New Kentucky head coach Lars Jorgensen has had a solid, but not spectacular, recruiting season up until this week, but he really needed a statement recruit to really catch some attention.
It turns out that he may have picked up two. One is Australian Isaac Jones, and the other is Steven Richardson from Houston.
Jones was a member of Australia’s Junior World Championship team that topped the medal table at that year’s meet.
The 18-year old Jones (he will be 19 by the time his career starts next fall) earned a silver medal leading off Australia’s 800 free relay in a 1:49.90. That’s faster than anyone in the field led off in, including Indiana commits Blake Pieroni and Teddy Kalp (who led off for the US and Canada, respectively).
He also swam the 200 fly and finished 7th in 2:00.20.
Jones’ best times in long course:
- 100 free – 51.28
- 200 free – 1:49.88
- 400 free – 3:58.32
- 100 fly – 55.16
- 200 fly – 1:59.81
What’s especially impressive is that none of those times seem to be flukes. In 2013, for example, he swam 7 times between 1:59.8-2:00.6 in the 200 fly. He should immediately come in and be able to contend for top-5 finishes, at least, at SEC’s, even while transitioning and becoming accustomed to yards swimming.
The other addition, Richardson, swims for the Eagle Swimming Association. His times in yards are exciting enough: he’s flat-started 20.94 and 45.55 in the 50 and 100 yard freestyle races. While those times are enough alone that he’s likely to have an immediate relay impact for the ‘Cats, his long course times from this summer (he’s a club-only swimmer) bring the real wow factor. At the summer’s Junior Nationals, he was 23.2 and 51.0 in the 50 and 100 meter freestyles. those numbers convert to roughly a and a 44.5 and a 20.0 in yards.
Kentucky is starting to make moves in a deep, and fun, SEC conference this fall, which they need badly. They finished 9th out of 10 teams at last year’s SEC Championships, just 1.5 points ahead of Alabama (who is getting better in a hurry as well). It seems to be not long before the SEC will be without a true weak team.