USC Men Sign Euro Champ Medalist; to Join Team in January

  7 Braden Keith | November 25th, 2012 | International, News

Even now a few months into the 2012-2013 season, pieces are still settling into place that will have a major impact on the final standings come March. Dave Salo and the USC Trojans have signed an Israeli backstroker named Yakov Toumarkin who is as big of an international difference maker as there is at his age. He is expected to join the squad in January.

Toumarkin exploded at May’s long course European Championships to steal a spot on the Israeli Olympic Team in their best discipline: the backstrokes. There, he swam a 54.1 in the 100 back and a 1:57.3 in the 200 back, which scored him a pair of bronze medals. He has also been a 2:01.4 in the 200 IM.

USC already has a great backstroker in Alex Lendrum, whom Toumarkin will join in their training group, but he specializes in the 200. Toumarkin has the speed to be a game-changer in the medley relays: his times convert to 46-low and a 1:40 in the 100 and 200 backstrokes. Those should both make him an A-Finalist at NCAA’s.

Even as a mid-season entry and a freshman, Toumarkin (who is pretty good in short course meters, though not yet as good as long course) should make at least a 40-point impact on USC. With Vlad Morozov swimming as well as ever at the European Championships, and a few different options on their breaststroke and butterfly legs, USC’s medley relays look top-5 worthy right now.

Toumarkin didn’t swim at the European Championships in order to preserve his ability to join USC in January. This is the second-straight season that USC has added a mid-season surprise, as Cristian Quintero had a great year after joining mid-year in 2011-2012.

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7 Comments on "USC Men Sign Euro Champ Medalist; to Join Team in January"

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I would imagine that Salo is also hoping he can help convert his “average” freestyle times to “above average” freestyle times.

I bet he easily splits 19/43 on relays if they need him.

Though Vladdy nearly does that SCM…

didn’t’ sc sign a bunch of US guys in the fall? other than Texas in years past every top team has a few guys from outside the US to bolster their line-ups.

NCAA eligibility is very complicated for foreign swimmers competing at the top level. However, once you are eligible the rules are not the same as those determining the initial eligibility, which applies to Vlad. Additionally, Vlad is currently redshirting.


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The most common question asked about Braden Keith is "when does he sleep?" That's because Braden has, in two years in the game, become one of the most prolific writers in swimming at a level that has earned him the nickname "the machine" in some circles. He first got his feet …

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