Revisiting NCAA Recruit Rankings: Women’s High School Class of 2015

Each summer, college swimming fans look forward to recruiting – the lifeblood of any NCAA swim program. Since 2012, we’ve been ranking down the top NCAA prospects in the nation from each recruiting class. But sports are inherently unpredictable, and even the most sure-fire prospect can go awry or completely change their role over four years.

As we do each year, we’ll look back at the high school class of 2014, which just finished four years of college eligibility this spring.

First, a few notes:

  • Most of the data we’re tracking here deals with NCAA scoring. Obviously, some swimmers are great assets for their teams in dual meets and conference competition without ever being national factors. While we don’t discount the impact of those types of swimmers, the difference in competition between various teams’ dual meet schedules and conference meets makes NCAA scoring the best “apples to apples” comparisons between swimmers.
  • Relays are another point of contention, as a swimmer in a strong program has more opportunity for NCAA relays, though they also have more competition for those relay spots. We’ve mostly left relay results out of the data below, except where specifically indicated. That, too, gives us a more fair comparison between athletes.
  • We also did not include diving scorers or recruits.
  • We did our best to scour NCAA results over the past four years, but it’s certainly possible we made a mistake in compiling our data. If you spot an error, please respectfully let us know in the comment section so we can update our work!

We only include domestic recruits in our recruit rankings, as it’s often harder to predict if and when an international recruit will join the NCAA, and which class they should be ranked with. However, we’ve gone back through and tallied up all individual scorers that roughly fit into this class – international and domestic.

Revisiting Our Top 10

Check out this post for our analysis of the top 10 recruits in the high school class of 2015. Bear in mind that this was posted in July of 2014, when these swimmers were high school juniors. Complaining about slighted swimmers is barely a scrap above useless at the time of posting, and putting on Captain Hindsight goggles and complaining now without looking up best times from July 2014 is even less enlightening than that.

Here’s a look at our top 10 recruits, plus how many individual points they scored at NCAAs in each of their four years:

Rank Name College Team Total NCAA Points 2016 NCAA Points 2017 NCAA Points 2018 NCAA Points 2019 NCAA Points
1 Katie Ledecky Stanford 115.5 58.5 57
2 Abbey Weitzeil Cal 106 25 31 50
3 Kathleen Baker Cal 138 25 60 53
4 Katie McLaughlin Cal 108 0 26 39 43
5 Amy Bilquist Cal 111 29 12 27 43
6 Ella Eastin Stanford 228 57 57 60 54
7 Quinn Carrozza Texas 3 0 no invite 3 0
8 Taylor Garcia Arizona/Michigan 0 0 0 0 0
9 Lilly King Indiana 163 40 40 43 40
10 Nora McCullagh Texas 0 no invite 0 0 0
11 Aly Tetzloff Auburn 56.5 0 0 30.5 26
12 Sonia Wang Harvard 0 0 no invite 0
13 Katrina Konopka Arizona 5.5 0 3.5 2 0
14 Riley Scott USC 18 5 4 9 0
15 Caroline McTaggart UCLA 0 0 no invite 0
16 Megan Moroney Virginia 44 12 redshirt 19 13
17 Daniela Georges Arizona 0 0 0 0 0
18 Sydney Lofquist USC/Wisconsin 0 no invite no invite 0 0
19 Leah Stevens Stanford 50 0 21 14 15
20 Maddie Wright USC 40 0 14 13 13

Weitzeil (deferred enrollment) and Moroney (redshirt) still have one more year of eligibility remaining.

  • In a particularly loaded class of high school recruits, the top point-scorer after four years is actually #6 recruit Ella EastinShe’s also one of only two swimmers in our top 6 who swam at NCAAs all four years – the others missed due to redshirts, turning pro early or in one case, injury.
  • #1 prospect Katie Ledecky only scored the fourth-most points of this class, but I think you’d still be hard-pressed to find a college coach who wouldn’t have put her #1 back in 2014. She averaged just over 57 points a year – that’s the equivalent of two wins and a second-place individually each year. She was fourth overall in points in this class, and only swam two NCAA seasons.
  • At the time, we billed this top 6 as an absolutely elite bunch, and they held up. The top three all made the 2016 U.S. Olympic team, and the next three were all relatively close.
  • #9 Lilly King scored the second-most points of this ranked bunch (though one unranked recruit and one international did outscore her), showing the value of a truly dominant one-stroke specialist. King scored 40 points in three of her four seasons, winning both the 100 and 200 breast. She scored one year in the 200 IM. And her relay impact was bigger than most, as her splits were so far ahead of the field that she single-handedly jumped her relays into the NCAA’s elite tier.
  • This turned out to be a top-heavy class, because after the top 6, things got much more hit-or-miss with the ranked crew. 6 of the remaining 14 swimmers scored zero NCAA points over their careers, and two more scored less than 10. But most of those non-scorers were still either NCAA participants or solid contributors at the conference level. Caroline McTaggart looked on the verge of busting out before injuries and surgeries derailed her career.
  • That pretty well confirms what we’re finding out the more we revisit past recruit rankings: a top 20 ranking is no guarantee of success, and certainly swimmers from outside the top 20 find their way into the nation’s top scorers. But typically, the very elite high school prospects to go on to be the very elite collegiate swimmers. And in the grand scheme of things, a top-20 recruit has a much higher likelihood of being an NCAA scorer than a less-accomplished prospect with a great improvement curve.

