Ranking The 2023 Men’s NCAA Recruiting Classes: #13-16

With the NCAA season upon us, we continue our annual rankings of the incoming recruiting classes for the 2023-24 campaign.

See also:

We continue our 2023 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 2023-2024 season.

A few important notes on our rankings:

  • The rankings listed are based on our Class of 2023 Re-Rank. “HM” refers to our honorable mentions and “BOTR” refers to our Best of the Rest section for top-tier recruits.
  • 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 being 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, though weighed less than recruits who came in with four seasons of eligibility.
  • 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.
  • Some teams had not released a finalized 2023-24 team roster at the time these articles were published, meaning it’s possible we missed some names. Let us know in the comments below.



  • Top-tier additions: BOTR Deny Nankov (PA/Bulgaria – free), BOTR Charlie Egeland (MN – breast/fly/IM), Konstantinos Zachariadis (Greece – distance free)
  • The rest: Hammer Massey (TN – free), Mak Nurkic Kacapor (DC – free/back), Chris Lee (NY – fly/IM), Maks Sawoniewicz (CA – diving), Peter Michalik (CT – free/back), Whitaker Grover (CT – diving)

After moving up three spots into 3rd at the 2023 Ivy League Championships, the Yale men bring in a notable class with a pair of BOTR swimmers in Deny Nankov and Charlie Egeland.

Nankov is an impressive freestyler who translates over to the college format well, with 50/100/200 times of 20.0/43.3/1:37.8, making him an instant-impact relay swimmer and future NCAA scoring challenger.

Nankov attended Mercersburg Academy last year in Pennsylvania after moving over from his native Bulgaria, where he’s accrued some international experience including placing 25th in the 100 free at the 2022 Short Course World Championships (47.30) and also racing at the LC Worlds in Budapest and LC Euros in Rome in the summer of 2022. His LC bests of 22.5/49.3 tell us he could be even better than his yards times currently indicate.

Egeland is another swimmer who might be even better than his current SCY times indicate, though they are pretty elite as is, especially in the 100 breast where he’s been 53.5. He’s also 1:55.2 in the 200 breast, 1:46.2 in the 200 fly, 1:37.0 in the 200 free, and 1:47.2 in the 200 IM, making him incredibly valuable by all accounts.

We can’t overlook what Egeland did in August at Junior Nationals in the long course pool, placing 3rd in the 100 breast (1:01.24) while reeling off a scintillating 1:00.13 relay split that was more than a second faster than anyone else in the field.

Yale had two 53-point breaststrokers last season, Alex Hazlett and Alex Deng, who both have multiple seasons of eligibility remaining, giving the Bulldogs a three-pronged attack with Egeland.

Coming over from Greece is Konstantinos Zachariadis, who has plenty of potential as a distance freestyler, owning long course bests of 3:56.7/8:07.5/15:33 in the 400/800/1500 free. Zachariadis is also 7:59/15:16 in SCM, and has been 2:01.5 in the LCM 200 fly.

Chris Lee (45.5/1:37.8), Hammer Massey (20.8/45.3) and Mak Nurkic Kacapor (20.3/46.0) add some freestyle depth to the mix.


Virginia Tech’s class is headlined by a pair of versatile sprinters who specialize in freestyle, as #10 Brendan Whitfield is joined by Lithuanian Daniil Pancerevas as the Hokies stock the cupboards for the future.

Whitfield is the only swimmer in the class to be sub-20 in the 50 free (19.4), sub-43 in the 100 free (42.6) and sub-1:34 in the 200 free (1:33.9), making him immensely valuable both individually and on relays. He’s also one of the fastest in the 100 fly (46.2) and a notable backstroker (47.6/1:46.6).

Pancerevas heads to the NCAA after representing Lithuania at the 2023 World Championships, brining a similar freestyle level to Whitfield with long course best times of 22.9/49.6/1:48.9. He’s also 48.0/1:45.0 in SCM, and has some fly (24.6/54.6) and IM (2:02.8) ability in LCM.

The third top-tier recruit in the class is Indian distance specialist Vedaant Madhavan, who has potential with 8:17/15:50 best times in the 800/1500 free in long course.

Zac Ouzilou adds some depth as a versatile sprinter (20.6/45.4 free, 48.9/1:48.2 back, 49.2 fly).

#14: Harvard Crimson

Harvard brings in a freestyle-heavy class that features butterfly specialist David Schmitt, our 15th-ranked recruit for 2023.

Schmitt is a pure fly swimmer, owning a best time of 1:42.32 in the 200 fly that’s under the 2023 NCA cut line and a tenth shy of the Harvard record. He’s also positioned himself as arguably the favorite for the Ivy League title this season, with reigning conference champion Raunak Khosla graduating from Princeton last year.

Schmitt is 46.4 in the 100 fly, putting him in top-four range at Ivies, and while he might be lacking a true third event, he could focus on either the 50 free (20.7) or 200 IM (1:48.5) which are both at a decent level coming in.

