Loyola Blakefield Aquatics’ Hannah Gouger has committed to swim for the University of Richmond, starting in the 2016-17 season. The rising high school senior is a top prospect out of Maryland, and she excels in the backstroke, particularly at the 100 distance. Here’s a look at her best times in some of her top events:
50 free – 23.95
100 back – 54.32
200 back – 1:59.46
100 fly – 56.83
200 IM – 2:04.95
Her Olympic Trials cut came this past July at the NBAC Mid Summer Classic, where she swam to a time of 1:03.24 in the 100 meter backstroke to get under the Trials qualification standard by fifteen hundredths of a second.
The 100 back, in yards, is where Richmond is going to need Gouger immediately. This past year, the Spiders won the Atlantic-10 conference championships, and their top 100 backstroker went a 55.94 in the 100 back A final to place 4th overall, which is .04 slower than Gouger’s best time when she was just 15. Her 54.32 lifetime best should make her an easy selection to lead off their 400 medley relay and likely their 200 medley relay, and she would have won the A-10 conference title in the 100 back by well over a full second if she had swum her exact best time at this past championship.
Gouger would have also placed 2nd overall in the 200 back by just .01 if we were to compare her best time to the conference title-winning time in 2015. A likely third event for her would be the 200 IM, where her best time would have put her into the A final as well. To sum it all up, Gouger is a triple-A final individual threat with the talent to become (at least) a double champion at the conference level as a freshman, and she still has a full year left before getting to Richmond. This is a huge pickup for the Spiders, who will look to continue a long-standing conference win streak on the women’s side.