- Women’s classes #9-12
- Women’s classes #1-4
- Men’s classes #9-12
- Men’s classes #5-8 (coming soon)
- Men’s classes #1-4 (coming soon)
- Individual recruit rankings – Women
- Individual recruit rankings – Men
We continue our whirlwind tour through the nation’s top recruiting classes today, exploring the 5th-through-8th-ranked classes.
Please read these notes:
- The rankings numbers listed for some individuals are from our pre-recruiting season rankings done more than a full year ago. Had we re-ranked these swimmers today (including some previously-unknown internationals putting their hat in the ring), the rankings would undoubtedly be different.
- Like most of our rankings, these placements are subjective. Rankings are based on a number of factors, including prospect’s incoming times, team needs filled, prospect’s potential upside, class size, and potential relay impact. Greater weight is placed on known success in short course yards, so foreign swimmers are slightly devalued because of their inexperience in SCY.
- Transfers are included, and there were a lot of big ones this summer.
- For the full list of the 1200+ committed athletes, click here.
Here are classes #5-8, with our top four ranked classes coming tomorrow morning:
#8: Texas Longhorns
Top-tier additions: #11 Victoria Edwards (TX – fly/back), Evie Pfeifer (MO – free), Ella Tierney (IL – free), Kennedy Lohman (Arizona transfer – breast)
The rest: Ashley Pollok, Emily Reese, Grace Ritch, Peyton Quattlebaum, Logan Shiller
Getting Victoria Edwards, one of the two best in-state prospects in this class, was a must for the Longhorns, and they pulled it off early last fall. Edwards is hugely versatile while also being one of the top all-around butterflyers in her class (52.74 in the 100; 1:56.08 in the 200). She didn’t have a great senior year, but also brings 53.3 speed in the 100 back to complement her butterflys, which are tenths out of scoring range at NCAAs.
But the best freshman pickup in the Longhorn class might turn out to be Evie Pfeifer, who didn’t even make our top 20 last summer but has improved immensely since then. She dropped from 4:42 to 4:39.48 in the 500 free as a senior, putting up one of only a few NCAA scoring times in this entire freshman class. Pfeifer is also coming along as an IMer and should be a key relay pickup for the 800 based on her 1:45.9 in the 200 free.
Texas also padded that relay’s options with Ella Tierney out of Illinois, who has been 1:46.0. She’s a little bit sprintier than Pfeifer and probably projects to the 100 through 500 frees.
And that’s not even mentioning the ‘Horns star transfer, former Arizona breaststroker Kennedy Lohman. Part of a mass exodus from Tucson amidst a coaching change, Lohman brings times of 59.8 and 2:10.8 to the Texas breaststroke crew. And she’s been an even bigger relay weapon, splitting 58.4 and 26.8 on the medley relays at NCAAs last year. Typically in the case of coaching changes, transferring athletes are released to compete with their new team immediately, so it’s not likely Lohman will have to sit out a season to complete her transfer.
The rest of the class is very solid compared to the back end of a lot of classes. Emily Reese is a 53.3 flyer, and Peyton Quattlebaum and Logan Shiller look like a solid developmental distance duo.
#7: Florida Gators
Top-tier additions: Liliana Szilagyi (Hungary – fly), #17 Taylor Ault (CA – distance free), Bettina Boszormenyi (Hungary – free), Rachel Ramey (TX – breast)
The rest: Nikki Miller, Gabrielle Hillis, Jillian Hatch (Pacific transfer), Emma Whitner (diving)
This Florida class is tough to accurately rank, because two of its top talents are coming from long course backgrounds. Hungary’s Liliana Szilagyi could be the best swimmer in this entire class. Her 2:06.59 in the 200 fly converts roughly to 1:51.5, a time that would have been NCAA runner-up last year. Certainly long course to short course conversions are notoriously inconsistent (hence our hesitance to rank this class too high based on LCM projections), but it’s worth noting that Szilagyi has been far faster in long course than last year’s NCAA champ Ella Eastin (2:09.2 last summer).
Szilagyi is also a 57-second 100 flyer (again in long course meters), which should make her a relay factor on the 400 medley if nothing else. She’ll be joined by fellow Hungarian Bettina Boszormenyi, a 2:00 and 56.2 long course freestyler. And both join a program that has traditionally done pretty well with internationals and long course meter converts.
