Sarah Koucheki, who is rated exactly #50 by collegeswimming.com in the class of 2013, has given Rich DeSelm and North Carolina their first top-50 verbal of the fall (though they had a pair that sat just outside of it). The Tar Heels didn’t hit on a big, top-15 recruit this season, but they are building some nice depth that will continue to serve them well in their annual battle with Virginia for the ACC Championship.
Koucheki’s good in different spots around the event schedule, but if one had to name a specialty for her, it would be the butterflies. There, she’s been 54.66 in the 100 and 1:59.96 in the 200. The Tar Heels have a very good butterfly group with swimmers like Katie Nolan and Cari Blalock, but the former graduates after this season and the latter will be a senior next year, so there’s definitely a need for Koucheki to come in and lead the next wave. She’s also a star in long course, with bests of 1:01 and 2:13 in the 100 and 200 long course flys from last spring’s Sectionals in Oxford.
Koucheki, though, should develop a killer IM in college if given the opportunity: this is one of those situations where the sum of her individual strokes seems to add up to a faster time than she’s gone in the IM’s. Still, her times there are a very good baseline (2:03.4 and 4:22.9), but with a 1:59 200 fly, a 2:01 200 back, and a 50.9 in the 100 free, she’s got big potential. Even her weak stroke, breaststroke, is very good: she was a 1:09.0 in the 100 yard race, and that was done as a freshman in high school.
Koucheki swims for Hawken High School and the Lake Erie Silver Dolphins, who have turned out a pretty impressive class of senior recruits.
She joins a class that already includes prototypical DeSelm recruit Hellen Moffitt, and breaststroker Abby Fisher, who was 3rd at Junior Nationals in the 200.