Jessica Merritt of SwimMAC Carolina has verbally committed to the Auburn Tigers, as announced on her personal Instagram account on Tuesday evening.
Merritt, who trains with the team led by former Auburn head coach David Marsh, has a huge sprint versatility on her resume, but has her best value in the 100 and 200 yard freestyles (both in long course and short course).
Merritt’s best times in yards and (long course meters):
- 50 free – 23.16 (26.56)
- 100 free – 49.66 (56.90)
- 200 free – 1:47.09 (2:02.21 – Olympic Trials Cut)
- 500 (400) free – 4:59.11 (4:29.73)
- 100 back – 56.83 (1:11.07)
- 100 breast -1 :02.84 (1:16.63)
- 100 fly – 55.85 (1:03.50)
- 200 IM – 1:59.55 (2:21.31)
Merritt’s name is best-known nationally for her contributions to several SwimMAC Carolina National Age Group Record-breaking relays. She’s a part of 5 current National Age Group Record 400 and 800 free relays (four in short course, one in long course).
Merritt didn’t swim at the North Carolina State Championship meet as a junior for Hough High School (she was battling mono), but as a sophomore she placed 2nd in the 100 breast and won the 200 free in a new state record.
While Auburn has had a few down years in overall team standings at the NCAA Championships, their 200 and 400 free relays have remained strong – both finished in the A-final of last year’s NCAA Championship meet. Their 800 free relay, however, was just 17th and missed scoring any points.
Auburn returns that entire relay next season, but will lose its two fastest members by the time Merritt arrives on campus. She will be expected to come in and immediately make an impact on that relay nationally, in addition to individual impacts and a chance to earn spots on the shorter free relays as well.