Another big-time recruit in the class of 2012 has announced his commitment via Twitter. Chase Kalisz of NBAC has decided that he will swim for the University of Georgia beginning next fall. He is ranked as the #6 recruit in the class according to collegeswimming.com.
Kalisz made a big splash in 2011 when he finished 3rd in the 400 IM at the Charlotte UltraSwim Grand Prix behind only two of the best in the world – Ryan Lochte and Thiago Pereira. He would go on to score the 3rd-best time at the 2011 National Championships in that event of 4:18.43 (done in a win in the B-final). He also placed 6th in the 200 breaststroke and 5th in the 200 IM.
Not surprisingly as a Bob Bowman charge, Kalisz has better long course than short course times, but he still has a chance to be a huge contributor for Georgia as a freshman. He’s got a best in the 200 IM of 1:48.34 and 400 IM of 3:53.10. Beyond the IM’s he excels in breaststroke, with bests of 55.52/1:59.86 in the 100 and 200 breaststrokes. It took a 53.3/1:55.3 to make the B-final at NCAA’s last year, but Kalisz’ short course times at full-bore are probably better than his best results have shown so far.
By the time he hits campus in Athens 12-months from now, he could already be a big star. At least two A-finals at the Olympic Trials seems like a possibility, and even though his chances at the Olympic Team are a long shot, a spot on the broader National Team is a possibility. Remember when comparing to some of the top 2012 female recruits, that it’s much rarer for a teenage male to place as highly as Kalisz than female.
This is a good fit for Georgia who has a hole left by the graduation of 2011 400 IM National Champion Bill Cregar. Though Kalisz is much more highly-rated than Cregar was four years ago, the two share very similar specialties. If Kalisz can develop the way Cregar did in his time at Georgia then this is an excellent situation for him. He could be just the beginning of a big class for the Bulldogs and coach Jack Bauerle, as there should be quite a bit of scholarship money to spread around on the next class.