It’s time for part two of our men’s 2013 recruiting class rankings. Yesterday, we started with numbers 9 through 12, and today we move up to numbers 5 through 8.
To catch up on the first four, as well as our ranking methodology, click here.
5. Stanford Cardinal (7th at NCAA’s)
Top Names: Jimmy Yoder, Connor Black, Max Williamson, Charlie Wiser
Rest of the Class: Justin Buck, Spencer DeShon, Jonathan DesCombes, Daniel Le, Travis Johns
This class won’t quite replace what Stanford has graduating, but it is still a solid haul for Ted Knapp in his first recruiting season as head coach. Black is the gem of the group, coming in with 19.8/43.7/1:37.2 bests in the 50-through-200 yard freestyles, plus a 46.7 in the 100 yard fly. That’s important, as the now-graduated Aaron Wayne was their best sprint freestyler and butterflier, and their #2 butterflier Jack Lane is taking the year off.
Yoder and Black will both be big helps to a young 800 free relay that only finished 12th at NCAA’s last year. Both would have to drop to join that group (which was two freshmen and two sophomores), but that competition will be good for their overall push. Yoder is also a very good butterflier (48.1 and 1:45.7) and extends into the 500 yard free very well too (4:23.12).
Charlie Wiser comes in to join the Stanford swim and water polo teams. Assuming he can manage that, he’s a very good one. He was 2nd in that famous California North Coast race that had three swimmers under the old high school record, and is built like the new breaststroke prototype (think Kevin Cordes or Breeja Larson).
Williamson is a classic Stanford IM’er, with yards bests of 1:46.6 and 3:46.7 that would immediately make him a big scorer at the Pac 12 level. Like so many Stanford IM’ers, he can do a little bit of everything. He goes 1:37.9 in the 200 free, 1:47 in the 200 back, and 1:57.9 in the 200 breast – the latter of which is likely to be his third event. Like Texas, Stanford has been riding a bit of a “breaststroke problem.” Williamson’s got a best of 54.8 in the 100 yard race, and between him and Wiser the Cardinal should have a long-term solution there. Daniel Le adds depth there with a 55.1 in the 100 yard race.
Buck is a good 200 freestyler/IM’er as well, with a 1:38.4 and 1:50.8, respectively. Deshon from Mission Viejo has a little bit of their famed distance abilities (4:28 in the 500 free), but projects probably as a sprinter with a 20.3 in the 50 and 45.00 in the 100 yard freestyles as best times. After few years of neglecting the freestyle events in recruiting, this class really loaded up on them. Jonathan Descombes goes 44.8 in the 100, and Travis Johns goes 45.3/1:39.0 in the 100 and 200 yard events.
(Note: deciding between this team, and our eventual #4 team, was the toughest decision we had to make in these rankings).
6. Tennessee (16th at NCAA’s)
Top Names: Luke Percy (international), Kacper Majchrzak (international), Evan Pinion, David Herron
Rest of the Class: Austin Hirstein, Tyler Mills
Matt Kredich is bringing the Tennessee men back in a hurry. They graduate only three swimmers or divers from last year, and in the last month, this class has gone from totally off-the-radar to top 6.
First they picked up Luke Percy from Australia, who we believe is the fastest long course 50 freestyler to ever sign into the NCAA with bests of 22.24 and 49.63 in the 50 and 100 frees. Then a few weeks later, they finally nailed down Poland’s Kacper Majchrzak, who they’ve been working on for a long time, and has bests of 22.4 in the 50 and 49.3 in the 100 free in long course meters.
For anyone who’s keeping track of conversions, those two are half of a top-5 NCAA sprint relay.
This is a small, but very concentrated class that includes distance phenom Evan Pinion, who has been 4:18 in the 500 free and 14:56 in the 1650. He’s been battling an injury this year, but if he comes back ok, he could be a freshman scorer at NCAA’s. They also pick up 5k open water Natioanl Champion and National Team member David Heron, as this distance group is thriving under assistant Tyler Fenwick.
Hirstein comes from Hawaii and is a strong breaststroker in 55.91, and has the skills to make big improvements off of his 1:50.39 in the 200 IM. Mills is an in-stater from Johnson City who goes 20.9 in the 50 free and 50.1 in the 100 fly.
