Revisiting NCAA Recruit Rankings: Women’s High School Class of 2016

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 2016, which just finished four years of college eligibility this spring.

2020 Update: This year, of course, is a special case. With the NCAA Championships canceled by the coronavirus pandemic, we have one less data point for our analysis. Still, if we can’t spend this week watching some of the fastest swimming in history, we might as well spend it remembering the great swims and swimmers of the past.

For this year’s analysis, we’ll work with what we have – projected points based on the NCAA psych sheets. We’ll try to note major in-season accolades where we can.

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 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-plus 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 20

Check out this post for our analysis of the top 20 recruits in the high school class of 2016. Bear in mind that this was posted in July of 2015, 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 2015 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 2017 NCAA Points 2018 NCAA Points 2019 NCAA Points 2020 NCAA Points 2020 NCAA Psych Sheet Points
1 Meghan Small Tennessee 54 18 15 21 27
2 Beata Nelson Wisconsin 106 0 46 60 54
3 Becca Mann USC 2 2 0
4 Stanzi Moseley USC/Tennessee 4.5 0 4.5 0
5 Claire Adams Texas 50 20 17 13 16
6 Katie Drabot Stanford 71.5 3 49 19.5 35
7 Veronica Burchill Georgia 25 4 16 5 29
8 Allie Szekely Stanford 9 6 3 0 3
9 Grace Oglesby Louisville 53 2 24 27 16
10 Lindsay Kozelsky (Horejsi) Minnesota 73 23 28 22 14
11 Erin Voss Stanford 24 0 6 18 12
12 Savanna Faulconer Florida 0 0 0 0
13 Keaton Blovad Cal 18 0 0 18 5
14 Megan Byrnes Stanford 41 25 15 1
15 Kirsten Jacobsen Arizona 27 0 17 10 5
16 Ali Galyer Kentucky 35 11 13 11 21
17 Tatum Wade USC 0 0 0 0
18 Lauren Case Texas 13 13 0 0 no invite
19 Asia Seidt Kentucky 113.5 32 38 43.5 43
20 Kennedy Lohman Arizona/Texas 0 0 0 0 no invite

The hits:

  • After scoring zero points as a freshman, Beata Nelson was on a tear for Wisconsin, and surging towards the #1 scoring spot in the class. Nelson was 22 points behind the top overall scorer (an international who we’ll cover later) and just 7.5 back of being the top domestic scorer. She was projected to score 54 this year, tied for the best in the class.
  • Kentucky’s Asia Seidt was the #19 recruit, but will wind up scoring the second-most of all recruits in this class. She was in line to score 43 this year.
  • Katie Drabot was in line to crack 100 individual points this year.
  • We’ve been revisiting these recruit rankings for three years, and in all three, we’ve had a breaststroker rank in the top 5 in overall points. Bethany Galat did so from the class of 2014, Lilly King in the class of 2015 and Lindsay Kozelsky in the class of 2016. Kozelsky was extremely consistent for effectively a two-event swimmer individually: she scored 20+ in all three seasons and projected to score 14 this year, likely without a full taper. Kozelsky made the NCAA A final in the 100 breaststroke in every year and was seeded 5th this year.

The misses:

  • Relatively speaking, distance swimmers dropped off a little in the top of this class. Becca Mann turned pro and only scored a few points. Megan Byrnes was one of the top scorers in the class early, but scored just 1 as a junior and did not enter NCAAs as a senior.
  • USC-to-Tennessee transfer Stanzi Moseley only scored 4.5 points individually, but was a solid relay leg most of her career at the national level. She had qualified for NCAAs this year, but wasn’t projected to score.

OTHER IMPACTFUL RECRUITS IN THE HIGH SCHOOL RECRUITING CLASS OF 2016

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.

