Way Too Early Recruit Ranks: Girls High School Class of 2022

We continue our traditional spring recruiting coverage with our “Way Too Early” ranks of the current high school sophomore class. As top recruits continue to give verbal commitments earlier and earlier, we’re moving up our rankings to help give better context to big recruiting announcements.

Before we run over our traditional ranking methodology, we should head off a few counterarguments at the pass:

  • Isn’t this too early to have a good read on talent? Aren’t 16-year-old kids still improving? Maybe. On the other hand, coaches are clearly finding roster spots for kids who verbally commit this early. And if we and our readership want to have the most accurate picture of how the recruiting season is playing out, it’ll be useful to have some sort of ranking – even one still very much in flux – to refer to as big-name swimmers commit.
  • But recruiting ranks don’t matter. It’s the fast-dropping swimmers and diamonds in the rough that really have the biggest NCAA impact. Not true. There are always fast-rising swimmers who quickly develop into NCAA stars. But there are far less of them than there are elite high school prospects that become high-impact NCAA swimmers. We all love the Cinderella stories, the unranked recruits who flourish into dominators. But even those rags-to-riches stories aren’t as fleshed out if they don’t have a clearly-defined “rags” setup. These ranks help show us who is most likely to become NCAA standouts… but also contextualize where the eventual breakout stars originally rated compared to peers. If you, your favorite swimmer or your son/daughter isn’t ranked, don’t get mad – see it as the starting point for your/their rise to stardom.
  • How accurate can these be with two plus years of development to go before any of these swimmers compete in the NCAA? Who knows? This is as new to us as it is to you. For these ranks, we’re a little less concerned with actual NCAA scoring times than we are in our junior/senior ranks, and probably marginally more interested in “ceilings” – wide event ranges, versatility, etc. But as with any ranking, these are ultimately nothing more than a snapshot in time: what the top of this recruiting class looks like in the moment, with full admission that a lot of these ranks can and will change by the time they finish their senior years.

THE METHODOLOGY

Our goal in these rankings is to reflect what college coaches look for in recruits, based on many years of conversations and coverage.

We focus only on American-based athletes, simply because there is so much uncertainty with international recruits – if they’ll come to the United States, when they’ll come to the States and with what graduating class they should be ranked. Projecting international recruits often becomes more a discussion of when they’ll first join a college program and not which program they’ll join.

A few other factors that weigh heavily in our rankings:

  • Relay Value – Relay points count double in college swimming, and any program needs a strong stable of quality sprinters to fill out all 5 relays with stars. Obviously, a special distance swimmer can easily rank ahead of a very good 100 freestyler, but college swimming generally values a sprint freestyler over a distance swimmer, all other factors being equal.
  • Improvements – Actual times are the trump card, but any big improvements in quality can make a difference as well. For example, a swimmer who only took up year-round swimming as a junior in high school going the same time as a swimmer whose been swimming year-round since they were 8 will probably get the edge in our rankings.
  • Short Course over Long Course – while every club and every swimmer will have a different balance of focus between short course and long course swimming, the NCAA competes in short course yards, and that’s going to be the main factor considered in these rankings. Long course times are another data point for consideration, but we mainly view them through the lens of what a big long course swim could mean for an athlete’s future in short course.
  • NCAA scoring ability – NCAAs are the big show for college teams, so we’ve weighted NCAA scoring potential very highly. Swimmers who already have NCAA scoring times wind up mostly filling out the top our of rankings. Since college athletic directors – and by extension coaches – also place high value on conference championships, scoring ability at conference meets is also a factor in our rankings.
  • Relative depth in the NCAA and recruiting class – a wealth of elite depth nationwide in one stroke discipline makes a big difference in what times are considered more valuable in that event. Events rise at different rates in the NCAA, but when one event gets extremely deep and fast at the college level, it makes high school prospects in those events a little less valuable, relatively, with lots of other veteran options. In the same way, a recruiting class stacked with swimmers in butterfly, for example, would make each butterflyer a little less sought-after in the market, with lots of other recruiting options able to provide similar production.

