Ranking the 2020 Women’s NCAA Recruiting Classes: Honorable Mentions

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We continue our spring recruiting series with a team-by-team look at the best recruiting classes entering the NCAA next season. The classes below are projected freshmen for the 2020-2021 season. Of course, the coronavirus pandemic presents a number of wrinkles to this analysis: some athletes didn’t get a senior-year taper meet. Some high-end recruits may opt to defer their enrollment for a year to prepare for the Tokyo Olympics. There’s also still the possibility that the 2020-2021 school year is delayed, along with NCAA sports. All things considered, these ranks are based on the 2020-2021 NCAA season happening, but as we usually view these recruiting classes over their projected four years of college swimming, a potential delay or cancellation of the upcoming season doesn’t have as big an impact on this analysis as it would seem.

A few important notes on our rankings:

  • Like most of our rankings, these placements are subjective. We base our team ranks on a number of factors: prospects’ incoming times are by far the main factor, but we also consider potential upside in the class, class size, relay impact and team needs filled. Greater weight is placed on known success in short course yards, so foreign swimmers are slightly devalued based on the difficulty in converting long course times to short course production.
  • Transfers are included.
  • For the full list of all verbally committed athletes, click here. A big thank-you to SwimSwam’s own Anne Lepesant for compiling that index – without it, rankings like these would be far less comprehensive.

Honorable Mentions (in no particular order):

Duke Blue Devils: Turkish national record-holder Aleyna Ozkan is 59.8 in the long course butterfly. Duke also pulled Virginia high school and NCAP standout Catherine Purnell in the IM (4:12.4) and butterfly (1:56.7) events. Those are big gets after graduating star flyers Kylie Jordan and Alyssa Marsh.

Florida Gators: The Gators got a great haul of milers (Elise Bauer – 16:11/4:47/1:49; Madison Kolessar – 16:18/4:48, 4:12 in IM; Leah DeGeorge – 16:30/4:49) and solid flyers Amanda Ray (53.8/1:57.7) and Kenady Beil (53.7/1:58.8).

Notre Dame Fighting Irish: Flyer Megan Deuel (52.9/1:55.7) was one of our honorable mentions in our top 20 recruit ranks. The Irish loaded up on 200 freestylers with Kallie Chelsvig (1:47.1), Sydney Whiting (1:47.4) and Allison Kopac (1:48.8).

Indiana Hoosiers: The Hoosiers got California twins Ella Ristic (1:45.6/4:46.6 free) and Mia Ristic (54.3/2:02 fly), plus 22.8 sprinter Elizabeth Broshears.

Florida State Seminoles: FSU generally does very well internationally, and this year is no exception with Hungary’s Zsofia Kurdi (25.6/55.5 in long course meters freestyle, which should convert to around NCAA invite-level).

UCLA Bruins: UCLA got Canadian standout Bailey Herberta 2:28.6/1:09.1 long course breastststroker with solid IMs. Greta Fanta is a 16:26 miler and Sam Baron 53.3 in fly.

Rutgers Scarlet Knights: Rutgers gets open water standout and 16:14 miler Cathryn Salladin in a transfer from Alabama. Then there are two international breaststrokers, Slovenia’s Tina Celik (1:09.1/2:34.5 long course) and Russia’s Alexandra Schegoleva (1:11.8/2:32.6 long course).

Harvard Crimson: Harvard loaded up on breaststrokers, with 1:00.7/2:12.3 Sophia Zhang, 1:01.8/2:13.8 Grace Yoon, and 1:01.0/2:16.9 Victoria Eisenhauer. Mandy Brenner is a 22.8/49.8 sprinter and Russia’s Alexandra Denisenko (long course 2:15.2/4:48.5 IM) might be the biggest get of the bunch.

Arkansas Razorbacks: Arkansas mainly makes this list for their late snag of British sprint star Emily Barclay, who is a wicked 24.9 in long course meters and might be the best sprint prospect in this entire class. She’s got work to do in the 100 (56.4 long course) and obviously has to transfer her speed to short course yards, but should be enough on an impact addition on her own to merit inclusion here. Jordyn Feiwell looks like one of the better dive recruits out there, too.


Stay tuned for the rest of our recruiting class ranks.

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3 years ago

You guys are undervaluing Florida’s 2020 recruiting class. They also picked up Cecilia Porter from Baylor School who has been 1:00.58 in the 100 breaststroke and Louise Lefebvre from France who’s been 58.7 (52.84 SCY) and 2:07.9 (1:55.13 SCY) in the SCM backstrokes. Add them to their other signees and that’s one heckuva class.

3 years ago

Excited to see what Rutgers can do this season! They filled their sprinting lineup hole last season with two phenomenal freshmen, and it looks like they will fill their breaststroke and distance lineup holes this season. They look to be a solid squad come this fall!

IU Swammer
Reply to  Dmswim
3 years ago

I hope so. It would be nice to see Rutgers move up.

Reply to  IU Swammer
3 years ago

Agreed. They’ve had some fits and starts with their transition to the Big 10 and a number coaching changes over the recent years. It’s a great school and location to attend college, and I hope they continue to recruit well.

Reply to  Dmswim
3 years ago

The top 3 recruits coming to Rutgers arn’t even listed. Can you guys contact or ask about who they have.

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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