Northwestern continued to strengthen their backstroke group with their newest verbal commitment from RallySport Aquatics’ Tyler Lis. Lis is a senior at Silver Creek High School in Longmont, Colorado, and is a two-time state champion at the 4A level (2013/200 IM/1:54.46 and 2014/200 free/1:42.13). He is a versatile swimmer with bests of 51.54/1:46.84 in the 100 and 200 SCY backstrokes while also having long course bests of 1:00.08/2:07.76. In addition, he has been 1:53.15/4:00.05 in his 200/400 IM’s and also has a 4:36.15 500 free to boot.
Tyler will be a welcome addition for the Wildcats who have been on a mission to build a strong, young backstroke corps for years to come. Lis’ 1:46.86 in the 200 back is especially exciting considering that his best time entering last spring was a 1:49.52 from the previous year. This sizable drop is just the type of progress that Head Coach Jarod Schroeder will want to see. Though he is considerably better at the 200 yard distance than the 100, he did also go a personal best in the 100 at last year’s Western Sectional Championships.
This will supplement an already sterling backstroke group including sophomore Andrew Jovanovic (47.47/1:44.51), junior Grant Halsall (48.95/1:45.26), freshman Nick Petersen (47.66/1:46.53), freshman Alex Snaski (57.00 LCM 100 back), and senior Mark Ferguson (47.99 100 back). Within his own class, Lis will also join Jack Thorne (48.82/1:46.68) who verbally committed to the Wildcats earlier this fall.
Additionally, Lis will also contribute almost immediately in the 200 IM, an event where the Wildcats were fairly weak last year outside of Jovanovic (1:47.59 mid-season). Outside of Jovanovic, Halsall was the next fastest swimmer for Northwestern with a 1:51.25 mid-season, and the Wildcats did not score any points in this event at last year’s Big Ten Championships.