Of course, there’s no way to predict the future, and the most concrete data we have to go on are cold, hard times. These rankings in no way mean that all of these 20 swimmers will be NCAA standouts, and they certainly don’t mean that no swimmer left off this list will make big contributions at the NCAA level.

THIS CLASS

  • One of the best IM classes ever
  • Deep class of fly/back types
  • 200s often better than 100s at this point
  • A few elite sprinters, but then a dropoff
  • Relatively weak distance free class

This group is built around IMers. We’ve got three 400 IMers below 4:08 as sophomores in high school, and at least ten more below 4:16. There’s a huge class of sub-2:00 swimmers in the 200 IM, including two with NCAA scoring times already. For programs that value IMers and the versatility they bring to lineups, this will be a dream class to recruit.

The other strong point of the class is in fly/back combo types. A lot of the IMers cross over into one or both of those strokes, but there’s plenty of depth in fly and back even behind the standout swimmers at the top of the class. Programs that can scout well are going to find great sleeper talent lower in these ranks, as a lot of the swimmers just off our top 20 are bunched tightly together.

Among the stars of the class, 200s generally take precedence over 100s at this point. That’s not uncommon for young swimmers, who are still building the muscle and speed to reach NCAA scoring levels in the shorter events. As you go down the ranks, things plane out a lot more, with some 100 specialists dotted in among the 200 types. The one exception is breaststroke, where this class seems clearly better at the 100 right now with a lot of development still needed in the longer distance.

If there’s a weak spot in the class, it’s freestyle. We’ve got a superstar sprinter at the top of the class, but things drop off precipitously from there. After our #1-ranked 21.7/47.6 swimmer (guess who?), we’ve only got one other swimmer under 49 in the 100, and that’s even including the supporting events for the other stars at the top of the class. In the 50, this group goes from 21.7 to a couple of 22-mids to mostly 22-highs.

At least sprint free has those standouts. For now, this isn’t the class to get an instant-impact miler, with no one faster than 16:28. For reference, last year we had at least eight swimmers with faster miles. That should change, though: most of the distance types in this class are dropping fast, and probably the best distance swimmer in the class hasn’t logged a 1650 since 2016, though her long course 1500 suggests she’ll easily be the best in this class when she does swim it.

Top Times in the Class of 2022
50 Free Claire Curzan 21.77
100 Free Claire Curzan 47.67
200 Free Claire Tuggle 1:44.96
500 Free Claire Tuggle 4:41.36
1000 Free** Claire Tuggle 9:41.96
1650 Free Kylee Grafmiller 16:28.47
100 Back Claire Curzan 51.23
200 Back Rye Ulett 1:51.84
100 Breast Emma Weber 59.74
200 Breast Emma Weber 2:10.39
100 Fly Claire Curzan 50.35
200 Fly Charlotte Hook 1:53.70
200 IM Charlotte Hook 1:54.79
400 IM Justina Kozan 4:05.67

**The 1000 free isn’t an event at the Division I NCAA Championships, but is swum instead of the 1650 in many Division I dual meets and is part of the NCAA program in Division II.

With that out of the way, let’s get to our rankings.

Disclaimer: there are a lot of high school sophomores in the country, and no really good, complete, 100% accurate listing of them all. If you don’t see your favorite swimmer on the list, feel free to politely point them out in the comments. There’s a chance that we disagree with your assessment of their spot in the top 20, and so long as it’s done civilly, there’s no problem with differences of opinions. There’s also a chance that we’ve simply missed a no-brainer (we’ve taken every precaution to avoid that), and if that happens, we want to make sure we correct it.

TOP 20 SWIMMERS FROM THE CLASS OF 2022

1. Claire Curzan – TAC Titans – Cardinal Gibbons High School – Cary, NC
Best Times: 100 fly – 50.35, 200 fly – 1:54.36, 50 free – 21.77, 100 free – 47.67, 200 free – 1:45.47, 100 back – 51.23, 200 back – 1:52.76, 200 IM – 1:59.63

