USC, while already beginning on their 2015 recruiting class, has three names to shore up an otherwise extremely thin class of 2014 on the men’s side.
The three swimmers are Pawel Furtek of Poland, Ralf Tribunstov of Estonia, and Jon Knox from Sebastopol, California in the northern part of the state (near Santa Rosa).
Furtek is a distance swimmer with long courses bests of 3:52.4 in the 400 free, 7:57.9 in the 800 free and 15:10.3 in the 1500 free. While those three events are the most complex to apply a conversion to, Furtek generally is a very good short course swimmer as well, and a good time comparison is around the range of a swimmer like Auburn’s Zane Grothem who scored 20 individual points for Auburn at NCAA’s as a senior last year.
Furtek is 18 years old, and so the age of a traditional incoming freshman (he turns 19 in September).
Tribunstov hails from Estonia, and like most Estonians, he has speed-to-burn. In long course, he’s been 23.40/49.88 in the 50 and 100 free; 25.74/55.26 in the 50 and 100 backstroke; and 24.88/53.79 in the 50 and 100 butterflies.
Some conversions include a 43.4 in that 100 yard free, and a 48.70 in the 100 yard backstroke. He has a shot at scoring individually as a freshman, and should be a part of USC’s relay plans as he could swim any of three legs on the 200 medley.
Tribuntsov is a bit older than a standard freshman, but not by much. He’s 19, and will turn 20 after class begins also in September.
And finally, the American, Knox, has been 20.8 in the 50 yard free, 1:37.0 in the 200 free, 48.7 in the 100 back, and 1:47.1 in the 200 back. That includes a CIF North Coast Section title in the 100 back.
Knox is a swimmer who absolutely made the right decision by waiting until the spring to sign. When the fall signing period rolled around, his best was just a 1:39.5 in the 200 yard free and just a 21.6 in the 50 free. As a senior, he improved all of his best times by significant margins in his best events, leaving himself an attractive prospect.
That’s especially true for a team like USC that didn’t bring in a big haul in the fall. Among the best known signees in that fall group was James Clausen, a 4:25 500 yard freestyler and 1:51 200 yard IM’er; and Jason O’Brien, a 1:38 200 freestyler.