Re-Rank: Top 20 NCAA Swimming Recruits In The Girls High School Class of 2024

Our annual NCAA recruiting rankings return. This year we’re opening things with our re-rank of the graduating high school seniors before we take a look at the top recruits in the current sophomore and junior classes.

As recruiting classes get closer to actual NCAA competition, we start to weigh certain factors more heavily: NCAA scoring times become more important, and we tend to value one or two standout events a bit more heavily (compared to a wide range of just decent events) than we would for a high school sophomore who has more time to develop across the board. Having already ranked this class about a year ago, we also get a clearer picture of momentum and trajectory: which recruits are continuing to drop time through their senior seasons, and which have stagnated.

You can look back on our original ranks for this class below, but do remember that those ranks are merely a snapshot in time – we didn’t have a working crystal ball then, nor do we now:


  • Very strong in the sprint freestyle events.
  • A lot of well-rounded sprinters, who have 2-3 top-tier 100-yard events.
  • Thin in the distance events.
  • Lack of depth in breaststroke relative to back and fly.
  • Great group of medley swimmers.
  • Some top swimmers who haven’t dropped in their best events as seniors.


50 Free Lily Christianson 21.72
100 Free Anna Moesch 47.11
200 Free Katie Grimes 1:42.90
500 Free Katie Grimes 4:28.27
1000 Free** Katie Grimes 9:22.11
1650 Free Katie Grimes 15:26.17
100 Back Leah Shackley 50.43
200 Back Leah Shackley 1:50.21
100 Breast Piper Enge 58.95
200 Breast Katie Christopherson 2:07.81
100 Fly Leah Shackley 50.29
200 Fly Katie Grimes 1:52.28
200 IM Leah Hayes 1:53.57
400 IM Katie Grimes 3:57.02

**The 1000 free isn’t an event at the Division I NCAA Championships, but is swum instead of the 1650 in many Division I dual meets and is part of the NCAA program in Division II.


Our goal in these rankings is to reflect what college coaches look for in recruits, based on many years of conversations and coverage.

We focus only on American-based athletes, simply because there is so much uncertainty with international recruits – if they’ll come to the United States, when they’ll come to the States and with what graduating class they should be ranked. Projecting international recruits often becomes more of a discussion of when they’ll first join a college program and not which program they’ll join.

A few other factors that weigh heavily in our rankings:

  • Relay Value – Relay points count double in college swimming, and any program needs a strong stable of quality sprinters to fill out all 5 relays with stars. Obviously, a special distance swimmer can easily rank ahead of a very good 100 freestyler, but college swimming generally values a sprint freestyler over a distance swimmer, all other factors being equal.
  • Improvements – Actual times carry the most weight by a longshot. But we also keep an eye on a swimmer’s trajectory, especially in deciding between two swimmers with relatively even times.
  • Short Course over Long Course – while every club and every swimmer will have a different balance of focus between short course and long course swimming, the NCAA competes in short course yards, and that’s going to be the main factor considered in these rankings. Long course times are another data point for consideration, but we mainly view them through the lens of what a big long course swim could mean for an athlete’s future in short course.
  • NCAA scoring ability – NCAAs are the big show for college teams, so we’ve weighted NCAA scoring potential very highly. Swimmers who already have NCAA scoring times wind up mostly filling out the top our of rankings. Since college athletic directors – and by extension coaches – also place high value on conference championships, scoring ability at conference meets is also a factor in our rankings.
  • Relative depth in the NCAA and recruiting class – a wealth of elite depth nationwide in one stroke discipline makes a big difference in what times are considered more valuable in that event. Events rise at different rates in the NCAA, but when one event gets extremely deep and fast at the college level, it makes high school prospects in those events a little less valuable, relatively, with lots of other veteran options. In the same way, a recruiting class stacked with swimmers in butterfly, for example, would make each butterflyer a little less sought-after in the market, with lots of other recruiting options able to provide similar production.

Of course, there’s no way to predict the future, and the most concrete data we have to go on are cold, hard times. These rankings in no way mean that all of these 20 swimmers will be NCAA standouts, and they certainly don’t mean that no swimmer left off this list will make big contributions at the NCAA level.

Disclaimer: there are a lot of high school seniors in the country, and no really good, complete, 100% accurate listing of them all. If you don’t see your favorite swimmer on the list, feel free to politely point them out in the comments. There’s a chance that we disagree with your assessment of their spot in the top 20, and so long as it’s done civilly, there’s no problem with differences of opinions. There’s also a chance that we’ve simply missed a no-brainer (we’ve taken every precaution to avoid that), and if that happens, we want to make sure we correct it.