Claire Curzan is a blue-chip talent who will fit into the NCAA format extremely well. She’s the top swimmer in the class in four events: 50 free, 100 free, 100 fly, and 100 back. That’s pretty much a monopoly over the class’s top relay value. The 100 fly is probably Curzan’s most impressive time right now, though even that could be up for debate. She’s the national high school record-holder in the 100 fly, and very nearly took down the 100 back mark this year, too. Her 100 fly and 50 free would have made NCAA A finals in 2019. Of the three classes we’ve ranked as sophomores, Curzan has the fastest time of any swimmer in the 50 free (closest is Gretchen Walsh, ’21, in 21.82) and 100 fly (closest is Torri Huske, ’21, in 51.29). Curzan swims very well up to the 200 free and could factor into any of the five relays. She’s also an elite long course swimmer (57.8 in fly, 25.3/55.6 in free) and is well-deserving of the #1 rank nationally.

2. Charlotte Hook – TAC Titans – Cary Academy – Raleigh, NC
Best Times: 200 fly – 1:53.70, 200 IM – 1:54.79, 400 IM – 4:07.42, 100 fly – 52.20, 100 back – 52.85, 200 back – 1:55.28, 1650 free – 16:28.61, 1000 free – 9:42.51, 500 free – 4:46.27, 200 free – 1:46.28, 100 free – 50.71, 50 free – 23.00, 100 breast – 1:01.59, 200 breast – 2:13.91

If there was an NCAA competition where you had to swim every single event, Hook might be the best recruit we’ve ever ranked. Above, we listed all 14 of the NCAA’s events, and Hook would probably make our top 25 or so in every single discipline by itself. Her 200 fly and IM races project best at the moment – she’s got NCAA scoring times in all three of those races, with NCAA invite times in both backstrokes to boot. Hook didn’t improve her times much this year, but definitely put an increased focus on long course, with appearances at the fall Pro Swim Series meet and U.S. Open. Hook went 4:47 in the 400 IM shortly before coronavirus started canceling meets, and it’s fair to suspect her long course times would have continued to drop this summer. Hook was #6 in the nation in the 200-meter fly last summer (2:07.87) and had an outside chance at an Olympic berth this year.

3. Justina Kozan – Brea Aquatics – Walnut High School – Brea, CA
Best Times: 400 IM – 4:05.67, 200 IM – 1:56.31, 200 fly – 1:54.75, 100 fly – 52.42, 200 back – 1:55.74, 100 back – 54.12, 200 free – 1:45.15, 100 free – 49.05, 50 free – 23.08

You’re not seeing double. Hook and Kozan are eerily similar in their event distribution and versatility. Kozan is slightly faster in the 400 IM, in fact, just off what it took to make an NCAA A final in 2019. She’s a tick slower in the 200 IM and 200 fly and a little less versatile. But what Kozan has going for her are time drops. She’s just starting to put it together in her best events, going from 4:16 to 4:05 in that 400 IM over her sophomore year. Kozan was 1:56 in the 200 fly a year ago, and she’s also dropped four seconds in the 200 back. Unlike Curzan in North Carolina, Kozan didn’t get her high school state meet this spring – last year, she put up lifetime-bests in the 200 IM and 50 free at that meet. Kozan is also excellent relay value (a good deal faster than Hook in the 100/200 frees) and an elite long course swimmer with times of 2:11/4:44 in the IMs and 55.8 in the 100 free – that’s Curzan-level speed.

4. Claire Tuggle – Santa Maria Swim Club – Clovis North High School – Mariposa, CA
Best Times: 200 free – 1:44.96, 500 free – 4:41.36, 1000 free – 9:41.96, 1650 free – 17:41.17, 100 free – 49.43, 200 fly – 1:59.55, 400 IM – 4:16.91, 200 IM – 1:59.62

A huge name, Tuggle is definitely a better long course swimmer at this point in her career. The argument, of course, would be that Tuggle has intentionally put her focus there in the leadup to the Olympic year, and it wouldn’t be shocking to see her challenge the top three in this class when we return to ranking in future years. Tuggle has the best 200, 500, and 1000 free in the class. According to the SWIMS database, she’s logged just two miles in her short course career, both in 2016. So that 17:41 is nothing more than a placeholder. For reference, keeping up her 1000 pace per 100 (roughly 58.2) would put Tuggle just a little over 16 minutes. Supporting that are her elite long course times: 4:07 in the 400 is most impressive, but Tuggle was also 1:58.2/56.2 in the 200/100 and 8:37/16:39 in the 800/1500. Tuggle has extraordinary range that could allow her to be a true distance swimmer in the NCAA but still contribute on relays.

