The University of Southern California has added another verbal commitment to its men’s swimming and diving class of 2023: Max Saunders of Los Gatos, California. He joins Andy Lee, Ivan Puskovitch, Jack Kirby, and Trent Martinez who have all declared their intent to swim for the Trojans in the fall of 2019.
“I am proud to announce my commitment to the University of Southern California. Thanks to all my friends, family, and Coaches who made this possible. I’m very excited to spend my next four years as a Trojan. Fight On!”
Saunders hails from the town of Los Gatos in Northern California. He is a senior at Bellarmine College Preparatory and he swims year-round for Santa Clara Swim Club where he specializes in sprint freestyle. According to his SCSC coach, Allison Beebe, Saunders “is a former water polo player who turned to full time competitive swimming last winter. He is a USA Swimming Summer Junior National qualifier and CCS Champion.”
Saunders won the 100 free by a full second (44.15, only 4/10 off the Section record from 2009) at the 2018 CIF-North Coast Section Championships last May. He also contributed to the Section record-breaking 200 free relay (20.14 anchor) and winning 400 free relay (43.92 anchor) and was runner-up in the 50 free (20.55) individual race. This summer he achieved PBs in all his best events at Summer Junior Nationals: LCM 50 free (23.43), 100 free (51.53), and 200 free (1:56.03).
Top SCY times:
- 50 free – 20.55
- 100 free – 44.15
- 200 free – 1:40.22
- 500 free – 4:36.78
- 100 fly – 51.26
The Trojans had a senior-heavy sprint group last season. At 2018 Pac-12s, 3 seniors scored in the A final of the 100 free: Santo Condorelli (1st), Dylan Carter (6th), and Ralf Tribuntsov (8th). Then-freshmen Jake Sannem and Justin Nguyen both scored in the C final but neither is on the USC roster this fall. With Sannem’s transfer to Texas and Nguyen’s absence, the incoming freshman class, led by Alexei Sancov and Indiana transfer Nikola Miljenic, will shoulder much of the burden of the Trojans’ sprint group reboot this year. (See analysis here.) Saunders will thus be a welcomed addition in the fall of 2019.
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