#17 Taylor Ault is the big domestic addition. Ault is exceptionally rangy with her top speed centered around the distance events. She’s been 16:07 in the mile (five seconds out of NCAA scoring), 4:40.95 in the 500 (about a second out) and 1:46.07 in the 200, which should make her an 800 free relay factor as well. She’s also great in long course, with times pretty similar to Boszormenyi in the 50, 100 and 200 and superior swims in all of the longer distances.
After a rough 2016-2017 season on the women’s side, Florida looks set to reload its talent level, and this sets off a run of a couple strong recruiting classes for the Gators.
#6: Tennessee Volunteers
Top-tier additions: #5 Nikol Popov (CA – breast/IM), Tjasa Pintar (Slovenia – free/breast/IM), Alexis Yager (IL – IM/breast), Stanzi Moseley (USC transfer – free)
The rest: Emily Sykes, Megan Sichterman, Bailey Grinter, Amanda Nunan
#5 Nikol Popov is arguably the best breaststroker in this class. She’s got the top 200 time (2:08.92) and isn’t far back of Margaret Aroesty in the 100 (59.58 for Popov). Both of those would have been NCAA scoring times in 2017, and as a relay factor, Popov should be the best breaststroke weapon Tennessee has had since Molly Hannis.
Speaking of relays, Tennessee got the biggest transfer of the offseason with former USC sprinter Stanzi Moseley. Once the #4 recruit in her own freshman class, Mosley holds times of 22.11, 48.11 and 1:43.98 in the 50 through 200 frees, making her a massive five-relay weapon. That 200 free time would have scored at NCAAs, and Moseley is within tenths of scoring in the other two races as well.
Following the success of Peter John Stevens on the men’s side, Tennessee pulled another Slovenian national, Tjasa Pintar. She’s an interesting breast/free hybrid who could potentially be sub-minute in the 100 breast and sub-50 in the 100 free.
The dark horse in this class is Illinois state champ Alexis Yager, who is on a rocket ship of a trajectory in the IMs. This spring, Yager dropped from 2:00.7 to 1:58.7 in the 200 IM and from 4:17.0 to 4:12.0 in the 400 IM.
And in a relatively weak class of sprinters, the Vols loaded up on a pair of rare 22-second women: Megan Sichterman and Bailey Grinter. They both have room for improvement in their 100s, but bring in a lot of pure speed that make this class an intriguing one to watch this fall.
#5: California Golden Bears
Top-tier additions: Robin Neumann (Netherlands – free), Sarah Darcel (Canada – IM/breast), Sophie Krivokapic-Zhou (CA – back), Ali Harrison (CA – breast)
The rest: Alexandra Skorus-Neely, Dannie Dilsaver, Natalie Tuck, Elizabeth Bailey, Briana Thai (diving), Jackie IM (diving), Kathleen Navas (diving)
Cal is another international-heavy class at the top. Robin Neumann rolls in from the Netherlands with freestyle times clearly a cut above any other international on this list. She’s been 1:57.8 in the 200 meter free (converts to 1:43.2) and 55.0 in the 100 meter free (converts to 48.1), which would put her right about at Moseley’s level, depending on how well she makes the difficult transition to the college-sized pool.
Canadian Sarah Darcel is a 4:39 long course IMer, which should put her into A final contention based on conversions (roughly 4:05). She had as good a summer as she possibly could without making the Canadian World Champs team, coming up third at Canadian Trials in both the 200 and 400 IMs. Darcel should have NCAA scoring shots in both IMs, and is maybe an outsider to fix Cal’s longtime breaststroke woes, with long course times of 2:27 in the 200 and 1:10 in the 100.
Within the states, California got local Santa Clara product Sophie Krivokapic-Zhou, who’s a nice versatile pickup. She’s 53-mid in both fly and back with solid 200s (headed by a 1:56.7 back) and a 1:47.9 in the 200 free that could make her a future relay chip.
With the rest of the class, Cal went after its two biggest weaknesses: breaststroke and diving. Ali Harrison is on the cusp of a sub-minute breaststroke, and is coming off a massive summer that saw her drop from 2:34 to 2:29 in the 200 long course meter breast and 1:10 to 1:08 in the 100 meter breast. Those times well outclass her current short course bests (1:00.8 & 2:13.5), suggesting Cal might be getting a Mallory Comerford-type riser who blows up just before starting college and keeps surging from there.
Beyond Harrison, Alexandra Skorus-Neely and Natalie Tuck both specialize in breaststroke. Dannie Dilsaver could project as a breaststroker, too, but is also pretty good in free and fly. Then the Bears added a trio of divers to round out a big class that’s pretty well-targeted based on need.
Karl Ortegon contributed to this report.