Name College Team Total NCAA Points 2017 NCAA Points 2018 NCAA Points 2019 NCAA Points 2020 NCAA Points 2020 NCAA Psych Sheet Points
Erika Brown Tennessee 93 47 46 54
Maddie Murphy Cal 38 20 7 11
Molly Kowal Ohio State 29 12 17 20
Ky-Lee Perry NC State 24 24 6.5
Morgan Hill Virginia 23 5 18 32
Cassy Jernberg Indiana 17 3 9 5 10
Hannah Cox Arizona 16 5 2 9
Vanessa Krause Michigan 16 5 11
Sherridon Dressel Florida 15 3 12 37
Alyssa Marsh Duke 13 13 19.5
Claire Fisch Arizona State/Auburn 12 12 25
Kelley Fertel Florida 11 11
Haley Hynes Missouri 9 4 5
Madison Winstead Kentucky 7 7
Makayla Sargent Florida/NC State 6 6 1
Lainey Visscher Louisville 6 6
Margaret Higgs South Carolina 5 5
Kylie Jordan Duke 4 4
Julie Meynen Auburn 3 1 2 27
Abbie Dolan Notre Dame 2 2
Morgan Bullock West Virginia 2 2
Tevyn Waddell Minnesota 1 1
Mikaela Dahlke Harvard 9
Casey Fanz Louisville 4
Peyton Kondis Houston 4
Courtney Vincent San Diego State 3.5
Madison Hart Penn State 1.5

Standouts:

  • Erika Brown was the runaway top unranked swimmer in this class, and she was ready to extend that lead this year with 54 psych sheet points. Brown already ranked 4th in the class in total scoring, but had her work cut out for her to pass any of the top three this year, even if Brown went a perfect 60. Brown is a great example of a true college breakout swimmer. Her lifetime-bests out of high school were solid (22.9/49.8/1:46.4 free as of our recruiting ranks), but nowhere near the 21.0/45.8/1:41.6 level she ended up at. More impressive, Brown was just 55.9 in butterfly out of high school and not really projected as a flyer. She ended her college career going 49.3 – faster in fly than she was in free as a high school junior.
  • A few more great college developers:
    • Cal’s Maddie Murphy was 23.1/50.0 free and 53.0 fly out of high school. She ended up going 21.7/48.2 and 51.1, though those were all as a freshman in 2017.
    • Ohio State’s Molly Kowal was just 4:52.6/16:29.3 in distance free when we ranked this class, plus 4:20.0 in the IM. She finished her college career at 4:39.2/15:43.1 and 4:09.0.
    • Ky-Lee Perry was someone we probably should have had more on our radar as a recruit. She was 22.4 in the 50 free and 49.3 in the 100 when we ranked this class. She had a very up-and-down college career at NCAAs – she was great at ACCs as a freshman, but just missed scoring individually at NCAAs. Injuries kept her out of scoring range as a sophomore, but she exploded for 24 points last year.
  • We had five new projected scorers in this class, led by Harvard’s Mikeala Dahlke with 9 psych sheet points.
  • Virginia’s Morgan Hill was set to make a run with 32 psych sheet points. She could conceivably have jumped to #2 in scoring among unranked swimmers in this class.
  • A few more late risers: Florida’s Sherridon Dressel was projected at 37 points, which would have more than tripled her previous career scoring. Duke’s Alyssa Marsh was set to score double-digit points for the second-straight year after not scoring as a freshman or sophomore. Auburn’s Claire Fisch was in line to do the same, and her teammate Julie Meynen was seeded to score 27 after scoring just 3 in her previous three years.