1. Katie Grimes (Previous Rank: #1) – Sandpipers of Nevada – Las Vegas, NV

Best Times:

  • 400 IM: 3:57.02 (best in class)
  • 1650 free: 15:26.17 (best in class)
  • 1000 free: 9:22.11 (best in class)
  • 500 free: 4:28.27 (best in class)
  • 200 free: 1:42.90 (best in class)
  • 200 fly: 1:52.28 (best in class)
  • 200 IM: 1:55.33
  • 200 back: 1:50.56
  • 100 back: 52.89
  • 100 fly: 52.63

No surprise here, as one of the best swimmers in the country, Katie Grimes, maintains the top spot going away. Given that the 2024-25 NCAA season is less than four months away and Grimes hasn’t committed anywhere, the expectation is that she won’t swim in college, at least right away, but she’s eligible so we’ll keep her in the rankings (and stranger things have happened). Grimes is the best swimmer in the class by a wide margin and could walk into college and comfortably win the 1650 free, while she would only have a race in the 500 free and 400 IM from defending champions Bella Sims and Alex Walsh, respectively. As a two-time World Championship silver medalist in the 400 IM, we don’t need to run on about how versatile Grimes is, but she can race anything other than breaststroke at a high level and be valuable to NCAA teams in a dual meet setting, swim on relays and post 50+ points individually at NCAAs right away.

2. Erika Pelaez (Previous Rank: #5) – Eagle Aquatics – homeschooled – Hialeah, FL **Committed to NC State**

Best Times:

  • 200 back: 1:51.54
  • 100 back: 51.12
  • 50 free: 21.91
  • 100 free: 47.78
  • 100 fly: 52.05
  • 200 free: 1:44.91
  • 200 IM: 1:58.63
  • 400 IM: 4:11.53

Pelaez is a Swiss Army knife in the events that pile up points in college swimming, namely those swum on relays. She’s right at the top of the class in the 50 and 100 free and the 100 back, and she won bronze in the 50 back (LCM) at the World Junior Championships last year. Her recent improvements in long course indicate we should be in store for more drops next season and beyond in short course, and although her best times in the sprints haven’t improved dramatically over the last year, she did take a big chunk off in the 200 back, which is actually her highest rated event based on the 2024 NCAA results as it would’ve made the ‘A’ final.

3. Leah Shackley (Previous Rank: #3) – Blair Regional YMCA – Bedford High School – Bedford, PA **Committed to NC State**

Best Times:

  • 100 back: 50.43 (best in class)
  • 200 back: 1:50.21 (best in class)
  • 100 fly: 50.29 (best in class)
  • 200 fly: 1:54.07
  • 100 free 49.13

Shackley has continued her steady rise in her three primary events, and would move up to the #2 spot if she was a bit faster in freestyle—she’s the only swimmer outside of Grimes with three events fast enough to make the NCAA ‘A’ final right now. Shackley was already the fastest swimmer in the class in the 100 back and 100 fly last year, and she improved in both events since those rankings with some 50-low swims—she would’ve been 2nd at the 2024 NCAAs in the 100 back and 3rd in the 100 fly. Shackley also improved in the 200 back, taking off nearly a second to get down to 1:50.21 and take over the #1 spot in the class. Her 200 fly is also scoring worthy, and her 100 free time of 49.13 shows potential to be valuable on free relays.

4. Leah Hayes (Previous Rank: #2) – Fox Valley Park District Riptide – Kaneland High School – Sugar Grove, IL **Committed to Virginia**

Best Times:

  • 200 IM: 1:53.57 (best in class)
  • 400 IM: 4:03.05
  • 200 free: 1:44.13
  • 500 free: 4:41.53
  • 100 free: 48.34
  • 50 free: 22.81
  • 100 breast: 1:00.97
  • 200 breast: 2:09.68
  • 100 fly: 52.55
  • 100 back: 53.22

Hayes’ status as an individual World Championship medalist held her firm at #2 in the first two editions of these rankings, but she slides to 4th in part because as it stands, her versatility across every stroke finds her without a truly elite third event behind the IMs. Hayes is fast enough for ‘A’ finals in the 200 and 400 IM, notably having improved in the 200 IM down to 1:53.57 this past season. She’s got free relay potential, and set some intriguing best times in the 500 free and 200 breast this past season, though notably didn’t drop in the 200 free or 400 IM in 2023-24. Given the way the NCAA schedule works out, we may see Hayes takes on the 100 free or 200 breast as her third individual event to go along with the IMs.