5. Zoe Dixon – Nova of Virginia – Mills E. Godwin High School – Richmond, VA
Best Times: 400 IM – 4:06.43, 200 IM – 1:57.22, 200 back – 1:55.42, 100 back – 53.81, 200 fly – 1:59.14, 100 fly – 54.62, 100 breast – 1:02.28

Another one of this class’s outstanding IMers, Dixon dropped a full ten seconds in her 400 IM over her sophomore year. She’s currently got an NCAA scoring time that’s on the cusp of A final level and also near the best in the class. None of her other times are at that level quite yet, but Dixon has great versatility and should be able to be a three-event scorer early in her career. She also managed to get both lifetime-best IMs in under the wire in early March, but typically hit a lot of lifetime-bests at NCSAs, which were canceled. Like most of this top 10, Dixon is a great long course swimmer, too, highlighted by a 4:45 400 IM.

6. Rye Ulett – Dynamo Swim Club – Atlanta, GA
Best Times: 200 back – 1:51.84, 100 back – 52.87, 500 free – 4:47.92, 200 free – 1:47.30, 400 IM – 4:14.94, 200 IM – 1:59.33, 200 fly – 2:00.90, 100 fly – 54.86

There are a few names on this list that are going to feel familiar – Ulett is the first of several younger siblings of previous top-20 recruits. Her older sister Tristen is a top-ranked butterflier in the class of 2020, and signed on with Louisville. Relatively speaking, Rye is ahead of even her sister’s pace. A 1:51.84 in the 200 back is a top-tier time – it took 1:51.5 to make the NCAA A final in 2019. The next few recruiting classes are going to load up the NCAA with elite backstrokers (Berkoff last year; Smith, A.Walsh, Bacon, Stadden this year; G.Walsh next year), but Ulett has the potential to be right in the mix with that crew. She’s on a great improvement curve, coming from 53.7/1:53.8 as a freshman to 52.8/1:51.8 this year.

7. Lucy Bell – Fort Collins Area Swim Team – Fossil Ridge High School – Fort Collins, CO
Best Times: 200 fly – 1:55.85, 100 fly – 52.24, 400 IM – 4:12.42, 200 IM – 1:58.16, 100 free – 49.17, 200 free – 1:50.01, 50 free – 23.31

Anybody need another IMer? Bell is a great 200 flyer, and she’ll probably either fit that with both IMs, or focus in on fly and add an IM as a tertiary event. She didn’t cut in her 200 fly or 400 IM this year, but those lifetime-bests came from a spring Sectional meet that was canceled this year. Sitting right on the cusp of NCAA scoring times in both of those events (it took 1:55.4 in the fly and 4:08.4 in the IM in 2019), Bell should be an instant-impact addition by her freshman year, if her improvements continue. Based on that 49.1 freestyle, you’d expect to see some incoming drops in her 200 and 50 frees, which will do wonders for her relay impact. Bell is yet another great long course talent who is sub-minute in the 100-meter fly and 2:11 in the 200.

8. Emma Weber – University of Denver Hilltoppers – Fairview High School – Boulder, CO
Best Times: 100 breast – 59.74, 200 breast – 2:10.39, 200 IM – 2:02.30

This isn’t the strongest breaststroke class, but Weber is easily the #1 swimmer of the bunch. She’s got the only sub-minute 100 of the class right now, and 59.7 as a sophomore is very respectable. (Last year’s sophomores had no one under a minute, though the class before that had a couple). It took 59.9 to get an NCAA invite this year. Weber is also just tenths off the 2020 NCAA invite time in the 200 breast. Bigger than that, though, her trajectory makes her a huge recruiting target. As of last year, Weber was 1:01.3 and 2:14.3 in breaststroke. That’s almost two seconds of drops in the 100 and four full seconds dropped in the 200. Weber could help her stock with a reliable third event, and a cut from 2:04 to 2:02 in the IM is a good start. Keep an eye on a 2:29.9 in long course breaststroke, too.