Other Impactful Recruits in the High School Recruiting Class of 2015

Of course, not every contributor comes from our top 20 list. Some swimmers develop extremely well in college. Some swimmers slip under our radar, or don’t really show their ability until their senior year of high school, after our rankings come out.

We dug through NCAA results to find the best American swimmers from this class to not appear on our top 10 list. Again, it’s not always easy to account for redshirt years, gap years or mistakes in an athlete’s listed class each season. So if we forgot anyone, respectfully let us know in the comments.

Domestic

Name College Team Total NCAA Points 2016 NCAA Points 2017 NCAA Points 2018 NCAA Points 2019 NCAA Points
Mallory Comerford Louisville 170.5 28 49.5 37 56
Miranda Tucker Indiana/Michigan 77 33 32 12
Ally McHugh Penn State 63 10 26 27
Emma Barksdale South Carolina 57.5 4 11 42.5
Annie Ochitwa Arizona/Missouri 39 12 11 16
Delaney Duncan Eastern Michigan 38 3 18 17
Catie Deloof Michigan 37 6 31
Kirsten Vose USC 33 27 2 redshirt 4
Elise Haan FGCU/NC State 22 1 4 16 1
Chantal Nack Minnesota 21.5 21.5
Maddie Banic Tennessee 19 13 2 4
Claire Rasmus Texas A&M 18.5 1 13 4.5
Geena Freriks Kentucky 15 9 6
Erin Falconer Auburn 13 4 9
Kim Williams Stanford 7 4 3
Bailey Nero Auburn 7 7
Rachel Munson Minnesota 5 5
Sophie Cattermole Louisville 5 5
Elizabeth Stinson USC 4 4
Courtney Caldwell NC State/USC 4 4
Rachael Bradford-Feldman Louisville 4 0 4
Anna Jahns NC State 3 3
Mackenzie Rumrill Arizona 3 3
Alice Treuth Notre Dame 1 1
Nikki Smith Notre Dame 1 1
Lauren Barber Navy 1 1
Kathryn Painter Kentucky 1 1
Christie Jensen Indiana 1 1
  • This is usually a fun section because we get to pull out some insane time progressions from high school to college. Case in point: Mallory Comerfordwho was 50.1/1:47.6/4:53 in freestyle out of high school and just 54.6 in the 100 fly. (For reference, #20 on our ranked recruiting list was 4:46 in free and 53.1 in fly at the time). Comerford finished at 46.2/1:39.8/4:34.6 and 50.9 in fly, scoring more points than anybody else in the class besides Eastin and one international.
  • Nobody else in this list ultimately cracked 100 points, but Michigan’s Miranda Tucker could get there next year – she transferred from Indiana after her freshman year and sat out a season.
  • Penn State’s Ally McHugh closed her career hard, going from 10 career points scored after her sophomore year to 63 total points after her senior year.
  • USC’s Kirsten Vose was one of the top scorers in this class as a freshman, but only scored 6 more points over her next three years after scoring 27 as a rookie. She does have one year remaining after a junior year redshirt.
  • The inverse is South Carolina’s Emma Barksdale, a good example of why it’s hard to judge recruits after one NCAA season. When we ranked these recruits, Barksdale was 2:01/4:18 in the IMs and 2:20 in the 200 breast, not even close to the conversation for our top 20 ranks. By her senior year of high school, she’d cut to 2:00/4:12 and 2:13, and then her freshman year, she was 1:58/4:10 and 2:12. But she didn’t score until her sophomore year, and scored almost three-quarters of her points in her senior season, when she was 1:53/4:01 and 2:06.

International

 

Name College Team Total NCAA Points 2016 NCAA Points 2017 NCAA Points 2018 NCAA Points 2019 NCAA Points
Sydney Pickrem Texas A&M 172 27 47 48 50
Siobhan Haughey Michigan 126 25 28 41 32
Rose Bi Michigan 95 30 14 6 45
Bailey Andison Denver/Indiana 72 10 18 20 24
Joanna Evans Texas 18 17 0 1
Jamie Zhen Yeung Michigan 7 7
Alina Kendzior Louisville 6 2 4
Monika Gonzalez-Hermosillo Texas A&M 4 2 0 2
Justine Macfarland Alabama 3 1 2
Laura Morley Indiana 3 3
  • Canadian Sydney Pickrem was the big international scorer of the class, putting up between 47 and 50 points in each of her final three seasons to finish third in the class in individual points.
  • Michigan’s duo of Siobhan Haughey and Rose Bi scored in all four years, as did Bailey Andison, a Canadian who transferred from Denver to Indiana in her senior year.
  • This is a pretty good international class at the top, but a smaller and thinner class than most years. 9 internationals scored out of this class, compared to 14 with last year’s senior class. Already, 9 individual international swimmers have scored in the current junior class, with one more year to go.

