The Minnesota Golden Gophers picked up arguably their biggest in-state verbal commitment this weekend, with Chanhassen High School’s Zoe Avestruz announcing her decision to stay within the state’s borders.
Avestruz was a 4-event Minnesota high school state champ last fall, including two relays that set state records. (Also on those relays were her future Gopher teammate Kaia Grobe and recent Mizzou commit Kylie Dahlgren).
Most notably, Avestruz is within striking distance of the Minnesota state record in the 100 back, a mark set by future Olympian and Cal star Rachel Bootsma.
Avestruz swims for the same Aquajets club team that produced Bootsma, and also broke several National Age Group relay records over the past few years.
“I chose the Gophers because it gave me an opportunity to go to a good school while giving me a feeling of home,” Avestruz said of her in-state commitment. “I knew that I wanted to help represent the state I live in.”
Avestruz’s Top Times
- 100 back: 52.09
- 200 back: 1:57.27
- 100 fly: 54.30
- 50 back: 24.44
That’s a huge pickup for Minnesota in the backstrokes. After graduating former Big Ten champ Tess Behrens (yet another Aquajet) last spring, the Gophers’ most significant hole this season is in the stroke. But the arrival of Avestruz should give them an immediate plug-and-play contributor beginning next fall.
She’s also the reigning Minnesota state champ in the 100 fly. She’ll join Gopher freshman Danielle Nack in that event – Nack was the best in-state prospect coming out a year ago and has just started her Gopher career. That makes up two solid legs of the medley relays moving forward.
The Golden Gophers also got a commitment from in-state breaststroker Olivia Johnston this weekend, as the defending Big Ten champs have done very well in defending their home turf this recruiting season.