9. Kennedy Noble – YMCA Westside Silver Fins – Millennium High School – Avondale, AZ
Best Times: 100 back – 52.49, 200 back – 1:54.47, 100 fly – 53.74, 200 IM – 2:00.87, 400 IM – 4:16.76, 200 free – 1:49.71, 100 free – 49.81

Outside of Curzan (who may not swim backstroke in college), Noble has the fastest 100 back in this class at 52.4. She’s cut a half-second there since last year. Her 200 back isn’t at the level of someone like Ulett, but is still a half-second off of NCAA invite status. Butterfly and IM give her nice versatility, and Noble also has good developmental speed in the relay-distance freestyles. The event to keep an eye on is that 200 back, where she cut 1.4 seconds as a sophomore and has lots of room to grow into a college-level scorer. The other big drop was the 400 IM, where Noble went from 4:22 to 4:16, though that event doesn’t jive as well with the 100 back in the NCAA lineup.

10. Natalie Mannion – Commonwealth Swimming – Buckingham Browne & Nichols School – Boston, MA
Best Times: 100 back – 53.07, 200 back – 1:54.24, 500 free – 4:45.93, 200 free – 1:46.83, 100 free – 49.70, 200 fly – 2:00.01, 200 IM – 1:59.95

Mannion is another really good backstroker in this class, but she crosses over a little more into the mid-distance freestyles as opposed to butterfly. 1:54.2 in the 200 back would have been just a few tenths off of a 2020 NCAA invite, and Mannion dropped more than a second there as a sophomore. Her 100 back cut more than a second, too, and stacks up alongside most of the top backstrokers in this class, outside of Curzan. That 1:46.8 in the 200 free is probably going to catch the eyes of college coaches – Mannion is among the better options in the class there and should be an 800 free relay leg fairly early on in her career. She’s also only 55 in the short course 100 fly, but she went 1:02 in long course last spring, so there’s solid off-event potential there, too.

11. Emma Karam – Reno Aquatic Club – Galena High School – Reno, NV
Best Times: 100 back – 52.75, 200 back – 1:54.93

More of a backstroke specialist, Karam is very close to NCAA invite times in both backstrokes. She’s a fast-riser who has just started to break through in backstroke, and may have more time to drop in her off-events, too. Since this time last year, Karam went from 1:58.2 to 1:54.9 in the 200 back and 54.5 to 52.7 in that 100 back. As far as additional events go, Karam could just focus on underwaters and add the 100 fly (she’s 56 there for now), or train down for speed with her 23.7 50 free.

12. Hayden Miller – Cypress Fairbanks – Cypress Creek High School – Houston, TX
Best Times: 500 free – 4:42.74, 200 free – 1:47.60, 1650 free – 16:33.56

Miller isn’t far off of the best distance freestyles in the class, and she’s closing fast. That 4:42 in the 500 free is only about a second behind Tuggle, and Miller dropped a whopping seven seconds over her sophomore year. She also cut fifteen in her mile and wouldn’t need much more to take over as the best-in-class there. She swims down to the 200 well, which ups her value in the NCAA. Miller also had a nice winter in long course, going 4:14 and 8:44 in freestyle in early 2020.

13. Carly Novelline – NASA Wildcat Aquatics – New Trier High School – Winnetka, IL
Best Times: 50 free – 22.46, 100 free – 48.82, 200 free – 1:48.33, 100 back – 53.39, 200 back – 1:57.87, 200 IM – 2:01.38

We haven’t had a true sprint freestyler on this list since Curzan at #1. That says something about the composition of this class. Novelline stands on her own as the bridge between Curzan and the rest of the class, who are mostly 22-high/49-mid types. Novelline will be a relay force early on in her college career. In 2019, most of her big drops came at NCSAs, so the coronavirus cancellations is probably keeping her from rising up this list a little. Even despite that, she had some small drops in 2020 without appearing to have a major rest meet. Novelline also had a tremendous summer of 2019, going 25.9/55.7/2:02.0 in long course meters freestyle.

