Venezuelan swimmer Carlos Claverie has committed to swim for Louisville in the fall, according to Venezuelan publication El Universal.
The Cardinals already have a huge recruiting footprint in South America, but that’s heavily centered on Brazil: the home country of their head coach Arthur Albiero. Their men’s roster during the 2013-2014 season had four Brazilians, including three-time National Champion Joao de Lucca.
Though the Brazilians are the best-known, there’s been a few other South Americans come through this program. Red shirt freshman Ruben Izarra is also from Venezuela, and former Cardinal Juan Lopez was from Colombia.
He told local media that his focus for the summer is the 2014 Youth Olympic Games, which he views as a much more prestigious meet than it was in 2010, its inaugural edition.
Claverie is one of his country’s best swimmers right now, though his name has not quite become household outside of South America yet. He holds the National Age Records across every age group in the country. including the overall National Record of 2:14.07 at last year’s Junior World Championships.
That was actually the second time last summer that he broke that record; at Worlds, he placed 30th in 2:15.76, which was the old National Record in the event. His best converts to around a 1:57-low in the 200 yard race, which makes him one of the top recruits in the class in that event.
He also holds several Junior Records in the 100 meter breaststroke, where his best is a 1:01.99; that converts to right around a 54.0 in yards. He’s less than two tenths short of the National Record, and either he or sprint-specialist Miguel Ferrera, who holds it now, should get it this summer.
While Louisville’s breaststroke group this past season wasn’t as impressive as it has been, it was still very good, and it was just a couple of years ago that Albeiro had the hottest breaststroke hand in the country. That included developing NCAA 200 breaststroke champion Carlos Almeida.
Other men in this class so far include Thomas Cooper, Todd Owen, and Jonathan Zoucha, who all signed in the fall. Cooper, Zoucha and Claverie are all bona-fide immediate-impact contributors, while Owen is a Louisville native who is a relative newcomer to the sport, but as a breaststroker has made big progress.