The Minnesota men have graduated a huge piece in Michael Richards, and one might think that their biggest target in recruiting would be his replacement. Quite the contrary, however, with the program united under head coach Kelly Kraemer, the Gopher men are really seeking to build a full-force, well-rounded program like the women have.
That begins with their first big verbal committment of the 2011 recruiting season: Logan Redondo out of Mission Viejo.
It’s no surprise that, training with the Nadadores under coach Bill Rose, that Redondo is a distance freestyler, and one of the best in the country at that. At this summer’s Junior National Championships, he placed in the top three in the 400, 800, and 1500 freestyles. Thus far in his young career, he’s been better in long course than short course, but his yards times are 1:38.29/4:25.52/15:23.54 in the three longer freestyle events.
That will start by giving him a direct path onto the Minnesota 800 free relay that finished 15th at NCAA’s. And despite their reputation as a sprint school, Minnesota’s men’s distance group is not too shabby either. Junior Matt Benecki swam a 15:10 in the mile last year and a 4:22 in the 500. And of course on the women’s side, there’s Ashley Steenvoorden, who is a member of the USA Swimming National Team.
Also, don’t forget that 2011 NCAA mile Champ Michael McBroom was a Gopher before transferring to Texas.