INTERNATIONAL

Name College Team Total NCAA Points 2017 NCAA Points 2018 NCAA Points 2019 NCAA Points 2020 NCAA Points 2020 NCAA Psych Sheet Points
Louise Hansson USC 128 37 36 55 47
Silja Kansakoski Arizona State 34 13 17 4
Anna Hopkin Arkansas 31 31 49
Phoebe Hines Hawaii 18.5 4.5 14 5
Reka Gyorgy Virginia Tech 17 11 1 5
Tess Cieplucha Tennessee 15 2 13 42
Jinq En Phee Purdue 11 11
Valerie Gruest Northwestern 9 9
Kathrin Demler Ohio State 5 5 24
Sofia Carnevale UNLV/Georgia 1 1
Emma Ball Florida 0 7

Standouts:

  • Canadian Emma Ball was the only new projected international scorer in this class, with many internationals putting more of a focus on long course this season.
  • Louise Hansson will finish as the top individual scorer in this class, and had a good chance to hold that spot through NCAAs, with a 14.5-point lead over Seidt.
  • Brit Anna Hopkin gets grouped with this class because she’s listed as a senior, though she only swam one NCAA meet in her career. It’s hard to say if she’ll have any eligibility left, but if she does, we’ll bump her into another class next year. Hopkin would have easily become the #2 international scorer in this class.

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 2015 Rank Name School Total NCAA Points 2017 NCAA Points 2018 NCAA Points 2019 NCAA Points 2020 NCAA Points 2020 NCAA Psych Sheet Points
1 INTL Louise Hansson USC 128 37 36 55 47
2 19 Asia Seidt Kentucky 113.5 32 38 43.5 43
3 2 Beata Nelson Wisconsin 106 0 46 60 54
4 UNR Erika Brown Tennessee 93 47 46 54
5 10 Lindsay Kozelsky (Horejsi) Minnesota 73 23 28 22 14
6 6 Katie Drabot Stanford 71.5 3 49 19.5 35
7 1 Meghan Small Tennessee 54 18 15 21 27
8 9 Grace Oglesby Louisville 53 2 24 27 16
9 5 Claire Adams Texas 50 20 17 13 16
10 14 Megan Byrnes Stanford 41 25 15 1
11 UNR Maddie Murphy Cal 38 20 7 11
12 16 Ali Galyer Kentucky 35 11 13 11 21
13 INTL Silja Kansakoski Arizona State 34 13 17 4
14 INTL Anna Hopkin Arkansas 31 31 49
15 UNR Molly Kowal Ohio State 29 12 17 20
16 15 Kirsten Jacobsen Arizona 27 0 17 10 5
17 7 Veronica Burchill Georgia 25 4 16 5 29
18 11 Erin Voss Stanford 24 0 6 18 12
18 UNR Ky-Lee Perry NC State 24 24 6.5
20 UNR Morgan Hill Virginia 23 5 18 32
21 INTL Phoebe Hines Hawaii 18.5 4.5 14 5
22 13 Keaton Blovad Cal 18 0 0 18 5
23 UNR Cassy Jernberg Indiana 17 3 9 5 10
23 INTL Reka Gyorgy Virginia Tech 17 11 1 5
25 UNR Hannah Cox Arizona 16 5 2 9
25 UNR Vanessa Krause Michigan 16 5 11
27 INTL Tess Cieplucha Tennessee 15 2 13 42
27 UNR Sherridon Dressel Florida 15 3 12 37
29 18 Lauren Case Texas 13 13 0 0 no invite
29 UNR Alyssa Marsh Duke 13 13 19.5
31 UNR Claire Fisch Arizona State/Auburn 12 12 25
32 UNR Kelley Fertel Florida 11 11
32 INTL Jinq En Phee Purdue 11 11
34 8 Allie Szekely Stanford 9 6 3 0 3
34 UNR Haley Hynes Missouri 9 4 5
34 INTL Valerie Gruest Northwestern 9 9
37 UNR Madison Winstead Kentucky 7 7
38 UNR Makayla Sargent Florida/NC State 6 6 1
38 UNR Lainey Visscher Louisville 6 6
40 UNR Margaret Higgs South Carolina 5 5
40 INTL Kathrin Demler Ohio State 5 5 24
42 4 Stanzi Moseley USC/Tennessee 4.5 0 4.5 0
43 UNR Kylie Jordan Duke 4 4
44 UNR Julie Meynen Auburn 3 1 2 27
45 3 Becca Mann USC 2 2 0
45 UNR Abbie Dolan Notre Dame 2 2
45 UNR Morgan Bullock West Virginia 2 2
48 UNR Tevyn Waddell Minnesota 1 1
48 INTL Sofia Carnevale UNLV/Georgia 1 1
50 UNR Mikaela Dahlke Harvard 0 9
50 INTL Emma Ball Florida 0 7
50 UNR Casey Fanz Louisville 0 4
50 UNR Peyton Kondis Houston 0 4
50 UNR Courtney Vincent San Diego State 0 3.5
50 UNR Madison Hart Penn State 0 1.5
50 12 Savanna Faulconer Florida 0 0 0 0
50 17 Tatum Wade USC 0 0 0 0
50 20 Kennedy Lohman Arizona/Texas 0 0 0 0 no invite

