Top Remaining 2021 Commit Ziyad Saleem Makes Verbal Pledge to Cal

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Ziyad Saleem, who hails from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, has announced his verbal commitment to the University of California, Berkeley’s class of 2025.

“I am excited to announce my commitment to continue my academic and swimming career at the University of California, Berkeley. Thank you to my family, friends and coaches for all the support. Go Bears!”

Saleem is a senior at Rufus King International High School; he swims year-round with Schroeder YMCA Swim Team. He had originally committed to the University of Iowa before the program was cut. Since then, he has dropped gobs of time in both SCY (-.8 in the 100 free, -6.1 in the 200 free, -.36 in the 50 back, -1.7 in the 100 back, -3 in the 200 back, -.8 in the 100 fly) and LCM (-3 in the 100 free, -1.6 in the 100 back, -4.3 in the 200 back). Last weekend at the 41st Annual Schroeder C+ Meet, he swam under 47 seconds for the first time in the 100 back (46.98), which is an unofficial Wisconsin Swimming LSC record. It would have been the 4th-fastest time in Iowa history. Saleem also lowered his PB in the 200 free (1:41.61) in prelims before scratching the final.

Saleem competed at U.S. Open – Des Moines in November where he picked up Olympic Trials Wave I cuts in the 100m back (55.54) and 200m back (2:01.30), placing 8th in both events. A week later he added a PB in the 100m free (53.33) at the WEST November LCM Time Trials.

Best SCY times:

  • 200 back – 1:42.93
  • 100 back – 46.98
  • 50 back – 22.85
  • 200 free – 1:41.61
  • 100 free – 45.53
  • 100 fly – 50.42

Saleem will join the Golden Bears in the fall of 2021 with Evan Petty, Gabriel Jett, Jack Alexy, Jacob Soderlund, Kai Crews, Michael McGillivray, Robin Hanson, Sean Swift, and Trent Frandson.

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7 months ago

Huge congrats to Saleem! Truly made the best of a tough situation.

7 months ago

Congrats to Saleem and Cal!

7 months ago

Ziyad has helped make the past 9 months a very exciting time at Schroeder, in the middle of the pandemic. Very excited to see what he does at Cal!

Go Bears
7 months ago

Wow. Talk about making the best of a bad situation. Congrats Ziyad!

7 months ago

Anne or Braden,

With Saleem’s recent backstroke times, where would he be generally ranked in the 2021 recruiting class? Saleem appears to be top three in both the 100 and 200 back in the class.
He will be joining a Cal backstroke group which will include Destin Lasco, Hugo Gonzalez, Colby Mefford, Sebastian Somerset and fellow 2021 recruit Evan Petty. Daniel Carr and Bryce Mefford also have an extra year of eligibility if they decide to return.

Reply to  h2olover
7 months ago

Keeping in mind that other swimmers in the class have also improved since we last did our rankings, I’d say probably around 12th or 13th. He’s similar to a David Curtiss, some really electric times in 2 events, but no obvious 3rd event yet. We had Curtiss at 11th, and I think he’d be higher now, but Arsenio Bustos was 12th, and his 52.8 long course 100 fly seems on par with a 46.9 SCY 100 back, but Bustos is way more versatile.

That’s just a rough cut though. +/- a few spots.

Reply to  Braden Keith
7 months ago

Thanks for the thoughtful analysis. I also saw him in the mid-teens in the SS rankings, with his rapid improvements a major plus, but his lack of a third individual Day 1 event holding him back. It will be fun to watch his progress at the college level. He has a somewhat different background than most elite US swimmers, and Berkeley just might be a good fit for him.

So confused
Reply to  h2olover
7 months ago

What do you mean that he has a different background?

7 months ago

Ooo what a come up haha Iowa to Cal…hope it turns out like Dwyer’s Iowa to Florida move 💪

7 months ago

Big pick up for Cal. Another great class for them

7 months ago

Excellent! Welcome to Berkeley, Ziyad. We’re excited to watch you excel in the pool and classroom.

About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

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