After watching him swim in Sweden last week, it’s clear that he’s got huge potential with the right coaching. For example, in the two races of his that I watched, he was beat off the blocks by the entire field, including a competitor that appeared to be about 8 inches shorter than him. With some improvements in matters of technique, he’s got a chance to be a game-changing athlete for the Yellow Jackets. In the least, he should jump immediately onto their top 800 free relay, and it shouldn’t take him too long to begin appearing on the other four as well.


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8 years ago

not impressed with the long course times….sounds like a gt assistant wrote that article…not that easy to change technique….not that many people to train with at gt to make you better.

8 years ago

Okay I’m more than slightly confused…how can athletes be signed this late, and even after April 16….? I thought the process with recruiting was simply the athletes get boosted through admissions, but how can it happen afterwards? Just wondering…i’m an Australian who wants to swim at college but this has confuused me =((

8 years ago

joeb, I will give you the inconsistencies in the article that would attribute it to a GT coach writing it, but the rest of your assessments? Did you get passed over for a scholarship at GT? Not easy to change technique? You a master technician? Do you know the swimmer personally and that he is a lost cause technique wise? Two underclassmen going 4:41 or faster in the 500 in early January is no one to train with? Andrew Kosic, a 18 year old going 1:40 in-season is not ridiculously fast (good though), but that would seem like a training partner for a projected best, 1:37 200 freestyler can train with. Any other poorly researched and unfounded claims against this… Read more »

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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