Texas Adds to Freestyle Battalion with USC Transfer Jake Sannem

The Texas men have an absurd amount of sprint/mid-distance freestyle talent either on their roster or incoming, and another name has been added to the talent influx.

Jake Sannem, who hails from Pennsylvania, has transferred from USC to Texas after one season in Los Angeles. The announcement was posted on Texas Men’s Swiming & Diving Twitter account this afternoon.

Sannem is a freestyler with range from the 100 through to the 500, and he specializes in the 200 free.


  • 50 free – 20.24/23.99
  • 100 free – 44.09/51.06
  • 200 free – 1:34.76/1:50.87
  • 500 free – 4:19.34/3:58.68

His 100y free is the only event in which he hit a best time while at USC, though this summer he hit LCM bests in the 50/100/200 free. Sannem’s highest finish at Pac-12s was a 9th place touch in the 200 free (1:34.94), while he split a 1:34.64 on USC’s 12th place 800 free relay at the 2018 NCAA Championships. That was his only race at NCAAs.

USC just graduated one of the top 200 freestylers in the country, Dylan Carter. Sannem’s transfer marks another significant departure from their roster.

Meanwhile, the rich get richer in Austin. Dynamite 200 freestyler and American record holder in yards, Townley Haas, has one year left with Texas, and the Longhorns return Jeff Newkirk and Austin Katz, who split 1:32’s on Texas’s 3rd place 800 free relay at 2018 NCAAs. Sam Pomajevich, another sophomore like Katz, was a B finalist at NCAAs in the 200 free last year, too.

The Longhorn freshman class is insanely stacked, too, led by Drew Kibler (1:32.6 out of high school) and bolstered by Aitor Fungairino (1:34), Matthew Willenbring (1:35), and Daniel Krueger (1:35), among others. These boys, plus several more incredibly talented incoming freshmen, are the reason Texas took top honors on SwimSwam’s NCAA class rankings from this past November.

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4 years ago

With Sannem transferring out of USC, it means the Trojans’ two top recruits from Class of 2017 – Robert Glinta and now Sannem – are gonzo. A lot of recruiting ground to make up for Salo & Company. And the “early returns” of new recruits and transfers show good but not great talent that is needed just to replace the graduating seniors (Carter, Santorelli, etc.).

As expressed earlier by other posters, USC is over-dependent on international (foreign) swimmers almost to the point of neglecting building relationships and recruiting pipelines with American coaches and swimmers. Sannem (a SwimSwam top 10 prospect from class of 2017) departing doesn’t help.

4 years ago

now if Texas can get a Ian Finnerty to transfer in, they’ll be all set!

4 years ago

Matthew Willenbring tested positive for the most common Peformance Enhancing Drug masking agent (Hydrochlorothiazide). Diuretics increase the production of urine, and athletes use them to try to flush out residue from steroids. Willenbring disqualified the entire US relay at the FINA World Junior Championships because of his positive test.

This will be a big problem for Texas to have a known cheat, especially for any relays he is on during his NCAA career. This is so sad for a High School kid to be busted. http://www.fina.org/news/fina-doping-panel-decision-mr-matthew-willenbring-usa

Reply to  Scribble
4 years ago

It amazes me when people think they know more than scientist, WADA, FINA and panels of extremely well informed brilliant people who have way more information, experience and intelligence than them, just for the sake of hiding behind a user name and trying to ruin people!

4 years ago

It’s called swimming and diving. This is like a track and field coach only wanting to count track events and not discuss, shot put, or javelin. Teams that give money to divers should be applauded for their foresight. Not ridiculed for thinking about the rules. Swimming coaches that ignore their diving coaches and diving scholarships should be fired.

4 years ago

Only Kibler is really a sure thing to be contributor next year. The rest are all on the fringe though I’m sure the odds are one or two will drop enough to give the relays some needed depth. I don’t think this story is about Texas but maybe about USC slipping a notch and not having any depth.

samuel huntington
4 years ago

good grief next year the Texas B 800 free relay is gonna be like 1:33s and 1:34s

Reply to  samuel huntington
4 years ago

Texas definitely need some relay help. Last year was a disaster for the horns.

Reply to  Swimmer
4 years ago

ha ha!

4 years ago

Please lower your voice

4 years ago

How many scorers Cal graduate? Like two? One of which is being replaced by an upgrade

Reply to  Jmanswimfan
4 years ago

NCAA scorers, yes 2 graduated but the others have all been solid PAC12 contributors

About Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon studied sociology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, graduating in May of 2018. He began swimming on a club team in first grade and swam four years for Wesleyan.

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