The Virginia Cavaliers are passionate about their men’s middle-distance freestylers. They have won 13-straight ACC titles in the 800 free relay, and in the last two years have put two middle-distance swimmers on the World Championship Team (Scot Robison and Matt McLean) and one on the Olympic Team (McLean).
Their latest verbal commit on the men’s side, though, could be the best of the whole bunch by the time he’s done. Italian Andrea D’Arrigo has decided to join that Cavalier tradition next fall.
He’s originally from Rome, but took a zig-zag path to Charlottesville, moving to Florida recently to train with the Gator Swim Club. He won’t swim collegiately for the Gators, however, having opted to head north to Virginia instead.
That leaves most of his results in long course, though he has a few yards times already from early this season (a 1:43 200 yard free and 4:34 500 yard free). If those are his times at the beginning of a season, his immediate potential should jump off of the page.
In long course, his best meet was last summer’s Sette Colli Trophy, where he was a 1:49.34 in the 200 free and a 3:51.72 in the 400 free. That 200 time converts to around a 1:35-mid in the 200 free. There’s never good conversions between the 400 long course and the 500 in yards, but for reference, that time is faster than, for example, Auburn A-FInalist Zane Grothe was over the summer.