Ian Finnerty, Junior National champion this summer in the 4×200 and 4×100 free relays, has verbally committed to Indiana University for the 2015-2016 season.
For fans who followed Junior Nationals closely, that’s hardly surprising. Finnerty, who goes to high school right in Bloomington, Indiana, competed most of his club career for the Counsilman Center Swim Team which trains right out the IU pool. This summer, he unattached from Counsilman most of the season only to curiously resurface at Juniors with the Indiana University Swim Team. IUST is the summer club for Indiana’s college swimmers, separated from Counsilman Center Swim Team by complex NCAA rules.
At Juniors, he joined three current or future Hoosiers to win dual junior national titles and set a 15-18 National Age Group record in the process, prompting us to suspect his college decision might have been becoming more clear. Also on those relays were current IU sophomore Max Irwin and current freshmen Blake Pieroni and Brandon Colonis. Now all four will once again be teammates when Finnerty begins his collegiate eligibility next fall.
Finnerty is a pretty versatile swimmer. Though he held his own on both of those free relays, his highest finish at Juniors was in the 100 breast, where he went 1:03.64 in the long course pool to take 13th. Finnerty also competed in the 100 fly and 200 IM.
Breaststroke will clearly be his quickest area of impact on the Hoosiers. His short course lifetime-best of 54.91 is only about seven tenths away from a scoring time in the tough Big Ten, and his 200 breast (2:02.95) looks like an area he can continue to develop.
It’s hard to say where else he’ll fit in the Hoosier’s event lineup. His 48.1 100 fly is intriguing, but might be too close to the 100 breast to swim both during championship season. 200 IM might be a better fit lineup-wise. His freestyles were strong enough to boost IU’s relays at Juniors, but at 46.6/1:39.4, he’ll have to keep developing there to wind up on relays at the college level.
Finnerty’s top times
- 100 breast: 54.91
- 200 breast 2:02.95
- 100 fly: 48.18
- 200 IM: 1:50.45
- 100 free: 46.68
- 200 free: 1:39.43