SwimSwam puts out an annual list of our top 20 NCAA recruits in the high school senior class, and this year, our top 20 from the HS girls’ class of 2016, who are now freshmen at their respective colleges, have all lived up to the hype.
Looking back, one of the key factors that goes into our rankings is relative depth in the NCAA— where a recruit will fit into the current national landscape. While all of the girls in our top 20 were expected to have a good shot at NCAA qualification, freshman year can be tumultuous, and it is not uncommon to see some high school stars falter in their first season in college. Nevertheless, our top 20 of ’16, based on our own Andrew Mering’s predictions (link below), have all qualified for the 2017 NCAA Championships.
Here’s a list of each of the top 20 of ’16, with their highest-ranked event nationally this year. Remember, the line should go to 39 for most events, and extend to 40 for a few. Considering the lowest rank is a 35-seed, it’s pretty safe to say that all 20 will be invited.
1. Meghan Small (TENNESSEE) – 200 IM (4th)
2. Beata Nelson (WISCONSIN) – 200 back (18th)
3. Becca Mann (USC) – 1650 free (8th)
4. Stanzi Moseley (USC) – 200 free (12th)
5. Claire Adams (TEXAS) – 200 back (8th)
6. Katie Drabot (STANFORD) – 500 free (6th)
7. Veronica Burchill (GEORGIA) – 100 fly (16th)
8. Allie Szekely (STANFORD) – 400 IM (4th)
9. Grace Oglesby (LOUISVILLE) – 200 fly (16th)
10. Lindsey Horejsi (MINNESOTA) – 100 breast (7th)
11. Erin Voss (STANFORD) – 200 back (26th)
12. Savanna Faulconer (FLORIDA) – 400 IM (17th)
13. Keaton Blovad (CAL) – 100 back (28th)
14. Megan Byrnes (STANFORD) – 1650 free (5th)
15. Kirsten Jacobsen (ARIZONA) – 1650 free (35th)
16. Ali Galyer (KENTUCKY) – 200 back (16th)
17. Tatum Wade (USC) – 200 free (19th)
18. Lauren Case (TEXAS) – 200 fly (10th)
19. Asia Seidt (KENTUCKY) – 200 back (5th)
20. Kennedy Lohman (ARIZONA) – 100 breast (19th)
Some of these swimmers have really blown up in their first year of college. A few that come to mind immediately are Stanford’s Megan Byrnes and Allie Szekely, along with Kentucky’s Asia Seidt. Both of the Stanford frosh hit plateaus before heading to college, but have responded incredibly well to their college training and have sailed to new PB’s. Seidt, meanwhile, was on a steady improvement rate and took off from there under the Wildcat program. There’s more to be said for any number of these girls, who have collectively had a fantastic season thus far– they’ll all be competing next month at NCAAs, where several of them will score points and serve as leaders for their respective teams.