The Indiana Hoosiers continue to roll through one of the best recruiting classes for the program in the last decade with today’s announced signing of Ali Khalafalla.
Khalafalla is an Egyptian national, with a huge portion of that country’s National Team now training in the NCAA system. In 2011, he came to the United States to train at Fork Union Military Academy in Virginia, and immediately impressed in both short course and long course swimming.
Khalafalla is another key sprint edition for the Indiana men’s team that desperately needed them. In yards, his best times in the sprint freestyles are 20.36 in the 50 and 44.81 in the 100; in long course, he went bests at the Charlotte Grand Prix two weeks ago, which included a 22.90 in the 50 and 51.82 in the 100 in long course.
Both of those yards times will immediately put Khalafalla 4th on the Hoosiers’ sprint depth-chart, which is a depth chart with a lot of youth and therefore excitement. The four best returning Indiana sprinters were all sophomores last year, including Anze Tavcar. The addition of Khalafalla gives them even more youth, and between his addition and that of Blake Pieroni, they now have the firepower to score in all three freestyle relays at NCAA’s, and even to put some into A-finals if all goes well.
This team as a whole, after graduations of Eric Ress and James Wells, is still an individual scorer-or-two away from breaking through into that NCAA top-8 team range this coming season; but with a young sprint core and great diving, the foundation of the team is rock-solid.
Khalafalla, while at Fork Union, was an All-American and broke the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association record in the 50 free four times, and the 100 free once. He was a part of back-to-back State Championships for Fork Union as well.
Indiana’s newest sprinter will be training as part of a group under Indiana’s newest coach – Dennis Dale. Dale was primarily responsible for decades of great sprint success at Minnesota before becoming Indiana’s associate head coach this summer.
Indiana also officially announced today the signing of British sprinter Grace Vertigans for the women’s team, which we previously reported here.