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James Conable from Alameda, a suburb outside of Oakland, CA, has committed to swim for Marist College in upstate New York for the 2021 season. When not representing the Alameda Gators in club swimming, he swims for Encinal High School, also located in Alameda.
While the pandemic canceled the 2020 edition of California’s high school championship seasons, Conable was Encinal’s sole qualifier for the CIF North Coast Section Championships in both 2019 and 2018 from the men’s team. For his freshman campaign, he qualified in the 500 free but did not make finals, although he sliced three seconds off his previous best at that meet.
In 2019, he swam the 500 free again, along with the 200 IM, and qualified for the B-final in both. That 500 free was a huge drop for Conable. Prior to this meet, his best was a 4:42. During prelims, he blasted a 4.39 to drop three seconds and lowered that even further in finals, coming in at 11th at a 4:37. His 200 IM was also a successful outing, dropping a second and a half to finish 11th at 1:54.
In club competition, Conable is a two-time sectionals qualifier in a variety of events, including both IM’s and the 100, 200, and 500 free. His latest outing was in February of 2020 at the Speedo Sectionals in Carlsbad, where he went a lifetime best in the 200 free by two seconds and was just off his bests in the rest of his swims.
Top Times SCY:
- 100 Free- 48.97
- 200 Free- 1:44.37
- 500 Free- 4:37.62
- 200 IM- 1:54.84
- 400 IM- 4:05.64
He primarily projects as a mid-distance talent in the 400 IM and 500 Free, which is accompanied by a stellar 200 IM. This will be key for Marist in their upcoming seasons, as they lost their top athlete in the 500 free last season and will lose their 2nd-best athlete in the 200 IM after this season. Despite the losses, Conable will join a strong mid-distance group as a freshman, which will consist of three seniors all under 4:40, and one at 4:32.
Conable will also be competitive at the conference level. Marist competes at both the MAAC and ECAC Conference Championships, which are usually a week apart. At the MAAC Championships in mid-February, he would have made the B-final in the 500 free and 400 IM, while at the ECAC Championships in late-February, he would have qualified for the B-final again in the 500, but moved up to the A-final in the 400 IM.
Conable committed to Marist about a month prior to head coach Larry VanWagner announcing retirement after the 2021 season. Currently, it is uncertain who will be replacing him for the coming seasons.
He is the first commit for the Red Fox men in the Class of 2025 so far, although the women’s team has picked up 3 recruits.
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