Just as we did earlier this week with the women, we’re going to now look into the collegeswimming.com men’s top 100 recruits list and see who’s on the table, who’s committed, and which teams are going to move up in the rankings as these spots get filled in.
The men’s list is more complete than the women’s, especially at the top, with many fewer uncommitted international recruits. Still, there are a lot of spots left for us to conjecture where swimmers might be going. Specifically, there is one big domestic recruit who is still up for grabs.
#20 Tamas Gercsak/Hungary – Not Available (University of Florida?) – Gercsak is a great middle-distance breaststroker and butterflier, and the only thing that keeps him from placing higher in these rankigns is the lack of yards times. In long course, he has a 2:17.32 200 breast (1:57.82 yards) and a 2:00.92 200 fly (1:44.72 converted). I’d bet the farm that he ends up at the University of Florida, a great fit for his middle-distance swimming, where his two older brothers (Balazs and Csaba) both swam. That would make him the Gators’ fourth top-20 recruit.
#25 Josh Prenot/California – Not Available – Prenot is homeschooled, and so his absence in the HS circuit means he might be a bit underranked at 25th. He is, however, a huge recruit, which he demonstrated last weekend at the Speedo Grand Challenge. There he placed 4th in the 200 IM and 5th in the 400 IM, including ahead of several NCAA finalists, and he didn’t even swim the distance frees, where he’s gone a 9:12/15:31 in the 1000/1650. Oh yeah, and he’s a National Merit Semi-Finalist. No announcements yet, but his finalists are reportedly Cal, USC, Georgia, Stanford, and Texas.
#28 Nate Savoy/Pennsylvania – Penn State – In a banner year for high school swimming in the state of Pennsylvania, Savoy was only the state’s 3rd ranked recruit. The Nittany Lions, however, made him the only of the state’s top 7 recruits to stay in-state, which is a huge win for them as the level of home-grown talent is on the rise. He has a 20.6 50 free, 45.3 100 free, 48.3 100 back, and 1:47.6 200 IM, and should at the least be an immediate impact on the Nittany Lion relays.
#42 Erik van Dooren/Sweden – University of Iowa (Maybe?) – Van Dooren was listed as an Iowa Hawkeye recruit prior to last season, but never made his way onto the Iowa roster. Usually in these situations, there’s an academic issue, so it will be interesting to see if he ever makes his way to campus. If he does, it will be a huge grab for the Hawkeyes to keep their momentum going. He’s gone under 51 in the 100 free, and under 23 in the 50, which wouuld already put him at NCAA qualifying/scoring levels in converted yards times.
#48 Sergio Lujan-Rivera/Florida – USC – The one big need for the USC men this season is a breaststroker, and (no surprise) Dave Salo went out and got himself one of the best out of Florida. Lujan-Rivera was a part of the 200 medley relay that broke the National High School Record in 2009, and is the defending state champ in the 100 breast. At the very least, his 55.0 in the 100 breaststroke will allow Salo to keep Morozov as the freestyler on the medley relays. It would be nice, however, to see Lujan-Rivera gain a little more versatility and at least show big improvements in the 200.
#49 Spencer Rowe/Tennessee – University of Georgia – Rowe, who similarly to Lujan-Rivera above hails from the Southeast’s other private-school-powerhouse The Baylor School, rocketed up the rankings in his senior year after battling a case of mono his junior season. Jack Bauerle took a bit of a chance on him, but it paid off when Rowe put up marks of 55.32/2:00.38 in the 100 and 200 breaststrokes, respectively, this spring. Also like Lujan-Rivera, he needs to work out a third individual event on the collegiate level.
#51 Luke Peddie/Canada – No College – Peddie is already one of Canada’s top sprinters (23.02/50.61 long course), and will not be swimming in college. He will instead be moving to Vancouver to train at Canada’s National Training Center with Brent Hayden, last year’s virtual world champ in the 100 free.
#80 Omar Arafa/Canada/Egypt – Columbia – Arafa is an Egyptian born, and Canadian raised, sprint freestyler. His yards times, converted from meters, include a 20.8 in the 50 free, 44.7 in the 100 free, and a 48.6 in the 100 back. And better yet, he has a ton of upside: He doesn’t turn even 17 until August, which means he skipped a year and earned admission to an Ivy League school at only 16. If Columbia plays their cards right and brings the young swimmer along delicately, they could have found themselves the predecessor to Adam Powell, who finished 16th at NCAA’s in the 50 free last season.
#85 Andrew Malone/Ohio – USC – (updated) This is a rare top swimmer to escape the clutches of Ohio State, but Malone will be headed west to USC. Like #48 Sergio Lujan-Rivera, Malone is a near-perfect Dave Salo project. He’s the back-to-back Ohio Swimmer of the Year, and has both a 55.5 100 breast and a 20.5 50 free. He has a so-so 200 (2:06.18) where there’s a little of room for improvement, but he could be an immediate-impact guy in both of the other two. At the least, he and Lujan-Rivera will create a great battle for the medley relay spots.
#92 Christopher Wong/California – Not Swimming in College (Stanford) – Wong, who is as much an academic standout as he is in the pool, will be attending Stanford, but will not be a part of the Cardinal’s powerhouse recruiting class that includes five top-20 swimmers. Wong will be concentrating on academics, but if he changes his mind, he certainly has the chops to swim in Palo Alto: he’s hugely versatile, with a 3:54.14 in the 400 IM, a 49.2 in the 100 fly, and a 1:38.9 in the 200 free. He has said that Stanford is his “dream school,” and though he would be a contributor for the Cardinal, he probably wasn’t fast enough to earn much scholarship money. That probably is what made this decision for him. He did participate in last week’s Speedo Grand Challenge in Irvine though, so maybe there’s a glimmer of hope at him rethinking his swimming future.
#94 Michael (Harrison) Curley/Florida – University of Florida – Curley, better known as “Harrison,” is another piece to the ten-swimmer strong University of Florida class. He’s an outstanding 100 backstroker (48.86), and won the 2009 Florida state championship. In 2010, he finished only behind fellow commit #31 Matthew Curby. Curley also has a 1:47.7 in the 200 back. Gregg Troy will probably work on developing his versatility, as that’s the name of the game for this Florida program.
#98 Alwin Firmansyah/California – Yale – Firmansayah was this year’s California Central Section D-3 champion in both the 100 fly (48.52) and 100 breaststroke (57.57), and in 2010 he also set the meet record in the 200 IM (1:49.71). He will join an impressive Yale butterfly core that took 3 out of the top 4 spots at the Ivy League Championships last season. His best time would have placed him 5th at that meet, so he will come in as an immediate significant contributor for the Bulldogs
(note: no information or results of any kind were found for Brady Marshall, the #59 recruit out of California. #87 Matthew Margirier is committed to Northwestern: see #74-he’s a Kansas City kid that straddles the border between Kansas and Missouri.