South African James Freeman Adds Another Distance Swimmer to Minnesota Class

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South African swimmer James Freeman has verbally committed to the University of Minnesota as the Gophers capitalize on the reputation of their newly-hired distance coach Jeff Kostoff.

I am super excited to announce that I will be continuing my swimming career and studies at the university of Minnesota in August 2020, I truly believe this is the best place for a balance of great academics and great swimming.

The 18-year old finished 2nd at the 2019 South African National Championships in the 400 free, 3rd in the 800 free, 5th in the 200 free, and 6th in the 1500 free.

Best Times in Long Course Meters (SCY converted):

  • 100 free: 51.88 (45.29)
  • 200 free: 1:52.11 (1:38.11)
  • 400 free: 3:53.18 (4:21.26)
  • 800 free: 8:07.67 (9:06.40)
  • 1500 free: 15:38.28 (15:19.88)

The Minnesota men’s class of 2020, which is turning into a big one, now has at least 5 distance freestylers in their class. That includes William Christenson and Leo Goldblatt, who announced their commitments before Kostoff’s official hiring; plus Sawyer Grimes and Chris Nagy since Kostoff officially began his time with the program on August 30th.

Kostoff came to the program from Stanford, where he worked primarily with the distance group. Prior to that, he was at Indiana where he worked with US National Teamers Zane Grothe and Lindsay Vrooman. As an athlete, Kostoff was a 5-time NCAA Champion at Stanford: 3 in the mile and 2 in the 400 IM.

Freeman currently swims at Tuks High School in Pretoria, South Africa.

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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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