Tennessee had a smaller class, but it’s thick. They certainly brought in more than they graduated,
7. Arizona (3rd at NCAA’s)
Top Names: Renny Richmond, Thane Maudslien, Carson Brindle, Bradley Tandy (JuCo transfer)
Rest of the Class: Gage Crosby, Tyler Fowler, Jason Alentado
Renny Richmond is a hidden-diamond in this class, as he graduates high school as the fastest 100 yard butterflier ever in Hawaii, and one of the fastest anywhere, with a 47.0 done as a junior. He’s also a good sprint freestyler in 20.45 and 45.12, very similar to Arizona senior-to-be Giles Smith, and has an opportunity to expand his talents beyond that sprint fly.
The Wildcats will get two years out of Tandy, the fastest sprinter to come out of the JuCo level. The South African will have two years left, and has yards bests of 19.0 and 42.7 in the 50 and 100 freestyles.
Tandy will lead a lot of names to fill out the Arizona relays; Thane Maudslien from Seattle has bests of 44.5 and 1:37.6 in the 100 and 200 yard freestyles, plus 48.5 and 1:43.9 in the 100 and 200 yard backstrokes. Maudslien could go a lot of ways for the Wildcats, as he is the most versatile swimmer they have in the class.
Carson Brindle goes 20.0 and 45.1 in the sprint freestyles, plus 56.3 in the 100 breaststroke, making a sprint depth in this class that should cushion the blow of Erik Risolvato opting to go the JuCo route after initially committing to Arizona.
Gage Crosby is a 55-low breaststroker, and Tyler Fowler comes in with a 15:12 in the 1650 freestyle which fills a bit of a hole in the Arizona distance group.
8. Louisville (11th at NCAA’s)
Top Names: Josh Quallen, Trevor Carroll, David Boland, Grigory Tarasevich (international, US trained), Aaron Greene, Mihael Vukic (international)
Rest of the Class: Christian Garkani, Brennen Berger, Nicholas Hasemann, Jake Schultz, Joe Brown, Matthias Lindenbauer (international), Nolan Smith, Samuel Blair, Ryan Massey, Estefan Albiero
In 2012, Louisville’s men finished in the top 10 in program history. The fall after, they pounced on recruiting and landed easily the most prestigious class in program history. David Boland comes from Club Wolverine and was the 2011 Michigan State Swimmer of the Year. He’s the State Record holder in both the 100 fly (his best is 48.59) and 200 IM (1:49.47). He’s also a part of the National Public High School Record setting 200 medley relay from Saline High School. He has no real weak stroke.
They also add Trevor Carroll from Indiana, who is a state champion in the 200 free. He goes 44.8/1:37.1 in the 100 and 200 frees and will make a nice complementary piece in Joao de Lucca’s final year with the Cardinals. Christian Garkani from California isn’t far off of those same times.
More State Champions come from Josh Quallen out of Ohio. He won the 200 free state title as both a sophomore and a junior, peaking at 1:39.0, and then came back as a senior to break state records in both the 100 back (best of 48.84) and 100 fly (47.95).
Aaron Greene is out of the Dallas area and the North Texas Nadadores, a program that’s really hot right now, and goes 48.3 in the 100 back and 1:43.7 in the 200 back, and is a long course Junior National Champion.
The topper on the cake might be Grigory Tarasevich, a Russian National who trains at YCF Aquatics in Orlando. Just this week, he won the European Junior Championship in the 100 backstroke and broke the Russian Junior National Record. His yards times haven’t been totally reflective (49.5/1:46.2 in the backstrokes) of his abilities, but a quick peak at his long course results show how good he is.
Two other European Junior participants in the class are late signings Matthias Lindenbauer from Germany, a 50.44/1:50.77 long course freestyler, and Mihael Vukic from Croatia, a 54.4 sprint butterflier.
This class even includes Arthur Albiero’s own son, Estefan.
Overall, there aren’t a bunch of names who jump out in this class, but the way its built with champions abound and a total of 16 men is a very good sign for Louisville’s future.