All Individual Scorers In the Class:

(Ranked recruits are listed with their 2014 rank. International recruits are listed with “INTL” and unranked recruits with “UNR.”)

Final Rank 2014 Rank Name College Team Total NCAA Points 2016 NCAA Points 2017 NCAA Points 2018 NCAA Points
2019 NCAA Points
1 6 Ella Eastin Stanford 228 57 57 60 54
2 INTL Sydney Pickrem Texas A&M 172 27 47 48 50
3 UNR Mallory Comerford Louisville 170.5 28 49.5 37 56
4 9 Lilly King Indiana 163 40 40 43 40
5 3 Kathleen Baker Cal 138 25 60 53
6 INTL Siobhan Haughey Michigan 126 25 28 41 32
7 1 Katie Ledecky Stanford 115.5 58.5 57
8 5 Amy Bilquist Cal 111 29 12 27 43
9 4 Katie McLaughlin Cal 108 0 26 39 43
10 2 Abbey Weitzeil Cal 106 25 31 50
11 INTL Rose Bi Michigan 95 30 14 6 45
12 UNR Miranda Tucker Indiana/Michigan 77 33 32 12
13 INTL Bailey Andison Denver/Indiana 72 10 18 20 24
14 UNR Ally McHugh Penn State 63 10 26 27
15 UNR Emma Barksdale South Carolina 57.5 4 11 42.5
16 11 Aly Tetzloff Auburn 56.5 0 0 30.5 26
17 19 Leah Stevens Stanford 50 0 21 14 15
18 16 Megan Moroney Virginia 44 12 redshirt 19 13
19 20 Maddie Wright USC 40 0 14 13 13
20 UNR Annie Ochitwa Missouri 39 12 11 16
21 UNR Delaney Duncan Eastern Michigan 38 3 18 17
22 UNR Catie Deloof Michigan 37 6 31
23 UNR Kirsten Vose USC 33 27 2 redshirt 4
24 UNR Elise Haan FGCU/NC State 22 1 4 16 1
25 UNR Chantal Nack Minnesota 21.5 21.5
26 UNR Maddie Banic Tennessee 19 13 2 4
27 UNR Claire Rasmus Texas A&M 18.5 1 13 4.5
28 14 Riley Scott USC 18 5 4 9 0
28 INTL Joanna Evans Texas 18 17 0 1
30 UNR Geena Freriks Kentucky 15 9 6
31 UNR Erin Falconer Auburn 13 4 9
32 UNR Kim Williams Stanford 7 4 3
32 UNR Bailey Nero Auburn 7 7
32 INTL Jamie Zhen Yeung Michigan 7 7
35 INTL Alina Kendzior Louisville 6 2 4
36 13 Katrina Konopka Arizona 5.5 0 3.5 2 0
37 UNR Rachel Munson Minnesota 5 5
37 UNR Sophie Cattermole Louisville 5 5
39 UNR Elizabeth Stinson USC 4 4
39 UNR Courtney Caldwell NC State/USC 4 4
39 UNR Rachael Bradford-Feldman Louisville 4 0 4
39 INTL Monika Gonzalez-Hermosillo Texas A&M 4 2 0 2
43 7 Quinn Carrozza Texas 3 0 no invite 3 0
43 UNR Anna Jahns NC State 3 3
43 INTL Laura Morley Indiana 3 3
43 UNR Mackenzie Rumrill Arizona 3 3
43 INTL Justine Macfarland Alabama 3 1 2
48 UNR Alice Treuth Notre Dame 1 1
48 UNR Nikki Smith Notre Dame 1 1
48 UNR Lauren Barber Navy 1 1
48 UNR Kathryn Painter Kentucky 1 1
48 UNR Christie Jensen Indiana 1 1
  • These top 10 scorers show a pretty good ratio: seven of the ten best NCAA scorers in the class came from our ranked athletes. One unranked athlete surged and two internationals worked their way into the top 10.
  • Interestingly enough, though, the next five scorers after the top 10 were a combination of internationals and unranked athletes, coming in before our next wave of four more ranked athletes.

Stay tuned this week for similar analysis of our graduating men’s senior class, as well as quick looks at the current year’s freshmen classes and the overall recruiting classes team-by-team.

More recruiting rank analysis:

Women’s:

Men’s:

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PK Doesn't Like His Long Name

It says something to how insane this class was that the “worst” of the top 6 recruits topped out at “makes multiple NCAA finals every year and is also an incredibly good piece for relays.”

TAK

Looking at the Cal recruits I’m amazed that Stanford won NCAAs the last three years.

Rsquad

Finally someone says it

swimmer2463

I guess that just goes to say that yes getting high ranked recruits matter, but it’s more about a team of really good swimmers than a few really really good swimmers.

dmswim

Also, high ranked recruits matter less (for this calculation) when they go pro before they exhaust their eligibility.

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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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