5. Anna Moesch (Previous Rank: #7) – Greater Somerset County YMCA – Green Brook, NJ **Committed to Virginia**

Best Times:

  • 50 free: 21.73
  • 100 free: 47.11 (best in class)
  • 200 free: 1:43.35
  • 200 IM: 1:59.34
  • 100 back: 52.36
  • 100 fly: 52.84

Given that the 100 free is (arguably) the most valuable event in college swimming, and Moesch is the fastest in the class, we had to move her up into the top five. Not only is Moesch tops among the incoming freshmen, but her PB of 47.11, which marked a drop of over six-tenths from last season, would’ve placed 5th at the 2024 NCAAs, and three of the four swimmers who would’ve placed ahead of her have graduated (the only returner is defending champion and Moesch’s future teammate Gretchen Walsh). Moesch also improved from 21.97 to 21.73 over the season in the 50 free, putting her .01 shy of being the fastest in the class. She broke 1:44 for the first time in the 200 free, getting down to 1:43.35 to give her three scoring events individually to combine with her relay value. Big improvements in the 100 back and 100 fly add to her versatility.

6. Jillian Crooks (Previous Rank: #12) – TAC Titans – Grand Cayman, CAY **Committed to Tennessee**

Best Times:

  • 100 back: 51.54
  • 100 free: 47.30
  • 50 free: 21.95
  • 200 free: 1:45.13
  • 200 back: 1:54.34
  • 100 fly: 53.24

Crooks jumps up six spots after some very impressive drops during her senior year, most notably in the 50 free, 100 free and 100 back. Crooks is hot on Moesch’s heels in the 100 free, getting down to 47.30 to put her in ‘A’ final territory, and she’s also got a scoring 100 back at 51.54. In the 50 free, she’s one of the few swimmers in the class under 22 seconds, having taken off 29 one-hundredths this past season. Although she’s versatile across the 200 free, 200 back and 100 fly, dialing in on the 50/100 free and 100 back works perfectly in the NCAA schedule not to mention the relay value.

7. Levenia Sim (Previous Rank: #4) – TNT Swimming – Spanish Fort High School – Spanish Fort, AL **Committed to Stanford**

Best Times:

  • 100 back: 51.03
  • 100 fly: 51.69
  • 200 back: 1:53.53
  • 200 fly: 1:56.56
  • 200 IM: 1:58.45
  • 100 free: 49.26
  • 50 free: 23.20
  • 100 breast: 1:01.15

Sim hasn’t raced at all in short course yards this season, which means her elite best times in the backstroke and butterfly events don’t come down, similar to last year. She slides in the rankings as a result, with her 51.03 PB in the 100 back and 1:56.56 PB in the 200 fly still stemming from 2021, while her time of 1:53.53 in the 200 back is from 2022. The Stanford commit has been active representing Singapore on the international stage, both at the 2023 World Juniors and 2024 World Championships, but her long course PBs in the 100 back, 200 back and 100 fly are all from 2022. She no longer has an event fast enough to make an NCAA ‘A’ final, but is still talented enough that she could get back there in short order upon returning to yards racing.

8. Maggie Wanezek (Previous Rank: #6) – Elmbrook Swim Club – Brookfield East High School – Brookfield, WI **Committed to Wisconsin**

Best Times:

  • 200 back: 1:50.63
  • 100 back: 50.97
  • 200 IM: 1:58.43
  • 100 free: 48.82
  • 50 free: 22.62
  • 100 fly: 53.97
  • 200 free: 1:47.43

Wanezek no longer holds the distinction of being the fastest 200 backstroker in the class, which she held coming out of the sophomore and junior years for this group, but she remains an elite pickup for Wisconsin who will fill the same role Phoebe Bacon has with the Badgers for the past four years. Wanezek lowered her PB in the 100 back down to 50.97 this past season, joining Leah Shackley sub-51 in this class, and may have been on the type of form where she could’ve reset her 200 best time if NCSAs didn’t have long course finals. Instead, she went a best time of 2:10.33 in the big pool in March. Wanezek also brought her 200 IM down to 1:58-mid (from 1:59-high), giving her a solid third event, and her sprint free times make her a relay asset.

9. Piper Enge (Previous Rank: #10) – Bellevue Club Swim Team – Mercer Island High School – Mercer Island, WA **Committed to Texas**

Best Times:

  • 100 breast: 58.95 (best in class)
  • 200 breast: 2:09.09
  • 200 IM: 1:57.72
  • 200 free: 1:46.67
  • 100 free: 49.01
  • 50 free: 22.64
  • 100 fly: 54.11
  • 200 free: 1:48.42

Enge may have cracked 59 seconds in the 100 breast last season, but perhaps the most important factor of the last 12 months was the experience she accrued representing the United States at the 2024 World Championships, where she was a finalist in the 50 breast and placed 6th (30.53 PB in semis). Given the speed she showed in Doha, she’s destined to be a key leg on the Texas 200 medley relays, possibly challenging Lydia Jacoby for that spot right out of the gate. Enge will get to train alongside Jacoby, and in competition, they’ll form a similar 1-2 punch that Jacoby and Anna Elendt have had the past two seasons for the Longhorns. Enge essentially matched her 200 best time this season, and improved in the sprint free events to add to her arsenal.

