Mandy Barnes of the Mission Viejo Nadadores has verbally committed to the Boise State Broncos, making her the second swimmer from her team to announce her college decision in 24 hours.
“Coach Kristin has done amazing things at Boise State, and I am honored that she has reached out to me as a swimmer. I am excited to start my new career as a freshman Bronco!”
Barnes’ best event, like her teammate Katie McLaughlin, is the 200 fly. She’s been 2:02.91 in the 200 yard event (as just a sophomore at the OK Elite Pro-Am Meet in 2012), and a 2:17.85 in the 200 meter fly done earlier that year, which qualified her for Winter Nationals.
The Tesoro High School senior adds a 56.35 in the 100 fly, and in true Mission Viejo fashion, is a very good distance swimmer: she has bests of 1:52.90 in the 200 free and 4:54.74 in the 500 free.
Boise State graduated their two best 200 butterfliers after last season, but return two swimmers (Jessica Bottelberghe – 2:01.51, and Whitney Jorgensen – 2:00.31) who should place in the top 8 at the Mountain West Conference Championships in 2015, and Jorgensen will still just be a junior when Barnes arrives
Similarly, when Barnes is training in the middle-distance freestyles, she’ll be able to pair with Felicity Cann, who had a fantastic freshman season last year including a 4:48.34 in the 500 yard free.
Cann is actually a fantastic example for Barnes when she arrives in Boise State next fall. Like Barnes, Cann hit a plateau late in her high school career, but she flipped a switch in her first year with the Broncos that led to an eight second improvement in her 500 free.