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Clayton Forde of Lakeside Swim Team and St. Xavier High School in Louisville, Kentucky, committed to the University of Georgia Sunday night. He chose the Bulldogs over Florida, Missouri, Indiana and North Carolina.
Forde is a second-generation collegiate swimmer (his mother, Tricia, swam at Northwestern) with a lot of versatility. Although his best event is the 400 IM, he is a solid competitor in the range of freestyle events from 200-1650, and the 200 fly and 200 IM as well. Forde specializes in mid-distance free in high school; he was runner-up in the 200 free (1:41.26) and third in the 500 free (4:33.87) at the 2015 Kentucky High School Athletic Swimming & Diving Championships.
Forde is a recruiting coach’s dream: at 6’4” and 160 pounds, he should have ample opportunity to gain weight and strength and make some huge leaps in a collegiate setting. He already sports Summer Juniors and US Open qualifying times, and coaches are projecting that he has a lot of room for improvement. This summer alone he took 3 seconds off his 200m free and nearly 2 off his 400m IM. Currently, his best times are:
Forde should fit well with Georgia’s outstanding track record in distance and IM events. He would have scored in the 1650 at 2015 SEC Championships, and isn’t that far off in the 400 IM. Forde is part of a future class of 2020 that also includes verbal commits Ben Walker, Javier Acevedo, and Walker Higgins.
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