Richard Long became the head coach of the women at James Madison rather late in the summer, sliding over from an assistant roll at Auburn, but that doesn’t seem to have hurt him in recruiting.
We’ve heard from four different swimmers who have verbally committed to the Duke Dogs, and by JMU’s standards, it’s already a banner class.
The 4 are Quinn MacMillan from the Central Bucks Swim Team; Katie Barney from the Tide Swim Team; Katie Parker from Spy Swimming, and Courtney Clarke from the Delaware Swim Team.
Quinn MacMillan is one of the better recruits in JMU history. She’s still raw, having only swum year-round seriously for the last two years, but still has bests of 24.3/51.7/1:50.4 in the 50-200 freestyles, which are her best events. That should put her immediately onto some James Madison relays, but her potential is what’s really scary.
She comes from a very talented and athletic family. Her sister Molly swam at Vermont, her sister Colleen swam at South Carolina, and their mom Kathy (O’Donnell) MacMillan was a three-time All-American sprinter at South Carolina from 1982-1985. Her aunt, Betsy O’Donnell, may have been the best of the group: she was an 11-time All-American, 6-time ACC Champ, a member of the ACC 50th anniversary team, and a University of Virginia hall-of-famer.
She trains under Stu Kukla at Central Bucks.
Katie Barney from the Tide Swim Team is also a very good sprinter, and has been a hair faster than MacMillan in the 50 with a 24.22. She’s also been 52.43 in the 100 yard free. Barney has very good front-end speed, and is still really learning how to swim the longer 100 free – but dropped almost two seconds in the event as a junior.
Barney’s club coach, Josh Fulton, is a long-time teammate of Long’s when the two were athletes.
Katie Parker comes from SPY Swimming in Annapolis, Maryland has a little bit of speed of her own (24.53/52.66 in the 50 and 100 yard freestyles), but she really brings a new twist to this class by being a very good breaststroker.
She’s been 1:03.14 in the 100 yard breast and 2:18.26 in the 200 yard breast. She’ll spend one year training with current JMU breaststroker Sin Hye Won, who last season became James Madison’s first ever NCAA qualifier in swimming.
And finally, Courtney Clarke from the Delaware Swim Team can fill either a backstroke or butterfly role for James Madison. She’s been 56.3 in the 100 yard back and 2:03.5 in the 200 yard back; plus 56.7/2:05.4 in the 100 and 200 yard butterflies.
If JMU’s recruiting stopped right there, they would already have a great class, though based on how many they usually bring in, there’s probably still more to come. What’s really interesting is that only one of those swimmers, Barney, is from the state of Virginia, where JMU is located. Currently, 17 out of 29 swmimers on the James Madison roster are from Virginia.