14. Katie Crom– Mission Viejo Nadadores – Tesoro High School – Rancho Santa Margarita, CA
Best Times: 200 fly – 1:56.00, 500 free – 4:46.52, 400 IM – 4:15.34, 200 free – 1:48.46, 200 IM – 2:02.48, 100 fly – 55.03, 100 free – 50.25, 50 free – 23.35

Just what you’d expect from a Mission Viejo club that produced Katie McLaughlin, among others. Crom is a standout 200 flyer who is great in all the brutally tough events. Crom is only about half a second off of NCAA scoring-level in the 200 fly. Last year, she focused on freestyle during high school season and dropped from 51.1/1:51.6/4:48.6 to 50.2/1:48.4/4:46.5. She won’t get an opportunity to do that this year, though, with California’s high school season on hold. Keep an eye on Crom to rise once swimming does start up again, though. She’s also a great long course swimmer: 2:10 in the 200-meter fly, 4:47 in the 400-meter IM and 56.6/2:00.7/4:12 in freestyle, among others.

15. Zoe Skirboll – Racer X Aquatics – Fox Chapel Area High School – Pittsburgh, PA
Best Times: 100 breast – 1:00.89, 200 IM – 1:58.75, 50 free – 22.87, 100 free – 50.31, 200 free – 1:48.86, 200 breast – 2:15.71, 100 fly – 54.71

Skirboll has some thrilling event range, and has the ability to be an absolute monster of a recruit. She probably would have ranked higher last year, with pretty much all these times coming from her freshman year. Skirboll typically swam Pennsylvania’s high school state meet and NCSAs in the spring. She didn’t appear on PIAA psych sheets this year, but may have been targeting NCSAs before it was canceled. 1:00.8 ranks pretty highly in this class in breaststroke. Skirboll is also one of the better 50 freestylers of this bunch, and a good 200 IMer to boot.

16. Blair Stoneburg – Treasure Coast Aquatics – Jensen Beach High School – Jensen Beach, FL
Best Times: 200 free – 1:46.25, 500 free – 4:46.96, 100 free – 49.35, 23.09, 1000 free – 9:56.04, 1650 free – 16:45.14, 100 fly – 53.78

Stoneburg is a rangy freestyler who could fit at the college level anywhere from the 50 to the 1650. She seems to be having her biggest leaps forward in the distance freestyles: since her freshman season, Stoneburg went from 4:53 to 4:46 in the 500, 1:48.2 to 1:46.2 in the 200, and from 17:14 to 16:45 in the mile. The sneaky time that gets lost there is a 53.7 butterfly. Based on her 200/500 freestyle ability, Stoneburg could become a bruiser of a 200 flyer. One high-level comparison could be Katie Drabot, who came out of high school as a freestyler but has become more of a butterflyer at the college level.

17. Kayla Wilson – Tide Swimming – Norfolk Academy – Virginia Beach, VA
Best Times: 200 free – 1:46.29, 500 free – 4:48.32, 100 free – 49.70, 50 free – 23.06

Wilson is very similar to Stoneburg from the 50 through the 500. She, too, has had great 500 free drops, going from 4:54 to 4:48 as a sophomore. The 1:46.2 in the 200 free is big for relay value, and Wilson should mostly swim down towards the sprints at this point. She actually dropped more than a second this year in her 100 free, coming from 50.8 at this time last season. Some good long course times (most notably 2:01 in the 200-meter free) are a nice bonus.

18. Renee Gillilan – Fort Collins Area Swim Team – Fossil Ridge High School – Fort Collins, CO
Best Times: 100 fly – 52.95, 100 back – 53.76, 200 fly – 1:59.30, 200 IM – 2:00.57

That 52.9 is a standout time in this part of the rankings – it’s only about six tenths off what it took to get an NCAA invite last year. If she can bring her other times more into line with her 100 fly, Gillilan should make moves up this list. She’s another one of the fly/back hybrid types in this class, with a very good 100 back to go along with her fly. The concern is that Gillilan went mostly backwards over her sophomore year despite swimming her high school state meet and Winter Juniors before the coronavirus hit. Gillilan is the younger sister of top-tier recruit Coleen Gillilan, now a freshman at Notre Dame.

