For all of the early recruiting success that the Arizona Wildcats have had so far, this weekend is a huge one for Rick DeMont in his first year as head coach.
They have no-fewer-than three huge recruits on campus: Amy Bilquist, Victoria Toris, and Katrina Konopka, the latter of whom couldn’t even wait to return home to make her decision.
Konopka, from the Y-Spartaquatics Swim Club in South Carolina, pledged her intent to swim for Arizona for at least the next four years, giving Arizona the #13 recruit in the class of 2015.
Konopka is outstanding across the freestyle, backstroke, and butterfly strokes. In yards, her bests are:
- 50 free – 22.46
- 100 free – 49.90
- 200 free – 1:48.99
- 100 back – 54.24
- 200 back – 1:59.79
- 100 fly – 54.02
Surprisingly for her versatility, her IM times aren’t great, but that 200 free time notwithstanding, she’s got plenty to offer in the shorter sprint races that her IM times don’t matter much.
In long course, Konopka is a Junior National Team member and is verging upon the senior National Team. This past summer, she was 25.66/55.97/2:02.51 in the 50/100/200 frees in LCM, plus 1:01.83 in the 100 meter fly.
Konopka attends Saint Joseph’s Catholic School in Greenville, South Carolina, and besides being the defending YMCA Short Course National Champion in the 50 free, also swam on the United States’ Junior Pan Pacs roster.
She’s the 7th senior woman to commit to Arizona already this fall – making this already one of the biggest classes we’ve seen for Arizona in years. Others who have committed include Sam Senczyszyn, MacKenzie Rumrill, #7-ranked recruit Quinn Carrozza, and a triple last weekend of Emma McCarthy, Sarah Shimomura, and Annie Ochitwa.
This class is a game-changer for the Wildcats, who were in danger of slipping in the coming seasons with a sudden lack of depth. To put the class of 7, so far, into perspective: in their sophomore, junior, and senior classes combined, Arizona will only have 11 swimmers this year. Added to 6 freshmen swimmers this season, next year’s Arizona team will be very, very young, but also very, very talented.