Louisville got two new commitments on Friday, Canadian Kristina Steins and Josh Quallen of the Dayton Raiders.
Steins is a 1:02.6/2:18 long course backstroker, which converts to about a 54/2:01 short course, though we can’t give too much meaning to that. Still, looking at the long course times for what they are puts her in good position to be a strong competitor for the Cardinals. This year Louisville will graduate another international backstroker, Eszter Povazsay of Hungary. Povazsay was Big East Champion in the 100 back and Steins will look to fill her shoes.
Quallen, an Olympic Trials qualifier and two-time state champion from Wilmington Ohio, will give the Cardinals more depth in their free, fly, and IM events as they look to fill talent gaps. He’s a good middle distance freestyler with times of 1:39.9 and 4:33.4 in the 200 and 500, in addition to being strong in both the flys with times of 49.3 and 1:48.9. He’s also a 1:51.5/3:57.42 IMer, so he gives the coaches a lot of versatility to work with. Those times seem to point to a championship event lineup of the 500, 200, and 2fly, but that will depend heavily on where the team has strengths and weaknesses.
And a late-breaking recruit from Louisville (after original post), Abbie Houck of the Jefferson County Hurricanes has also committed to Louisville. She is a superb middle-distance, with yards bests of 1:49.8/4:49.7. In the least, she will be an immediate upgrade the Cardinals’ 800 free relay: their weakest of the 5.