BOTR prospect Sonny Wang highlights the freestylers in the class, entering as a 19.9/43.3 sprinter who also has a 1:37.4 200 free and some impressive versatility between the 100 fly (47.3), 100 breast (55.6) and 200 IM (1:48.5).

Wang and Oliver Pilkinton should make for good training partners, as the latter holds similar best times at 20.0/43.8 in the sprint events, and with Harvard losing two members of their 400 free relay from last season (Jared Simpson and Ryan Linnihan), Wang and Pilkinton should be able to slide ride in.

Pilkinton is also sub-48 in both backstroke and butterfly, which gives him a few options as a Day 3 event at championship meets.

Felipe Baffico is a 200 fly specialist with a lifetime best of 1:46.4 in SCY and 2:00.7 in LCM, having accrued some international experience representing Chile at the 2022 World Juniors. Baffico is also 47.7 in the 100 fly, sub-1:38 in the 200 free and 3:52 in the 400 IM.

The Crimson also bring in Slovakian Filip Lanyi, who has potential with some long course best times in the distance free events that aren’t too far off a similar range to our BOTR domestic recruits: 1:52.4/4:00.3/8:18.4/15:53.

Harvard was also penciled in to be bringing on Marre Gattnar, a 19.9/44.1 freestyler and 47.5 backstroker, but he’s missing from the roster and recently raced with his club team, indicating he’s taking a gap year.

Tristan Dalbey will help supplement that loss as a well-rounded freestyler who has been 20.2/44.7 in the sprints and is even better as the distance increases at 1:38.1/4:27.5 in the 200 and 500.


USC’s class is spearheaded by the Chmielewski twins, who head to Los Angeles from Poland with similar skillsets and vast international experience.

Krzysztof Chmielewski was a surprise finalist in the men’s 200 fly at the Tokyo Olympics less than two months after his 17th birthday, and he’s continued his evolution into one of the world’s best, breaking through to win silver in the event this past summer at the 2023 World Championships in 1:53.62. He’s also been 1:51.8 twice in the SCM pool, so he shouldn’t have any issue transitioning over to yards.

Krzysztof is also a very good freestyler, having placed 16th in the 1500 free in Fukuoka in 15:01.89, and he’s also 3:49 in the 400 free, 53.6 in the 100 fly and 4:21.1 in the 400 IM. It’s unfortunate that his two best events, the 200 fly and 1500 free (1650 free in college), are on the same day of NCAAs, but he’s got the 500 free and maybe the 100 fly, 400 IM, or even 200 free to consider as well.

Michal Chmielewski is coming off winning bronze in the 200 fly at the LEN U23 Championships in August, setting a PB of 1:56.72 which makes him a surefire NCAA scoring contender (1:42 conversion). In the 100 fly, he’s faster than his brother with a best time of 53.54 in LCM.

Also strong in distance free, it bodes well that Michal’s more notable swims come from SCM, where he’s been 8:00.2 in the 800 free and 15:08.4 in the 1500 free.

Interestingly enough, the Chmielewski’s aren’t the only set of twins joining the Trojans.

The top domestic recruit of the class, BOTR freestyler Ian Pickles, is joined by his twin brother, Evan Pickles, who is more geared towards the breaststroke and IM events.

Ian Pickles is fast enough to jump right into USC’s free relays, owning best times of 20-flat, 43.5 and 1:34.8 in the 50, 100 and 200. He nearly broke 50 seconds in the LCM event at Junior Nationals (50.16 relay lead-off), and also went 22.9/1:51.5 in the other free events this summer, giving him a good wave of momentum entering his freshman year.

Evan Pickles is versatile and although he might need some slight time drops to be a top-16 swimmer at Pac-12s, he’s still coming in with some very solid best times of 55.2 in the 100 breast (1:59.9 200) and 1:49.4/3:53.6 in the IMs.

Keller Morgan comes in as a top-tier medley swimmer with 1:47.2/3:51.5 best times, and he’s also 55.6/1:59.2 in breast and 48.9 in the 100 fly.

In This Story

Leave a Reply

Notify of

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
8 months ago

Did I miss something? What happened to Diggory Dillingham at USC?

Reply to  KPS
8 months ago

Isn’t he redshirting?

Reply to  Apathetic
8 months ago

That he is. Just checked. Thank you.

Reply to  KPS
8 months ago

gap year to prepare for olympic trials

This Guy
8 months ago

Me thinks the USC class is going to outperform their ranking.

Justin Pollard
Reply to  This Guy
8 months ago

USC has underperformed as a whole of the last few years, so if they can turn that trend around, then I might agree with you.

Reply to  This Guy
8 months ago

assuming they dont get cut by Mauerer in the first month of arriving to campus, i am inclined to agree

Reply to  This Guy
8 months ago

This aged well already

T word D word
8 months ago

Felipe Baffico is a stud also going to Harvard this year

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

Read More »