A pair of Pac-12 men’s programs have picked up verbals from outsanding butterfliers (among other things), as Renny Richmond will head to Arizona, and Longyuan Gutierrez will swim for the Cal Golden Bears.
Richmond from the Lahaina Swim Club is secretly one of the true superstars in this class. At last December’s Hawaiian Swimming Championship meet, Richmond swam a 47.09: one of the fastest we’ve ever seen from a high schooler. Still, in relative isolation in Hawaii, we don’t get to see him a ton on the regular swimming circuit. At Junior Nationals in 2011, though, he did swim a blazing 53.88 in long course, which shows that he’s got national-level potential too.
He swims a decent 200 fly (1:50.36), but will more likely end up as a sprint freestyler to fill out his event lineup. He’s got bests of 20.45, 45.12, and 1:37.95 in the 50, 100, and 200 freestyles. He’ll be a fitting replacement for the Wildcats’ Giles Smith, who fills just that role for the team right now.
Dave Durden and the Cal men have also found themselves a star from off-the-beaten-path. Longyuan Gutierrez swims for Cottonwood Heights Aquatics in Utah, and is sort of a flip of Richmond: he’s got butterfly bests of 48.63 in the 100, and a killer 1:46.99 in the 200. Though Durden is often regarded to as a “sprint coach,” keep in mind that he returns the champion and runner-up in the 200 fly from last year’s NCAA meet (Will Hamilton andTom Shields).
Gutierrez also brings a lot to the table as a sprint freestyler, with bests of 21.20 and 45.31 in the 50 and 100 frees, respectively. He’s off to a great start early in this yard’s season, having been a 46.2 in the 100 yard free already.