10. Emily Thompson (Previous Rank: #11) – Greater Somerset County YMCA– Ridge High School – Basking Ridge, NJ **Committed to Stanford**

Best Times:

  • 400 IM: 4:08.28
  • 200 IM: 1:56.41
  • 200 fly: 1:54.63
  • 100 fly: 51.47
  • 100 back: 53.57
  • 200 back: 1:55.01
  • 100 breast: 1:00.93
  • 200 breast: 2:15.36
  • 200 free: 1:49.36
  • 100 free: 50.25
  • 50 free: 22.94

Thompson continued to improve in her senior year, setting PBs in the medley, fly and back events to go along with the 50 free and 100 breast. Her most notable drop came in the 200 fly, knocking off nearly two seconds in 1:54.63 to put her in NCAA scoring position. Last year, Thompson’s 200 and 400 IM were fast enough to score at NCAAs, and despite improving, that’s no longer the case as both events got faster in 2024. Nonetheless, she’s right there, especially in the 400 IM, where her 4:08.28 is just a tenth off scoring and ranks 3rd in this class behind Grimes and Hayes. Her emergence in the 200 fly gives her three top-tier events to swim in the NCAA postseason, but we can’t overlook the 100 fly, which, after clocking 51.47, makes her one of the few swimmers in the class with four events under the 2024 NCAA cut line.

11. Bailey Hartman (Previous Rank: #9) – Crow Canyon Country Club Sharks– Carondelet High School – Danville, CA **Committed to Virginia**

Best Times:

  • 500 free: 4:33.72
  • 200 fly: 1:54.82
  • 100 fly: 52.52
  • 200 free: 1:44.56
  • 100 free: 49.18
  • 1000 free: 9:42.67
  • 1650 free: 16:27.52
  • 200 IM: 2:00.85

Hartman wasn’t able to recreate the magic she had in December 2022 when she threw down a time of 4:33.72 in the 500 free, but is still coming off a solid season where she wasn’t too far off her PBs in the 200 free (1:45.22), 100 fly (52.60) and 200 fly (1:55.10). In the 500, her best event heading into college, she was 4:39.53 at the 2023 Winter Juniors, and though it’s nearly six seconds slower than her PB, it’s just shy of being a scoring swim (4:38.87 for 16th at the 2024 NCAAs). Hartman is versatile, and joins a team at Virginia that doesn’t have many holes to fill, giving her time to continue to develop without being expected to perform at her best from the jump. She has a projected NCAA lineup of 500 free, 200 free and 200 fly, and can swim down to the 100 free and up to the mile, coming off setting a best time of 16:27.52 in the 1650 last December.

12. Katie Christopherson (Previous Rank: #8)– SwimAtlanta – Westminster Prep School – Atlanta, GA **Committed to Virginia**

Best Times:

  • 200 breast: 2:07.81 (best in class)
  • 100 breast: 59.91
  • 200 IM: 1:55.46
  • 100 fly: 52.77
  • 100 free: 48.59
  • 50 free: 22.75
  • 200 free: 1:46.98
  • 100 back: 54.19
  • 400 IM: 4:16.88

Christopherson holds firm as the fastest 200 breaststroker in the class with her best time of 2:07.81 from the 2022 Winter Juniors, though she didn’t race the event at any of her taper meets in 2023-24. She matched her best time in the 100 breast from the 2022 Juniors, clocking 59.91 to repeat as the GHSA 1-5A state champion in February, and took off three one-hundredths in the 200 IM, with her new PB of 1:55.46 sitting just .01 shy of the NCAA cut line. The UVA commit also had some very noteworthy drops in the 100 free (48.59) and 200 free (1:46.98), rounding her skillset as she joins a stacked Cavaliers team that has consistently been able to develop fast high school swimmers into even faster college swimmers.

13. Lily Christianson (Previous Rank: #13) – Irish Aquatics – Penn High School – Osceola, IN **Committed to NC State**

Best Times:

  • 50 free: 21.72 (best in class)
  • 100 free: 48.45
  • 100 fly: 53.44
  • 200 IM: 2:00.01
  • 100 back: 54.09
  • 100 breast: 1:01.23
  • 200 breast: 2:13.87
  • 200 free: 1:48.24

Christianson had a phenomenal senior year, highlighted by her performance at the IHSAA State Championships when she ran away with titles in the 50 free (21.72) and 100 free (48.45), setting best times. The 50 free performance marked her first time under the 22-second barrier and made her the fastest swimmer in the class and just .01 off what it took to make the NCAA ‘A’ final last season. Coupling with her individual performance at the IHSAA meet was what she did in the relays, particularly dropping three relay splits of 21.69 or faster, the quickest coming in at 21.30 which would be ultra elite on any relay at the NCAA Championships. To go along with the 50/100 free, Christianson will likely add the 100 fly as her third event, notably coming off setting a LC best of 59.54 at the Indianapolis Sectionals in March. The NC State commit is also under-the-radar versatile, with 1:01/2:13 breast times (1:10.4 LCM 100 breast). Her 2:00 200 IM doesn’t stand out right now, but she did just snag a Trials cut in the long course event (2:15.81).