19. Issie Abrajan – Mission Viejo Nadadores – Santa Margarita Catholic High School – Ladera Ranch, CA
Best Times: 100 fly – 53.83, 200 fly – 1:57.88, 100 back – 53.98, 200 back – 2:00.17, 200 IM – 2:00.72, 400 IM – 4:16.91

Getting the sense of how deep this class is with fly/back swimmers yet? Abrajan probably projects best as a flyer who crosses over into backstroke for the 100. She didn’t have a very good sophomore year, fading back to 55s in both fly and back during the season. But it’s possible she was planning to put a major focus on California’s high school season, which didn’t happen in the slew of cancelations this spring.

20. Scarlet Martin – Eastern Iowa Swim Federation – Iowa City West High School – Iowa City, IA
Best Times: 100 fly – 53.41, 200 fly – 1:57.91, 200 IM – 2:02.56, 100 back – 54.42

Martin is another good flyer, and she’s moving the opposite direction of Gillilan and Abrajan. martin dropped a massive three seconds in her 200 fly this year (from 2:00.9 to 1:57.9), and nearly a full second in her 100 fly. Backstroke is coming along as a potential tertiary event, with a nearly-two-second drop as a sophomore. Martin is the younger sister of Arizona State sophomore Ruby – we guess their parents like the color red.

ONES TO WATCH

We’re throwing in one more short list – a handful of swimmers who piqued our interest. They didn’t yet have the full complement of times to make our top 20, but seemed to have enough intrigue that we’ve earmarked them as names to keep an eye on over the next year, where they could develop into top threats for one reason or another.

  • Kylee Grafmiller (Blue Tide Aquatics / Kingwood High School / Humble, TX)
    Grafmiller is the best miler in the class at 16:28, and she dropped 15 seconds there this year. She’s also had nice drops in her 500 free (4:53 to 4:49) and 200 free (1:51 to 1:48.7) and should be a nice pickup for a distance-oriented program.
  • Sophie Duncan (Nation’s Capital Swim Club / Holton-Arms School / Bethesda, MD)
    In this deep IM class, a 1:59.5/4:14.8 swimmer like Duncan gets squeezed out, if only because she doesn’t have a great third event yet. But we have to include her in ‘ones to watch’ because of her massive drop from 4:21 to 4:14 in the IM this year.
  • Laci Black (Rockwall Aquatic Center of Excellence / Rockwall, TX)
    Another 4:14 IMer who finishes just outside our top 20. Like Dunan, Black had a big time drop there this year: from 4:20 to 4:14.9. She also dropped 14 seconds in the mile and her 16:37 has her among the better options in the class.
  • Michelle Morgan (Pipeline Swimming / Freedom High School / Tampa, FL)
    Morgan is a very good 500 freestyler (4:46.0) and also one of the class’s better milers (16:32). She mostly misses the top 20 because her relay event (a 1:49.4 200 free) isn’t quite at the level of the distance swimmers on the list. 4:15 in the IM makes Morgan a name to watch next year in our re-rank, too.
  • Ella Welch (Cardinal Aquatics / Assumption High School / Louisville, KY)
    Welch’s speed in the sprints (22.7/49.5) is going to give her plenty of avenues for impact in the NCAA. She doesn’t have any other top-20 type times yet, but has pretty intriguing versatility, from a 1:02 breaststroke to a 54 butterfly to a 2:01 IM. And the big standout is a 1:00 long course 100 fly that bodes well for Welch’s future.

BEST OF THE REST

New this year: this isn’t an exhaustive list, but we can rattle off a few of the athletes we studied who wound up just outside the top 20 in each event discipline. For the purposes of space, we won’t include every top event for these athletes, but just a few of their standouts. Each of these athletes is still an extremely high-level recruit:

