The USC women have made their big statement in women’s recruiting this week, when they added a total of 6 new verbal commitments.
The latest two are Hanni Leach and Olivia Ontjes: two complimentary pieces from outside of the state of California.
Leach is primarily a backstroker from the Missoula Aquatic Club in Montana, and has yards bests of 53.53/1:54.31 in the 100 and 200 yard backstrokes.
She’s the fastest swimmer in Montana history in four events in short course (200 free, 50 back, 100 back, 200 back) and three events in long course (50 back, 100 back, 200 back).
Ontjes, meanwhile, specializes in the short freestyle events (23.29/50.75/1:48.57) and breaststroke events (1:01,89/2:13.62). Her ability to swim both breaststroke events and the three short freestyle events at that level makes her extremely valuable in the NCAA format, where she can contribute to all 5 relays.
“I am super excited to be apart of the Trojan family! I chose to be a part of the team because of the positive and special environment that is unique to USC,” Ontjes said via email on Tuesday. “It offers the best opportunities to achieve my potential in and out of the pool. I want to study biological sciences on the pre-med track. I would like to thank my coach Chad Onken, and my wonderful family and friends for all their support over the years!”
Ontjes swims for the YMCA of the Triangle Area and Raleigh Charter High School, and is the YMCA Long Course National Record breaker in the 50 breaststroke.
These two join a class that is extremely well-rounded. Ontjes is the third sub-1:02 breaststroker in the class, pairing with Riley Scott and Kirsten Vose. She’s also the third top-tier freestyler, pairing with Allie Wooden (who doesn’t have a second stroke as good as Ontjes’, but goes deeper into the distances) and Lily Dubroff.
Elizabeth Stinson is a distance freestyler, and Leach is a backstroker; all the program needs in this class is another sprint butterflier. Most significantly for a program like USC, where the tuition is so high for non-scholarship athletes, they’re getting value out of every swimmer. Every commit so far is a swimmer who will have the potential to have at least a conference-level impact as a freshman.