Joshua Swart of San Clemente Aquatics, Cobe Garcia of Ad Astra Area Aquatics, and Shane Anderson of Northern Sierra Aquatics have all committed to swim for the University of Kentucky Wildcats next season.
Swart is a tough backstroker/butterflier with impressive sprint free times. At the recent CIF-Southern Section Division I Championships, Swart racked up A final finishes in all four of his races. He was third in both of his individual events, the 100 fly (49.31) and 100 back (48.51), while contributing to San Clemente High School’s 200 and 400 relays, which placed 5th and 7th, respectively.
Here are Swart’s best times:
*denotes a Summer Junior Nationals cut
What’s even more impressive about Swart is his progression over the last few seasons in the backstrokes. Take a look:
|AGE||100 BACK||200 BACK|
The 49.41 and 1:47.93 were done at the Speedo Winter Junior Champs and the AT&T Winter National Champs, respectively, with no more than a week between each meet. Swart was able to taper for the 100 back at the CIF SS Champs, but seeing as there was no 200 back at that meet, and considering his near full-second drop in the 100 from last December to this May, it looks like he has more to drop in the 200.
Kentucky will lose eligibility from last season’s best (by far) 200 backstroker, Michael Christian, and Swart could be the next best backstroker for the Wildcats. His current best in the 100 back would have sat first on their top times list from last season, and would have been right on the C Final bubble at SECs. Swart will immediately impact Kentucky’s lineup as a freshman.
Garcia, a top-flight recruit from Kansas, is a pure freestyler. He has best times of 20.62 in the 50 and 45.54 in the 100, plus holds a solid 200 time of 1:40.34.
Garcia finished 18th in the 50 and 20th in the 100 at the 2015 NCSA Junior Nationals, just two weeks after he grabbed 7th in the 100 and 2nd in the 50 at the 2015 Speedo Champions Series in Jenks, OK. Like Swart, Garcia has made significant strides in his best events over the last few seasons.
|AGE||50 FREE||100 FREE|
*denotes Winter Junior National cut
It’s clear that Garcia has developed rapidly of late. Dropping over half a second in his 50 and over a second in his 100 from season to season is not to be looked over; if he continues to improve at Kentucky, he could turn out to be a very significant player for the Wildcats’ sprint group. Should he continue improving at this rate, he could easily sneak into the C final of the 50 free and possibly the 100 free and nab a few points for the Wildcats at the SEC Championships.
Anderson, another sprint freestyler, hails from Bear River High School in California. His best events are the 100 and 200 free. A look at his best times:
At the recent CIF-Sac Joaquin Section Championships, Anderson took 5th place in the 200 free and was runner-up in the 100 free.
Anderson will provide much-needed depth for the Wildcats, who finished last at the SEC Championships in every relay except for the 800 free relay. They were only able to put two swimmers through to the 200 free finals, while failing to qualify any swimmers for finals in the 50 and 100 freestyles.
These three commits will bolster the Wildcats significantly next season, as Kentucky looks to improve upon its last place finish at SECs last season. Joining these three next season as freshmen will be: