As the college recruiting season beats up, North Carolina State has gotten the first taste of the payoff from their breakout season last year. They have received a verbal commitment from Finnish swimmer Lotta Nevalainen, she confirmed today.
Nevalainen is in the verge of becoming a star on the Finnish team; she made her first international splash as a part of her country’s 4×50 free relay at the 2010 Short Course European Championships that took bronze.
Nevalainen’s best times in the 50 and 100 free, both in long course, are 26.10 and 57.47, respectively. At just 18 years old, she’s got a lot of room for improvement still, and this far in her career has been much better in short course than long course, so her speed should translate well to the NCAA.
The Wolfpack women finished 7th overall at ACC’s last year, and while that isn’t quite as high as the women, here’s the key stat that shows how much they’re improving: at ACC’s they broke all 5 school relay records.
For them to take the next step, they needed to bring in a sprinter like Nevalainen. Though thin, their sprint group last year was very young and has a lot of potential. Along with returning sophomore Hannah Freyman, who was a 22.7 in her first year with the program, the Wolf Pack now have a great set of bookends.
Nevalainen should be under 23 seconds in her 50 and under 50 seconds in her 100 as a freshman (and has been outstanding on relays too).
She’s also been a 1:03.30 in her 100 back in long course.