UVA Men Begin Sprint Rebuilding With Henry Keel Verbal Commitment

Henry Keel of the Memphis Thunder Aquatic Club has verbally committed to the Virginia Cavaliers, he announced Sunday via his Twitter account.

Keel is a senior at Memphis University School, and specializes in the sprint freestyle without venturing too far from those races.

His best times in yards:

  • 50 free – 20.92
  • 100 free – 45.87
  • 200 free – 1:45.14
  • 100 fly – 53.98

Keel is a relative new-comer to the elite levels of club swimming, having not trained a full season of long course until after his sophomore year of high school.

Keel will begin the rebuild of a Virginia sprint group that is expected to be challenged this season. The Cavaliers return only one swimmer who flat-started faster than 20 seconds in the 50 free last season (Matt Lockman, junior, 19.96) and two better than 45 seconds in the 100 free (Nicholas Magana, 44.15, sophomore & Lockman, 44.18).

The result last season was an 8th place finish out of 11 teams in the ACC in the 200 free relay and a 9th place finish out of 11 teams in the ACC in the 400 free relay.

Virginia did pick up some good pieces in their recruiting class last fall, but none of them addressed their biggest need: sprint freestyles (Sam Magnan is an All-American distance freestyler, for example). In the short-term, expect 49-second butterflier and backstroker Zach Fong to be pressed into sprint freestyle duty this season; over the long-term, expect Virginia head coach Augie Busch to continue focusing his recruiting efforts on sprinters this fall.


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8 years ago

Congrats Henry!! Lots of potential in this guy. Great pick up for UVA

Joel Lin
8 years ago

All about getting the 45 and 44 second sprinters into the 43s and 42s now. If Augie is recruiting potential and coaches them up, UVA will have some strong relays in quick order. The women’s team development has been great.

Gina Rhinestone
8 years ago

He’s brave .

Reply to  Gina Rhinestone
8 years ago

Is this in reference to the hazing lawsuit? I would be willing to be that Virginia will have absolutely no hazing for the next few years due to the lawsuit so it’s probably one of the best places to go if you want to avoid that.

Reply to  DMSWIM
8 years ago

How about no hazing for the next few centuries? It’s over and it’s a good thing.

samuel huntington
8 years ago

as someone who follows the Cavs, I hope Augie can somehow turn around the men’s team. I am scared for duel meets this fall – will they even be able to field B relays for the sprints?

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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