Following the earlier commitment today of Jacob Pebley, Cal has earned another notch in the men’s class of 2012 with a verbal from Junior National Teamer Josh Prenot. Prenot trains with the Santa Maria Swim Club.
Prenot has a unique level of versatility, as is evidence by the slate of events that earned him spots on the Jr. National squad – the 200 fly, the 200 breast, the 200 IM, and the 400 IM. The 200 fly and 200 breast is the most interesting combination, though the breaststroke-butterfly combo is actually popping up fairly frequently around the swimming world, though it was once extremely rare. He was entered in the 200 breast and 400 IM at the FINA Junior World Championships this past summer, though he didn’t medal in either. His 4:18.44, however, was good enough to put him in the world’s top-40.
He’s also a plus-backstroker, and a fantastic distance-freestyler.
Prenot was home-schooled, and as such put largely more focus in his long course than his yards swimming, but we got a great indication of his potential when he took part in the World Cup. In Berlin, in the 200 IM, he swam a 1:59.14, which converts to a 1:47-low in yards. He’s been a 3:49.0 in yards in the 400 IM, which would have left him about 3 seconds away from points at NCAA’s last year (which is nothing to drop in two years – expect points in that event as a freshman).
Interestingly, though I would have guessed that he would lean towards the breaststroke rather than the fly, he swam the butterfly races in Europe. In the 200 fly, he’s got a best of 1:46.7 (1:45.3 in SCM converted). That’s another event where he’ll score points as a freshman.
In the 200 breaststroke, where Pebley put a lot of his long course focus this year, he’s been only a 2:03 in yards, which is nothing special. His LCM time, however, converts to a blazing 1:56, which is just a stroke off of NCAA points.
His SCM time in the 1500 from Moscow would convert to a 15:15 – about 15-seconds faster than he’s actually been in yards.
To make a long-story short, Prenot is a middle-distance stud (which continues the shift of the Cal program, as we’ve discussed ad nauseam). He’ll likely have the 400 IM on his initial NCAA event schedule (it’s safe to assume that he’ll qualify as a freshman), but after that it’s totally up in the air. His lack of big-time yards tapers makes it really tough to predict his event lineup, without putting too much face in long-to-short-course conversions. Whatever he swims, however, he’s going to be fantastic. Look for three individual scoring races at NCAA’s as a rookie.