Kentucky Gets an Early Verbal from HS Junior Isabella Gati of NCAP

Nation’s Capital Swim Club’s Isabella Gati has given her verbal commitment to the University of Kentucky. She’s currently a high school junior at The Madeira School in McLean, Virginia, and she trains under coach John Flanagan at NCAP. Gati’s strengths are in the butterfly, and she is a strong sprint freestyler as well.

I chose the University of Kentucky because I feel that it is a place where I can grow in both my academics and athletics! When I took my unofficial visit, I fell in love with the campus and the team. The team and coaches are welcoming, nice, and encouraging, and they continue to improve year by year!

Top Times

  • 50y free – 23.86
  • 100y free – 51.83
  • 200y free – 1:50.67
  • 100y fly – 53.74
  • 200y fly – 1:58.92
  • 200y IM – 2:04.25
  • 100m fly – 1:00.92
  • 200m fly – 2:15.93

All of Gati’s butterfly bests come from either last summer or from 2017. Her family lives in Arkansas, but she boards at The Madeira School. She moved to NCAP just over 2 years ago.

I moved to NCAP a little over 2 years ago to improve my swimming and train under coach John Flanagan. My times have improved tremendously since training under coach John.

She’s certainly improved immensely since the move to NCAP. Check out the comparison table below:

Before NCAP Current bests
100 fly  56.67  53.74
200 fly  2:18.46  1:58.92
200 free  1:58.04  1:50.67

Gati will be a high-impact addition to a Kentucky team that is very quickly gaining steam and rising in the ranks of the SEC and the nation. Current freshman Asia Seidt did a great job filling in on butterfly for the Wildcat medley relays, but she is primarily a backstroker/IMer. Kentucky only had 1 scorer in the 100 fly at SECs, and while they did have 3 scorers in the 200 fly, Gati will bring in some worthy speed to their fly group. She would’ve scored in C finals in both of the butterfly races at the 2017 SEC Championships.

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4 years ago

Why so early kids! Take those official recruiting trips, get to know all your options. There is not rush!! It just one of the biggest decisions

Reply to  SwimFan12
4 years ago

Recruiting weekends are not necessarily a true indicator of real life. Everyone is on their best behavior, you are a superstar and everyone loves you, there is an amazing weekend of nothing but cool events and awesome activities. Pretty sure she looked at several schools unofficially and this one was the one that was the best fit. If you find your best fit on your own terms and not in a magical vacuum more power to you!!!

emily billis
4 years ago

How can kids commit when they are juniors? Honestly curious… I thought coaches could not contact them until after July 1 of senior year? My kids aren’t going to swim in college, but just curious about the process.

Reply to  emily billis
4 years ago

Coaches can’t CALL recruits until July 1. But whenever they like, recruits can call coaches, arrange campus visits, send coaches their high school transcripts and make “unofficial” visits to campus at their own expense. That’s when they talk to the coaches. Early commitments have gotten more common in the last two years; as recently as the high school class of 2016, most of the early commitments came in late summer or September of a swimmer’s senior year. Coaches definitely have gotten more aggressive, but swimmers have, too. Now you’re seeing a good number of kids put themselves before coaches early in the process, rather than waiting to be courted.

Speed Racer
Reply to  emily billis
4 years ago

Texting and email communication opened up to Juniors this year Sept 1. I believe this is new this year and the 2018 class is the first to have that as a means for both coaches and swimmers. Makes life easier to set up a phone call time. The swimmer still has to make the phone call the coaches can not. Unofficial visits can happen at any time except for dead periods and are at the swimmers expense unlike official visits.

4 years ago

Congratulations Isabella you have picked a GREAT school and program.

4 years ago

It is a verbal commitment. No signing a NLI until the fall of her senior yr. So kids can change their mind since a verbal is not a binding contract.

About Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon studied sociology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, graduating in May of 2018. He began swimming on a club team in first grade and swam four years for Wesleyan.

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