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A pair of USA Swimming National Team members have made their college decisions this week, each giving verbal commitments. Olivia Barker, the top recruit out of the state of Nevada, will head to Indiana, while Cliff Goertemiller from Ohio has tipped his cap to the Harvard Crimson.
Goertemiller, who swims for the Dayton Raiders Swim Club and Oakwood High School, is a distance specialist with bests of 4:25.6 in the 500 free and 15:21.7 in the 1650, both of which will make him an immediate force in the Ivy League, at least. Harvard has a bit of a distance tradition, with the most obvious being 2012 U.S. Olympian Alex Meyer – who in 2010 was an All-American in the 1650 and the Ivy League Champion in the 500. The conference as a whole is stocked with young distance swimmers, including junior Paul Noelle from Princeton and sophomore Rob Harder from Yale – who were 1st and 2nd last season in the 500 – but Goertemiller’s times both would have put him into the top 6 at last year’s Conference Championship meet.
Goertemiller placed 3rd in the 1500 long course at Junior Nationals a month ago.
Harvard had two freshman (Reed Snyder and Mike Gaudini) who were 15:30 or better in the mile last year, including a 15:17 from Gaudini.
Barker, who swims for the Nevada Sandpipers and Bishop Gorman High School, will head to Bloomington, Indiana to swim for the Hoosiers and Ray Looze next season. She is the most exciting recruit to come out of the state since Robbie Hommell committed to Stanford in 2011.
Barker is the one of the top-two-rated butterfliers in the class, neck-and-neck with Cal commit Celina Li, with yards bests of 53.15 and 1:56.58 in the 200. That will be huge for the Hoosiers, as those times are already better than anyone on Indiana was last season (though juniorBrenna MacLean will look for a better season this year). In fact, MacLean’s 200 fly time would have been only two-tenths behind Ohio State’s Shannon Draves for the Big Ten title.
She’s got bests of 1:00.33 and 2:11.65 in the long course butterflies as well, though neither came on a peak at the Olympic Trials. Her next best events in yards are the IM’s, where she’s been a 2:03/4:20, but far-and-away butterfly is her best stroke.
Bishop Gorman is the premier team in Nevada swimming, having won the last three high school State Championships meets. Last year, she set the Nevada State Record, despite being only a 54.66 – a second-and-a-half from her best time.