  • Sprint free:
    • Tatum Wall (22.8/49.6/1:47.9, 53.5FL)
    • Riley Francis (23.2/49.5/1:47.0/4:49.4)
    • Gretchen Lueking (23.6/49.7/1:47.2)
  • Distance free:
    • Lucy Malys (16:29/9:56/4:47.9)
    • Morgan Razewski (16:38/9:46/4:47/1:47.5)
  • Backstroke:
    • Malia Francis (54.0/1:56.0)
    • Meghan DiMartile (53.7/1:58.7)
  • Breaststroke:
    • Lydia Jacoby (1:00.4/2:14.6)
    • Kaelyn Gridley (1:00.8/2:13.0)
  • Butterfly:
    • Sydney Lu (53.6/1:57.9)
    • Morgan Gore (54.5/1:57.9)
    • Devon Kitchel (53.3, 54.9BK)
  • IM:
    • Rosie Murphy (2:01.1/4:15.9, 1:56.1BK)

BONUS LOOKBACK:

Feeling nostalgic? Here’s a look back at our recruiting class rankings since we started ranking classes in 2012:

Girls
Recruiting Class
High School Class of 2022 Way Too Early Ranks As Sophomores
High School Class of 2021 Way Too Early Ranks As Sophomores Ranks as Juniors
High School Class of 2020 Way Too Early Ranks As Sophomores Ranks as Juniors Re-Rank As Seniors
High School Class of 2019 Ranks as Juniors Re-Rank As Seniors
High School Class of 2018 Ranks as Juniors Re-Rank As Seniors
High School Class of 2017 Ranks as Juniors
High School Class of 2016 Ranks as Juniors
High School Class of 2015 Ranks as Juniors Post-college retrospective
High School Class of 2014 Ranks as Juniors Post-college retrospective
High School Class of 2013 Ranks as Juniors Post-college retrospective

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Mike

Top 2 recruits from the same area. Has there ever been a ranking of top swimming areas in the country? I.E. where the best swimmers come from?

From the same TEAM!

If we can come up with a list of criteria for “best,” wouldn’t be too hard to do. That is, if we can split it by LSC or Zone, as compared to, say, state.

PVSFree

I think “best” could be easily defined by a mix of top recruits (measured by your rankings over the year), contributors to NCAA points (like Seliskar counting for PVS as his origin LSC), Trials qualifiers, and members of the National team

Sophie

Seems like it would be something that would be easy enough to do. PVS is an obvious, Socal, Pacific, the various Texas LSCs, North Carolina, Florida, Minnesota, are there any other obvious ones that I’m missing? Definitely a few clubs as well that continue to produce over and over. An analysis of this would be great for a future article, though, Braden!

Mike

North Carolina would probably need to be split up into 2 areas, Charlotte and Raleigh.

NC Swim Fan

One LSC. Gotta go by LSC. If you start splitting or combining LSCs then it gets crazy. Should Richmond be with Fairfax (ie VA and PVS)? Should you split Las Vegas from LA, how about Santa Barbara? Should San Francisco split from Sacramento? Perhaps those are arguments to have but not on this topic.

Silent Observer

I think with that logic… You would need to split up California and Florida based on major cities lol

Swimgeek

Remarkable that 1 and 2 are from the same team. Are they in same training group or different facilities?

I believe that TAC only has one site – the Triangle Aquatic Center.

ihate200fly

i know both claire and charlotte personally and they swim in the same training group.

swimgeek

Thanks – I bet they push each other daily!

Pacific Whirl

Can this video be posted like the way the video published in order for some people to watch it? https://swimswam.com/claire-curzan-hits-the-backyard-pool-with-wetsuit-to-continue-training/ Because YouTube is blocked in some countries and areas. And I can watch the video in the link. I appreciate you for adjusting.

SEC SEC SEC

There’s a lot of speed in this class! Excited to see which of these athletes end up at Tennessee or Auburn. Nobody develops speed the way that way that Matt Kredich does and Auburn is coming off of a strong year!

Great battles for years to come

Swimfan

Well you forget about Florida women.

Ladyvoldisser

Uhhh try NCState, UVA, Cal, Stanford, Florida all GREAT swimming and GREAT ACADEMICS.

Pvdh

The best sprinter in the world is from Stanford…

Swimfan

Actually, Caleb Dressel is from Florida

Pvdh

Did he undergo a sex change?

Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel

Simone Manuel is from Sugar Land, TX. Katie Ledecky is from Bethesda, MD. Regan Smith is from Lakeville, MN.

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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