 

Bonus: The Super-Seniors

A handful of highly-ranked recruits from previous classes took redshirt or gap years:

  • Abbey Weitzeil (#2 recruit in class of 2015)
  • Megan Moroney (#16 recruit in class of 2015)
  • Miranda Tucker (unranked recruit in class of 2015)
  • Cierra Runge (Honorable mention in class of 2014)

Weitzeil was projected to score a meet-high 56 individual points on psych sheets this year. This 2015 group was a loaded high school class, arguably the best in history. Weitzeil ranked #10 in scoring in that class with just three seasons (she deferred her freshman enrollment), and adding 56 to her total would bring her to 162, ranking #5 overall while passing two other stars who only swam three or fewer NCAA meets: Katie Ledecky and Kathleen Baker.

(For what it’s worth, Ella Eastin led all scorers in this class with 228 points, but Weitzeil would project to finish just 10 behind Sydney Pickrem for 2nd place).

Moroney took one injury-related redshirt season, but still ranked #18 in total individual scoring. She was projected to score 3 points this year, but it’s fair to suspect she would have moved up from there after scoring in double digits in each of her three NCAA meets.

Tucker was the #2 scorer in the class who was not ranked in the top 20 out of high school. An intra-conference transfer from Indiana to Michigan cost her a year, but Tucker still scored 77 points over three years. She was projected to score 18 more this year, and would have moved into a tie for #11 in the class.

Class of 2015 revisited (as of last year)

Runge scored 49 as a freshman for Cal, but then took a gap year to focus on the Olympics. She missed scoring individually at NCAAs as a sophomore with Wisconsin, then transferred yet again, sitting out a year before swimming two more seasons with Arizona State. Runge scored 32 points in 2019 and was projected to score 21 this year – that would put her at 102 individual points – #4 overall in her class behind only Simone Manuel (169), Bethany Galat (137), and Janet Hu (112).

Class of 2014 revisited (as of 2018)

In This Story

9
Leave a Reply

6 Comment threads
3 Thread replies
1 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
9 Comment authors
newest oldest most voted
3344

Tess Cieplucha is Canadian but she’s on the american unranked list

collegeswimmer

Does this mean the high school re-ranks are in the works! <3

They’re definitely on our list for the near future! We’re trying to give those as long as we can, because there are a few states still that haven’t cancelled their swimming championships yet. We may wind up running them before we have a full answer on that, but we’re at least trying to give them as much time as possible to make a decision.

Swim Dad

Other than California whose HS state championships typically fall after your rankings release (and lead to many comments annually), could you share which states canceled their HS meets and which are still pending? Looked like IN, IL, and OH just got them in and PA got them mostly in, though Brownstead was denied a finals opportunity to go after David Nolan.

Momof2

Thank you for posting these type of stats. Nice break from the madness

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 …

Read More »

Want to take your swimfandom to the next level?

Subscribe to SwimSwam Magazine!