Junior National Teamer Cierra Runge Verbally Commits to Cal

Their rivals at Stanford may be hot this year, but Cal women’s head coach Teri McKeever is about the only coach in the country likely not sweating too hard over what’s happening at The Farm.

That’s because McKeever has put together an unprecedented run of recruiting classes, including this year’s which includes previous verbal commit Catherine Ladd, and now Cierra Runge, a member of the 2013-2014 Junior National Team. Runge announced her commitment via her Twitter account on Monday.

Cierra Runge Tweet Cal Commit

Runge, who qualified for the national team with a 55.16 in the 100 meter free at the World Junior Championships, comes from the North Baltimore Aquatic Club.

As that time in the long course 100 free indicates, Runge is primarily a freestyler. That time in the 100 free ranked her as the 18th fastest American in 2013 of any age.

Like most of Bob Bowman and Erik Posegay’s elite NBAC crew, Runge hasn’t done a ton in yards swimming, instead preferring to focus on long course. Her times, from NBAC’s big Christmas short course meet, are still impressive: she’s been 23.11 in the 50 yard free, 49.2 in the 100 yard free, 1:45.6 in the 200 yard free, and 4:43.3 in the 500 yard free.

In other races, she’s also been a 55.3 in the 100 yard fly and a 1:59.9 in the 200 yard IM.

But Cal, while they have a lot of swimmers who have a ton of speed (Franklin, Bootsma) had just one scoring swim in an individual sprint free at NCAA’s last year: freshman Rachael Acker taking 6th in the 100 yard free (48.29).

Between Runge and Ladd’s additions, however, plus class of 2013 freshman Kristen Vredeveld, the future of Cal’s freestyle group is looking notably brighter. She also will have the potential to compete for a spot on Cal’s 800 free relay as a freshman (her time is competitive with those of Acker and Caroline Piehl from last year’s NCAA’s), and certainly should have one by the time she’s a sophomore, when Piehl and Catherine Breed are both graduated.

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Seems like Runge would be a good complement to Vredeveld. Cierra’s range extends to the 200 and 500 while KV’s sweet spot is 50 and 100. Acker bridges the gap between the two. Cal’s 800 free relay loses Missy, Breed, and Piehl in 2015, so Runge’s a good get for Teri.

Thought that Jenna Bauer from Neptune (same Sonoma County club that produced Maya DiRado, Mary Hannis, Amanda Sims, and Taylor Young) would be Cal’s next verbal.


Is that Cierra in the picture?


Not the best ever of her, but yep. That’s Cierra.

bobo gigi

Now, Stanford will probably respond to Cal. 🙂

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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