14. Lillie Nesty (Previous Rank: 16) – Gator Swim Club – PK Yonge Research School – Gainesville, FL **Committed to Texas**

Best Times:

  • 200 free: 1:43.87
  • 500 free: 4:39.55
  • 100 back: 52.60
  • 200 back: 1:55.08
  • 100 free: 49.07
  • 50 free: 22.46
  • 200 IM: 1:59.76

Nesty took a giant leap forward this past season in the mid-distance freestyle events, becoming one of the fastest in the class in the 200 with her 1:43.87 from Winter Juniors – East after she finished last year at 1:45.28. At that same meet, she went 4:39.55 in the 500 free, marking a 10-second improvement relative to where she was at the start of the season. Nesty also set best times in the 50 free and 200 back at Winter Juniors, and then at the Florida Spring Senior Championships in March, added more bests in the 100 free and 100 back. The daughter of Florida head coach Anthony Nesty, Nesty figures to be a centerpiece of the Texas 800 free relay for years to come, and will likely be swimming the 200 free, 500 free and either the 100 free or 200 back individually at NCAAs…unless she goes the sprint route, and opts for the 50 over the 500, which seems possible.

15. Addison Sauickie (Previous Rank: HM) – Sarasota Sharks – Riverview High School – Sarasota, FL **Committed to Stanford**

Best Times:

  • 200 free: 1:45.35
  • 100 free: 48.90
  • 500 free: 4:46.79
  • 1650 free: 16:38.84
  • 50 free: 23.05
  • 100 back: 55.53 – pb
  • 200 back: 1:59.69

Sauickie’s list of best times looks nearly identical to last year, which is due to the fact that her focus has predominantly been on long course for the last 12 months, and it’s paid off in spades. Sauickie claimed four medals at the World Junior Championships, including winning individual gold in the 200 free and setting an eye-popping best time of 1:57.98. She also picked up bronze in the 400 free (4:08.94), and brought her 100 free PB down to 55.39 at the U.S. Open. But of course, college swimming is raced in short course yards. Sauickie only swam SCY at high school meets last season, winning the FHSAA 4A state title in the 100 free (48.99) and 200 free (1:45.35) in November. Sauickie’s long course swims indicate she’s a surefire scorer in the 200 and 500 right away (1:43/4:38 conversions, for what it’s worth), but we’ll have to wait until she gets to Stanford to see her at full power in SCY.

16. Caroline Larsen (Previous Rank: 17) – Team Foxjet – Eden Prairie High School – Eden Prairie, MN **Committed to Louisville**

Best Times:

  • 50 free: 21.93
  • 100 fly: 52.15
  • 100 free: 48.54
  • 100 breast: 1:00.07
  • 200 free: 1:49.71
  • 200 breast: 2:14.82
  • 200 IM: 1:58.63
  • 100 back: 54.95

Larsen continued to progress in her senior year, joining the sub-22 club in the 50 free when she won the event at Winter Juniors – West in 21.93. Larsen showed off her well-roundedness with bests of 1:00.07 in the 100 breast and 52.15 in the 100 fly at the same meet, and has continued to impress so far in the 2023-24 long course season with new PBs in the 100 free (55.34), 100 fly (58.78) and multiple 25-lows in the 50 free, including a 25.18 at World Juniors in September. Similar to how Wanezek figures to fill Phoebe Bacon‘s shoes at Wisconsin, Larsen could do something similar in assuming Gabi Albiero‘s role at Louisville as an elite free/fly sprinter. Larsen is more versatile, but we’ll have to wait and see if she keeps breaststroke in her training program given the 200 IM likely won’t be in her postseason schedule due to proximity to the 50 free.

17. Annika Parkhe (Previous Rank: #14) – Patriot Aquatic Club – Deerfield High School – Deerfield, IL **Committed to Stanford**

Best Times:

  • 100 fly: 51.58
  • 200 free: 1:45.21
  • 100 free: 48.47
  • 50 free: 22.46
  • 500 free: 4:45.67
  • 100 back: 52.94
  • 200 fly: 1:57.18
  • 200 IM: 1:59.08

Parkhe had her most notable drop last season come in the 100 fly, going sub-52 in 51.58 to win the Winter Juniors – West title. She set PBs en route to IHSA titles in the 100 free (48.47) and 100 back (52.94) one month earlier, and rolled to some impressive best times in long course at the Westmont Pro Swim in the 50 free (25.57) and 200 free (2:01.01). Parkhe didn’t race the 500 free at a taper meet all season, so it looks like that event is no longer a focus (PB of 4:45 is from 2021) as she trends towards being a sprint free/flier at Stanford. Parkhe is the second-highest-ranked recruit without an NCAA scoring time right now, trailing Nesty, but brings immense relay value.

