Cal’s men’s team is getting its momentum going, after watching the women’s team get a Big Name to commit early. Mission Viejo distance freestyler Nick Norman has now made a verbal commitment to the Golden Bears to kick off their recruiting season.
Norman is a true distance swimmer in the Mission Viejo vein: the longer he’s in the water the stronger he is. His top mile time is 14:58.76, which he achieved when he won the 1650 at the Oklahoma Elite Pro-Am meet last December. That was the second fastest time for 16-year-olds during the 2013-14 season, and the fifth-fastest for all 18-and-unders.
Norman, who trains with Coach Rose at Mission Viejo Nadadores, has improved his distance free enormously over the past several years.
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Norman is the reigning CIF-Southern Section Division I champion in the 500 free. As a junior at Capo Valley High School he won the 2014 event with 4:23.02. The previous year he was runner-up with 4:23.01, and as a freshman he was sixth with 4:31.95.
“I chose Cal because I felt I connected with the team as well as the coaches. Dave and Yuri have an extremely organized program set up, and it’s no surprise that they’ve had so much success in the past years.”
Norman is capable of scoring at NCAAs his freshman year. His 14:58 is less than three seconds off the 16th place time this year, and he was only 16 last December when he swam it. Norman is about seven seconds off the 4:16-mid it took to make finals in the 500. Cal graduated their only finalist in the distance freestyle events (Jeremy Bagshaw, 9th in the 500 and 2nd in the 1650 at 2014 NCAAs) so they’ll be looking to Norman and current freshman Ryan Kao to step into the void.