The Princeton men are graduating one of their most successful classes in recent history (probably ranking behind only the class of ’09 in the last decade), including All-American breaststroker Jon Christensen. The class of 12 went undefeated with four-straight Ivy League titles.
But their latest class appears as though it could hold some potential future All-Americans, and certainly some future All-Ivy swimmers in the least. The class of 14 already has 6 swimmers with Olympic Trials Qualifying Times (though some are internationals), adding to the 9 returning swimmers that have the same, and really builds this program up for a bright future.
This class is so rich with talent, that it’s hard to find a fair starting point. We’ll begin with the group of massively-talented breaststrokers that shouldn’t take too long to fill-in for Christensen’s available spot, beginning with Bolles School’s Teo D’Alessandro. His versatility will make him a rock for this class in the future; he’s a 1:38 200 freestyler, a 1:47.2 in the 200 IM; and a 3:53 in the 400 IM.
But he’s good enough to contribute in a whole slew of other events – he’s a 20.6 in the 50 free, and a 45.0 in the 100. He’s one of the few swimmers in the class of 2012 nationwide who can boast both a 55-point in the 100 breaststroke and a 50-point in the 100 fly. D’Allessandro won a pair of bronze medals at last year’s Junior Nationals (in the 100 breast and 200 IM) and seems to be a bona fide star of the future.
D’Alessandro is very versatile, but he won’t necessarily have to carry the breaststroke load in this class. That’s because he has a very focused classmate in Jack Pohlmann from the Dayton Raiders club in Ohio, who is the defending state champion in the 100 with a 55.27. He’s also got a 2:00.15 in the 200. Both of those times would already put him on the Tigers’ all-time top-10 list.
Byron Sanborn from Palo Alto (and the famed PASA team and Palo Alto High) is very similar to D’Alessandro in his skill-set. He brings another 55.2 in the 100 breaststroke, a sub-two minute 200 breast, and a 1:47 in the 200 IM. He is less likely to end up as a free-relay anchor than D’Alessandro is (he has a 45.6 best in the 100), but is still an outstanding prospect.
Aside from D’Alessandro, the other swimmer who is on the verge of legitimate national-level relevance is Marco Bove, an Italian National who trains with the Mission Viejo Nadadores. He’s a three-time Italian Junior National Champion in the 200 fly, with a best of 2:01.93 in long course. He doesn’t have much in the way of yards results, but that time ranks him in the elite group of the class of 2012. He’s also got a 2:05.0 in long course in the 200 IM.
Brooks Powell will bring another big relay piece to town; out of Kingwood Park High School in Houston, he’s the three-time defending Texas 4A State Champion in the 50 free, with a best of 20.28. Given that he’s also been a 49.3 in the 100 fly, his 45,5 best in the 100 free has to be short of his full potential.
Jeremy Wong is a native of Hong Kong, but swam in high school for the nearby Peddie School, and will be another big relay piece with a 44.75 best in the 100. Sandy Bole, a French national training in California, has a 1:39 200 free. En-Wei Hu-Van Wright from Asphalt Green has a 1:47 in the 200 back. Zach Ridout could be the gem of the class as a Mission Viejo distance swimmer. He hasn’t had huge results yet (15:51 in the 1650 free, 4:30 in the 500 free).
In summary, this class is stacked. They have at least half-a-dozen State Champions. At least 6 guys who go 45-mid’s or better in the 100 free. It’s a balanced class, with at least one of everything. When this group is added to the young team returning, the Tigers look like they could start to challenge the big-conference teams for top 20 spots at NCAA’s in the next two-to-three years. This group of freshman will join next year’s sophomores including Harrison Wagner who already went a 19.6 in the 50 free, and Michael Strand, who already has a 47.6 in the 100 fly.
A full summary of the team’s star recruits is below:
North Bay Aquatics
50 free: 21.14 (LCM 24.06)
100 free: 45.30 (LCM 51.98)
200 free: 1:39.54 (LCM 1:52.95)
100 fly: 50.75 (LCM 56.88)
200 IM: 1:51.60.
Before Princeton – qualified for Junior Nationals multiple times … competed at French Nationals … three-time league champion in 200 IM, and also won 100 breast and 100 free … holds Redwood High records in 100 free, 200 free, 200 IM and multiple relays … also holds multiple club records … holds multiple French Olympic Trials cuts, and close to U.S. Trial cut in 200 free … two-time French National Junior Team member … Academic All-America.
Mission Viejo/Forum Sports Center
100 fly: 55.77 LCM/ (SCM 54.14)
200 fly: 2:01.93 LCM/ (SCM 1:58.27)
200 IM: 2:05.07 LCM/ ( SCM 2:02.73)
400 IM: 4:30.02 LCM/ (SCM 4:26.60)
200 FR: 1:53.92 (LCM)
Before Princeton – three-time Italian Junior National champion in the 200 fly … earned one silver and one bronze in 100 fly and one silver in 200 IM … reached ‘A’ finals at Italian Senior Nationals … Would hold three US Olympic Trials cuts in 200 fly, 200 IM and 400 IM … competed in U.S. Junior Nationals.
50 free: 20.67
100 free: 45.09
200 free: 1:38.63 (LCM 1:52.76)
200 IM: 1:47.20 (LCM 2:06.38)
400 IM: 3:53.93 (LCM 4:29.75)
100 breast: 55.95
200 breast: 2:03.49
100 fly: 50.09
Before Princeton – placed third in both the 100 breast and the 200 IM at Junior Nationals … led Bolles High to two team state championships and won four individual state titles, including 200 IM and three relays … 2010-11 NISCA All-America honoree … USA Swimming All-America … served as team captain … member of four relays that broke either national or meet records at Junior Nationals … three-time Scholastic All-America … four-time selection to the President Honor Roll.
En-Wei Hu-Van Wright
New York, New York
100 free: 45.41
100 back: 49.23
200 back: 1:47.29 (LCM 2:03.83)
200 IM: 1:49.70
100 fly: 49.97
Before Princeton – qualified for both Senior Nationals and Junior Nationals … has Olympic Trial cut in 100 back … A-finalist at the 2011 long course Junior Nationals … 100 back champion at New York state championships … holds nine records at Stuyvesant, as well as five league records and 18 club records … three-time Scholastic All-America … 2012 Wingate Award winner … member of the Physics Bridge Building Club.
100 breast: 55.27 (LCM 1:04.34)
200 breast: 2:00.15
Before Princeton – Olympic Trials qualifier in the 100 breast … won the 2012 Ohio state championship in the 100 breast and 200 medley relay; named Division 1 State Performer of the Meet … 2012 Midwest Zone sectional champion in the 100 breast … holds Beavercreek High records in 50 free, 100 breast and 200 medley relay; holds five club records … competed with the NCSA Junior National Team representing the USA in Osaka, Japan (2011) … team captain and team MVP … Academic All-America … National Honor Society Chapter President.
Kingwood Park High School
50 free: 20.28
100 free: 45.53
50 back: 23.0
100 fly: 49.3
Before Princeton – has won eight Texas 4A state gold medals; three came in the 50 free, one in the 100 fly and four in relays … holds 12 All-America cuts … set Kingwood Park High records in the 50 free, 100 free and 100 fly … two-time team captain … National Honor Society president.
Mission Viejo, CA
500 free: 4:30.68
1000 free: 9:24.40 (LCM: 8:12.69)
1650 free: 15:51.6 (15:46.60)
Before Princeton – competed at both Senior and Junior Nationals … qualified for the Olympic Trials in the 1500 free … placed fourth at Summer Junior Nationals in the 800 and 11th in the 1500 free … led Capistrano Valley to three CIF titles and one runner-up, as well as one state championship … three-time Scholastic All-America.
Palo Alto, CA
100 breast: 55.29
200 breast: 1:59.70 (2:20.73)
200 IM: 1:47.49
400 IM: 3:57.25
50 free: 21.10
100 free: 45.63.
Before Princeton – invited both Senior Nationals and Zone Select Camp … CCS high school champion in 100 breast; holds CCS record in event (55.29) … holds Olympic Trial cut in 200 breast … competed in FINA World Cup stops in Berlin, Moscow and Singapore … two-year captain of Palo Alto High; also served as club team captain … two-time Academic All-America … earned Math and Social Studies departmental awards.
Hong Kong, China
50 free: 21.01
100 free: 44.75
200 free: 1:40.42.
Before Princeton – earned Excellent Swimmer honor in 2010 and 2011 fir Hoi Tin Swimming Club … competed in the AASF Asian Age Group Championships and the Malaysia Open … holds multiple NISCA records.