18. Emily Brown (Previous Rank: #18) – Dublin Community Swim Team – Coffman High School – Dublin, OH **Committed to Tennessee**

Best Times:

  • 200 IM: 1:56.49
  • 200 fly: 1:55.50
  • 200 free: 1:45.88
  • 500 free: 4:45.47
  • 100 back: 53.67
  • 400 IM: 4:13.55
  • 100 fly: 52.69
  • 100 free: 49.51
  • 50 free: 22.88
  • 200 back: 1:55.92

Brown’s versatility was on display in her senior year as she set numerous best times, led by her swims in the 200 fly (1:55.50) and 200 IM (1:56.49) from Winter Juniors – East which give her two NCAA cuts. She set bests in both backstrokes at the same meet, reaching competitive levels at 53.6 and 1:55.9. A few months later, Brown got down to 52.69 in the 100 fly en route to winning the OHSAA state title, and in May, set a long course best time of 1:00.09 to notch an Olympic Trials cut. In last year’s rankings, the 200 free was among Brown’s top events with her 1:45.88, but she didn’t race it much in 2023-24. The 200 fly and 200 IM look like mainstays on her program, with 100 fly, 100 back, 400 IM and 200 free all options on the penultimate day of NCAAs.

19. Rebecca Diaconescu (Previous Rank: HM) – Sandpipers of Nevada – Palo Verde High School – Las Vegas, NV **Committed to Michigan**

Best Times:

  • 200 free: 1:44.41
  • 100 free: 48.68
  • 50 free: 22.31
  • 500 free: 4:48.69 (4:46.19 altitude adjusted)
  • 1000 free: 9:44.44 (9:43.14 altitude adjusted*)
  • 1650 free: 16:15.73 (16:04.73 altitude adjusted)
  • 100 back: 53.69
  • 200 back: 1:57.82
  • 100 fly: 55.99

*Two different swims

Diaconescu moves into the top 20 after she was an Honorable Mention last year due in part to her relay value, but more so for the significant progress she made in distance freestyle, events that are a relative weakness of this class. Looked at as more of a sprinter in last year’s rankings, Diaconescu clearly embraced the grind while training with the Sandpipers of Nevada, swimming an altitude-adjusted time of 16:04.73 in the 1650 free (16:15.73 unadjusted) in February. The adjusted time is under the NCAA cutline and just two seconds shy of scoring—altitude adjustments aren’t an exact science but are used for NCAA qualification. Her 200 free PB of 1:44.41 from December was a big-time swim, and her performances in the 200 and the mile indicate she has more in the tank in the 500, having set an altitude-adjusted PB in October of 4:46.19 (4:48.69). This spring, Diaconescu, who represents Romania internationally but is included in these domestic rankings as a U.S.-based swimmer, has reeled off long course best times of 25.57/55.15/1:59.36/4:13.87/8:45.39 in the 50/100/200/400/800 freestyles. That range is impressive, making her a boon of an addition for Michigan.

20. Camden Doane (Previous Rank: 19) – King Aquatic Club – Tacoma, WA **Committed to Louisville**

Best Times:

  • 400 IM: 4:10.16
  • 200 IM: 1:57.40
  • 200 fly: 1:55.90
  • 100 fly: 53.60
  • 200 free: 1:47.02
  • 500 free: 4:49.47
  • 100 free: 50.01
  • 50 free: 23.26
  • 100 back: 55.87
  • 200 back: 1:58.25
  • 100 breast: 1:02.26
  • 200 breast: 2:15.30

Doane took steps forward in the medley events last season, clocking bests of 1:57.40 and 4:10.16 at Winter Juniors – West, hitting the NCAA cut line in the 400. She was just shy of her 200 fly best time at that meet, clocking 1:56.23, while her PB of 1:55.90 sits just .02 shy of the 2024 cut line. At the Federal Way Sectionals in March, the King Aquatic Club product dropped a time of 2:13.71 in the long course 200 fly, showing progression from last summer (2:14.38). Doane didn’t race a ton of SCY meets, so a lot of her best times remain from last season, but she’s versatile across the board and will be extremely valuable in a dual meet setting while likely dialing in on the IMs and the 200 fly in the postseason.


Paring the list down to 20 always feels like pulling teeth. This isn’t an exhaustive list of others we considered, but the top few left off the list who made the decisions on 18-20 very difficult.

