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Blake Peeples, a distance freestyle specialist from Madison, Mississippi, has made his verbal commitment University of Alabama. He’s currently a junior, and will join Alabama in the fall of 2020. Peeples currently swims club for the Performance Elite Aquatics (PEAQ) of the Mississippi LSC and is a junior at Madison Central High School. He will join 2019 Mississippi recruit Jack Zhu, also of Madison, MS, in Tuscaloosa, Alabama next Fall among the first recruits for newly-named Crimson Tide head coach Coley Stickels.
Notably, Peeples has dominated the Magnolia State in the distance freestyle events owning the all-time overall 500- and 1650 freestyle state records and eight age group records. In the past two years, he has won the 500 free at the Mississippi High School state championships after finishing 2nd place as a freshman. In 2018, he doubled up winning the 200 freestyle (with the 500 freestyle) after top 3 finishes in his freshman and sophomore campaigns. He is the heavy favorite to double up, again, as a senior having won both the events going away last year.
“Extremely humbled to have verbally committed to continue my swimming and academic career at the University of Alabama! I felt at home the second I stepped on campus. I loved the team environment, campus, and have so much trust in the coaches. So excited to be a part of the crimson family! Roll tide!”
This past season, Peeples earned his first Summer Juniors cut in the 500 freestyle. He earned 24th place at the East Winter Junior National in Greensboro in the 1650 freestyle and 27th in the 500 freestyle. At the NCSA Junior Nationals in Orlando he was 10th in 500 free, 18th in the 1000 freestyle, and 24th in the 1650 freestyle. He has seen consistent improvement across the board in all three distances through his career dropping 12 seconds in the 500- and 1000 freestyle in the past two years and 23 seconds in the 1650 freestyle.
Best Times (SCY):
- 200 Freestyle: 1:41.12 (Futures)
- 500 Freestyle: 4:26.98 (2019 Summer Juniors LCM)
- 1000 Freestyle: 9:18.23 (Winter Juniors)
- 1650 Freestyle: 15:41.37 (Winter Juniors)
- 400 IM: 4:03.78 (Futures)
Peeples will have to continue his current trajectory as he enters the vaunted SEC and an Alabama program fresh off a 7th place team finish at the 2019 Men’s Division I National Championship and fourth top 10 finish in the past five years. He will be an important swimmer for the Crimson Tide, though, as they did not score in the 500 freestyle this past season at conference. In the 500 freestyle, Peeples would have missed the bonus consolations cut by a little over five seconds and by 20 seconds from scoring in the 1650 freestyle at SECs.
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