USC Men Retain Another Local Talent: Walker Bell of Santa Barbara Gives Verbal

“I’ve always found USC attractive. When I was young my team volunteered to time at Pac-12s when they were held there, and I loved everything about USC. It was my dream. Now, going there to visit, the amazing coaches, the facilities, knowing how they train, how they treat their athletes – I just couldn’t be happier.”

Dos Pueblos High School senior Walker Bell has added his name to the growing list of talented Californians committing to the Trojans. After receiving verbal nods from Sunshine State locals Alex Valente, Billy Monjay and Kyle Grissom as well as outstanding out-of-towners Carsten Vissering and Patrick Mulcare, the Trojans kept another talented swimmer in the region with Bell’s commitment.

Walker Bell is primarily an IMer/mid-distance freestyler. At Dos Pueblos he swam the 200 IM and 500 free in the finals of 2014 CIF-Southern Section Division I Championships, finishing 16th and fifth, respectively. His top SCY times are:

400y IM: 3:57.18
200y IM: 1:52.14
500y free: 4:29.44
200y free: 1:43.40
100y free: 47.26

Walker swims for Santa Barbara Swim Club under Mark Warkentin, to whom he attributes much of his success, “He helped me get there (to USC). He has really helped me a lot; he pushed me in the pool and encouraged me (to pursue USC).”

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Congrats and welcome to the Trojan Family! Looking like a fantastic recruiting class. Going to be a lot of fun to watch USC swim in the future…going to be right in there for the “hardware” at NCAA’s. Fight on!


“silverware” .


Is it just me or has USC adopted an “every other year” approach to their recruiting? Two years ago they had a big talented class. Last year they were relatively quiet (please let me know if I’m off on that). And this year is another talented class. Not being critical, just an observation.

You’re right about the Trojans and the class of 2014 (current freshman class) which was thin in both quantity and quality of recruits. Trojan men ended up with a couple of international class foreign swimmers late in the year to salvage a decent class and Trojan women only had one star in backstroker Hannah Weiss. It wasn’t that USC backed off on recruiting but just whiffed on a number of top recruits that went to Cal or Stanford or elsewhere. With USC’s new swim stadium, the feeling was “build it and they will come”. It didn’t quite happen for class of 2014 but it has for class of 2015.

About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swim/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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