As the nation-wide ranks of elite recruits continues to dwindle with signing-day just a few days away, Sven Campbell has rounded out the class of the Cal men by giving them one of the top sprint freestylers in the country, as well as another backstroker.
Campbell, who swims for Orinda Aquatics and the same dominant Campolindo High School that sent Stephen Stumph to USC this fall, broke three North Coast Section Records at this year’s High School Championships. He won the 100 free in 44.22, breaking the mark held by Stanford All-American Aaron Wayne, and then unleashed a 48.16 in the 100 backstroke – a second-and-a-half better than his own old record. He also broke a record with a 20.23 50 freestyle leadoff of Campolindo’s 200 free relay.
He also has been a 1:44.11 in the 200 backstroke, making him the third-best backstroker in the class behind only Ryan Murphy and Jack Conger. Campbell has been very much a late-breaker in the backstroke events (a three second drop in the 200 as a junior, for example), but adding that to his sprint freestyles makes him one of the top recruits in the class of 2013.
In long course, he finished 3rd in the 100 free at this summer’s Junior Nationals in 50.97, but again has added phenomenal backstroke results of 56.3 and 2:02.7 in long course.
This backstroke group has arguably been Cal’s thinnest since they shored up their middle/distance groups, but with Jacob Pebley, Ryan Murphy, and now Campbell coming in all as NCAA-caliber freshmen and sophomores next fall, that lack of depth is erased for the near future.