Kate Hurst (Previous Rank: BOTR) – Scarlet Aquatics – Hillsdale, NJ **Committed to Texas**

Best Times:

  • 1650 free: 16:08.25
  • 1000 free: 9:34.03
  • 500 free: 4:43.46
  • 200 free: 1:47.95
  • 400 IM: 4:14.82

Hurst climbs up the ranks after storming to the World Junior title in the 1500 freestyle last September, clocking 16:09.37 in the long course pool—we don’t play the conversion game too much in these domestic rankings, but that performance is worthy of top-eight points at NCAAs. All of Hurst’s best times were set in the following few months, hitting 16:08.25 in the mile (NCAA cut), 4:43 in the 500 and 4:14 in the 400 IM while also delivering an impressive 9:34 in the 1000. Hurst might only have scoring potential in the 1650 as it stands right now, but this class is weak in distance, giving her a competitive advantage to climb the rankings, and she’s been improving rapidly which tells us it’s not a stretch to see her in scoring range soon in the 500 and 400 IM.

Teia Salvino (Previous Rank: HM) – Mission Viejo Nadadores – Santa Margarita Catholic High School – San Clemente, CA **Committed to SMU**

Best Times:

  • 50 free: 22.06
  • 100 back: 53.36
  • 100 fly: 53.46
  • 100 free: 49.34
  • 200 free: 1:47.65
  • 200 IM: 1:58.50
  • 200 back: 1:56.40

Salvino, who flipped her commitment from Alabama to SMU in December, has expanded her range greatly over the last 12 months. She was predominantly featured as one of the top 50 freestylers in the class last year, but added to her repertoire with sizeable best times in the 100 fly (53.46), 200 IM (1:58.50) and 200 back (1:56.40). Her 22.06 best time in the 50 free is still under the NCAA cut line, though her fastest this past season was 22.44. Salvino has shown she can step up in relays, posting impressive splits at Winter Juniors – West, 48.6/1:46.7 in the 100/200 free, both under her flat start bests by a decent margin. (She did the same thing in the 400 free relay at the 2024 World Championships representing the Philippines.) Joining SMU, it will be interesting to see if Salvino goes down the sprint path or opts to remain versatile in a variety of events—head coach Ozzie Quevedo has shown he can develop freestyle sprinters, with two-time World Championship medalist Kasia Wasick being the prime example.

Campbell Chase (Previous Rank: HM) – City of Richardson Swim Team – Woodrow Wilson High School – Dallas, TX **Committed to Texas**

Best Times:

  • 200 IM: 1:56.80
  • 400 IM: 4:12.09
  • 100 fly: 53.86
  • 200 free: 1:47.41
  • 100 free: 49.48
  • 100 breast: 1:01.76
  • 100 back: 55.46
  • 50 free: 23.19

Chase has had her most notable swims this past season come in the 200 IM, winning the UIL 5A state title in short course (1:56.80) before setting a PB in long course at NCSA (2:13.48) one month later. Chase is under the NCAA cut line in the event, bringing her best time down from the 1:57.52 she had at the end of her junior year, and her medley success showed itself with the progress she made in her stroke 100s, setting new bests in the 100 fly (53.86), back (55.46) and breast (1:01.76) during the year. Her 400 IM is something to keep an eye on—she may not have lowered her PB down from 4:12.09, but with long course finals at NCSAs, didn’t have a fully tapered opportunity. We also can’t overlook her ability to be an absolute workhorse, having taken on 18 races over the five-day NCSA meet. Which event she ends up adding to the medleys remains to be seen, with her top options also coinciding with the 400 IM on the NCAA schedule. She hasn’t shown it yet, but her talent indicates there’s a big 200 fly or 200 breast hidden somewhere.

Katie Belle Sikes (Previous Rank: BOTR) – East Carolina Aquatics – Orange High School – Hillsborough, NC **Committed to Georgia**

Best Times:

  • 50 free: 21.90
  • 100 free: 48.73
  • 100 fly: 53.52
  • 100 back: 54.22
  • 200 free: 1:49.43

Sikes broke down the door in the 50 free in November, cracking the 22-second barrier in 21.90 at the ECA Southeastern Classic in November before doing it again the following month at Winter Juniors – East in 21.95. It goes without saying how college teams crave sub-22 swimmers to build their 200 free relay, but for Georgia particularly, Sikes will be a welcome addition. Her best time from a flat start is nearly as quick as their fastest split from the relay at the 2024 NCAAs (21.70). Sikes also improved by a substantial margin in the 100 free this past season, going from 49.4 to 48.7, having clocked 48.73 in November, 48.83 in December, and 48.76 in February. That’s impressive consistency, and she elevated her versatility by adding bests in the 100 fly, 100 back and 200 free last season, all notable drops from her junior year. In the 100 fly, she went from 55.1 to 53.5, giving her a strong third event to add to her lineup along with the 50/100 free.

