Some swimmers coming out of high school are diverse across a huge range of events, and upon arriving at the collegiate level really settle into a more specific schedule (see last night’s big Texas commit – Jack Conger). Others, however, are already focused-in and ready to really push their limits in their few primary events, as well as seek a bit of that versatility. Both types of swimmers provide unique challenges to coaches, but they also provide unique opportunities.
The two latest big commitments on the women’s side fall into that latter category: Brynne Wong , who will be a Texas Longhorn, and Riley Hayward who is headed to USC.
Wong comes to Carol Capitani and Austin from the Aquazot Swim Club and Corona del Mar High School: two of the best programs in Southern California. The Aquazots have sent their last two top-flight female recruits (Maggie Burton and Megan Rankin) to UCLA in the last two years, but Wong chose to head a bit further from home.
The primary event for Wong is the 100 fly, where she has been a 54.38, swum as the runner-up at last year’s CIF – Southern Sectional Division I Championships (aka the big schools). This is an event where the Longhorns where be looking for a long-term solution for their medley relays; junior Ellen Lobb had a great season last year and should hold the spot down well for this season and next, but after that Wong will be in position to take over.
Lobb is actually a very good model for Wong to follow in her career; she came to Texas as a 54-mid 100 butterflier. Even though she was a little bit better than Wong’s 23.6 and 52.2 in the sprint freestyles, but the butterflies looked like they would be by-far her primary races. She, however, has developed into a versatile swimmer that has been an absolute stud on Texas’ relays.
With a 26.70 long course 50 free, Wong might surprise her senior year with even better yards sprint times too; she’s already proven to have a knack for relays even in high school, anchoring Del Mar’s 400 with a 52.0 at the State Championship meet (though it was DQ’ed).
Hayward is a breaststroker who will go to Dave Salo and the USC Trojans: working hard to retain his “king of breaststroke” title with several recruits in the discipline this year.
She swims for the New Trier Swim Club: a program that garnered big headlines last year for their national-record-breaking boys. Heyward has bests of 1:03.00 and 2:17.17 in the 100 yard breast.
She will train in-and-among a college breaststroke group that includes Kasey Carlson, Andrea Kropp, Brianna Weinstein, and two big-time fellow recruits Jamie Christy and Blair Carnes.
As a 3rd event, like many breaststrokers, Hayward will probably work toward the 200 IM. There, she has a best of 2:06.41.