A pair of Ivy League men’s programs have picked up verbal commitments from Junior Nationals qualifiers.
For the Penn Men, that is Hunter Brakovec from New South Swimming in Virginia. Brakovec is a distance swimmer, with bests of 4:34.83, 9:27.49, and 15:43.92 in the 500, 1000, and 1650 yard freestyles. That should give Brown a piece of the pie in what looks to be a very bright future in Ivy League swimming.
The Ivies used to be very good in distance races, but after a low point in 2009-2010 (Alex Meyer and his sub-15 mile aside), the 500 and the mile have been getting more-and-more competitive. Also remember that the Ivies have a 1000 free at their conference championship meet, making distance swimmers more valuable there than most places in Division I.
The other addition is PASA’s Willy Lee, who has verbally committed to Brown. Lee is already close to a finals worthy backstroker at the Ivy League level, with bests of 49-mid and 1:47-mid in the 100 and 200 yard backstrokes.
Brown didn’t score many points individually from their backstroke group last year. Aside from that, the differences between the medley relays that have (Princeton and Harvard, primarily) and don’t have backstrokers is huge. Brown had over a two second gap to make up off of the opening leg of the 400 medley relay last year (in which, incidentally, they were DQ’ed in finals). That’s a tough position for a medley relay to be in.
At any rate, when Lee arrives in the fall, that should be much less of an issue for Brown going forward, especially if he drops another seven-tenths of a second in the 100 as a senior, like he did during his junior year.