Sofia Plaza (Previous Rank: BOTR) – SwimMAC Carolina – Myers Park High School – Charlotte, NC **Committed to Florida**

Best Times:

  • 400 IM: 4:08.64
  • 200 IM: 1:59.04
  • 200 breast: 2:10.55
  • 100 breast: 1:02.64
  • 100 back: 55.45
  • 200 back: 1:59.34
  • 200 free: 1:50.01

Plaza raced a lot this past season, and it paid off in a big way with numerous time drops landing her in the Honorable Mention after she was a “BOTR” recruit after her junior year. Plaza’s headlining event is the 400 IM. Coming out of last season with a PB of 4:13.4, she went 4:09.7 in November, 4:09.3 in December, and then put up another best time of 4:08.64 in February at the North Carolina Senior Championships, putting her within half a second of what it took to score at the 2024 NCAAs (4:08.14). At the same meet, she set a best time of 2:10.55 in the 200 breast, putting her one second shy of the NCAA cut line, and she also had noteworthy drops in the 200 IM, 100 breast, both backstrokes and the 200 free last season. Headed to Florida, a school well known for developing medley swimmers, Plaza can step in and make an immediate impact in the 400 IM with small improvements in the 200 breast and 200 IM putting her in a similar position in those races.


Some more names that came up in our research. For the purposes of space, we won’t include every top event for these athletes, but just a few of their standouts. Verbal commitments are listed where they’ve been reported. Each of these athletes is still an extremely high-level recruit:


Feeling nostalgic? Here’s a look back at our historic recruiting class rankings, plus our retrospectives of those classes after four NCAA seasons:

Recruiting Class
High School Class of 2025 Way Too Early Ranks As Sophomores Ranks As Juniors
High School Class of 2024 Way Too Early Ranks As Sophomores Re-Rank As Seniors
High School Class of 2023 Way Too Early Ranks As Sophomores Ranks As Juniors
High School Class of 2022 Way Too Early Ranks As Sophomores Ranks as Juniors
High School Class of 2021 Way Too Early Ranks As Sophomores Ranks as Juniors
High School Class of 2020 Way Too Early Ranks As Sophomores Ranks as Juniors Post-college retrospective
High School Class of 2019 Ranks as Juniors Re-Rank As Seniors
High School Class of 2018 Ranks as Juniors Re-Rank As Seniors
High School Class of 2017
High School Class of 2016
High School Class of 2015
High School Class of 2014
High School Class of 2013

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Sherry Smit
1 month ago

Sauickie also was a member of the 2024 worlds team!

1 month ago

Would love to see an article on international recruits

War Eagle
1 month ago

Taylor Grimley (BOTR) decommitted from Kentucky and is now committed to Auburn.

1 month ago

Shackley swam for Bedford HS, not Beaver Falls HS. I think this was an error taken from the schools call sign from her frosh year at PIAAs.

Reply to  CoachGrass
1 month ago

Thanks – corrected.

Holden Caulfield's 400 IM
1 month ago

The Katie Grimes situation remains very intriguing. I have a feeling we’ll see her competing at the 2025 NCAA Championships. The question is… with what color swim cap?

1 month ago

Weird to see USC with zero recruits on this list, especially after a bounce back year.

Reply to  Apathetic
1 month ago

It takes a year or so to adjust recruiting because it happens so early. So a bounce back in 2024 will matter for 2026 recruiting.

Reply to  Apathetic
1 month ago

Internationals have been big for them. Maybe some of those?

1 month ago

13 of top 20 headed to ACC – making finals at the ACC championship just about as tough as making it at the NCAA champs!

1 month ago

No disrespect to palaez at all she’s a stud and will probably thrive at NC state. But if I was a college coach and I got to pick who I wanted on my team from this class I’d pick moesch, Hayes and Shackley before her. Obviously insanely versatile and fast but I’d rather someone who could place top 3 at NCAAs in 2-3 events than place top 8 in 5-6 events.

I also hope she makes this comment look silly in a few years

tea rex
Reply to  Klorn8d
1 month ago

Swimswam’s advocate: “Best NCAA Recruit” is not “Best Swimmer”

NC State’s relays scored 60 points (could have been 94 without a DQ). Adding Pelaez to those borderline A/B Final relays could’ve added 25 points. Shackley and Hayes don’t have that relay impact (yet), and there’s an argument for Pelaez over Moesch based on trajectory.

Oddly, Pelaez’s relative value goes down if she went to Virginia (which doesn’t have much room to improve its relays), or say Florida State (whose relays won’t score anyway).

Reply to  tea rex
1 month ago

Great point!

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 …

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