The Wildcats got some good news in the form of verbals from Loveland Swim Club’s Jack Thorne and Sarasota YMCA’s Carter Page on Monday.
Thorne is a backstroke/distance specialist with bests of 23.89/48.82/1:46.68 in the short course backstroke races, as well as bests of 4:29.05/9:14.00/15:23.41 in the 500/1000/1650 freestyles. In long course, he has been 59.42/2:07.76 in the backstroke races and 4:01.11/8:17.23/16:03.73. Notably, he also has a best time of 3:56.74 in the 400 IM, which could prove to be a great asset for the Wildcats next year.
At the moment, his short course backstroke speed trumps his long course ability, and this may mean a smoother transition for Thorne entering his freshman year next fall. He was the state champion in the 100 butterfly (50.29) and the 100 back at the Colorado 4A State Championships last May, and his backstroke effort was a new 4A State Record. Northwestern is already replete with young backstroke talent, including sophomore Andrew Jovanovic and freshmen Alex Snarski and Nick Petersen so he will have plenty of talent to race against in practice. As for his distance ability, he will prove to be a fine addition to a squad that includes National Team Member Jordan Wilimovsky, current sophomore Charlie Cole, and freshman Jonathan Blansfield.
Carter Page is a pure distance swimmer with bests of 4:27.77/9:19.83/15:23.41 in the 500/1000/1650 freestyles while he also has bests of 4:00.31/8:17.59/15:44.23 in the long course variants of those races. Unlike Thorne, Carter is noticeably stronger in long course meters, with his mile arguably being his forte, and his conditioning may prove to be advantageous when he transitions into his collegiate role. Notably, Thorne and Page have the exact same time in the 1650 so this could shape up to a be a nice rivalry for the two entering their freshman.
Additionally, Page has a decent 200 butterfly with a best time of 1:53.41 from last December, and if he can improve on this slightly over the course of the next year, he could prove to be a nice filler in an event that the Wildcats are not particularly strong in. For reference, Northwestern’s top two finishes in the 200 fly at last year’s Big Ten Championships came from current senior Andrew Seitz (1:53.28) and current sophomore Stephen Shull (1:53.86), so this could end up being a third event for Page depending on his progress during his senior year.