Way Too Early Recruit Ranks: Girls High School Class of 2024

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 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? Predicting the future never has a 100% hit rate. 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 of 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 carry the most weight by a longshot. But we also keep an eye on a swimmer’s trajectory, especially in deciding between two swimmers with relatively even times.
  • 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

  • Very deep sprint freestyle class with a ton of potential
  • Great group of IMers, especially 400 IMers
  • Thin in breaststroke and butterfly
  • Great top-end distance talent, but not as much depth
  • Strong 100 back class, still growing into 200 back

Since we started ranking sophomore classes in 2018, the #1 recruit on the women’s side has already been a household name among swimming fans. This year will be no different with breakout 2021 Olympian Katie Grimes joining Regan Smith (2020), Gretchen Walsh (2021), Claire Curzan (2022), and Bella Sims (2023) as the top recruit among sophomores. She leads a class that is really strong in top-end distance talent, but also very stratified: the depth drops off in a hurry.

This class is much more sprint-oriented at this point. There’s a mass of 22/49 types, so many of them that we couldn’t even fit them all into our “best of the rest” section. Expect a lot of shuffling within that group as the breakout stars start to distinguish themselves over their last two years of high school.

There’s a strong group of backstrokers at the top, and as in freestyle, we’re seeing a lot more speed than endurance right now. Most of the top backstrokers specialize in the 100 and are still developing their 200 times.

Ironically enough, it’s the exact opposite in the IMs, where the 400 IM times tend to stand out more than the 200 IMs across the board – that applies to both the top-end swimmers and the depth of the class.

If you’re looking for an immediate-impact breaststroker or butterflyer, this probably isn’t the best class for it yet. There are a few really good prospects in both strokes, but no 51/1:53 flyers or 58-second breaststrokers like we’ve seen in past classes. Some of that gets skewed by all-decade talents like Curzan or Torri Huske in previous classes, though, and this group has plenty of time to develop in both strokes.

Top Times in the Class of 2023
50 Free Anna Moesch 21.97
100 Free Anna Moesch 47.76
200 Free Anna Moesch 1:44.10
500 Free Katie Grimes 4:32.97
1000 Free** Katie Grimes 9:30.58
1650 Free Katie Grimes 15:43.72
100 Back Levenia Sim 51.03
200 Back Maggie Wanezek 1:52.36
100 Breast Piper Enge 59.83
200 Breast Piper Enge 2:09.09
100 Fly Levenia Sim 52.36
200 Fly Bailey Hartman 1:55.70
200 IM Leah Hayes 1:54.09
400 IM Katie Grimes 4:00.66

**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 2024

1. Katie Grimes – Sandpipers of Nevada – Las Vegas, NV
Best Times:

  • 400 IM: 4:00.66 (best in class)
  • 1650 free: 15:34.72 (best in class)
  • 1000 free: 9:25.58 (best in class)
  • 500 free: 4:32.97 (best in class)
  • 200 free: 1:44.43
  • 200 IM: 1:56.67
  • 200 back: 1:52.83
  • 100 back: 53.28
  • 200 fly: 1:57.60
  • 100 fly: 54.02

When we started ranking sophomore classes, we had no idea how easy it would become to pick the #1 recruit on the girls side. (If only it were that easy for the boys). Grimes exploded at the 2021 U.S. Olympic Trials to make the Olympic team at age 15. (Joining her on the Olympic team were the #1 recruits in three of the previous four sophomore classes we’ve ranked, too). She made the Olympics as an 800 freestyler, but she might actually project better as a collegiate 400 IMer in the short course pool. Her 4:00.66 is the fastest 400 IM time we’ve ever ranked – not just among sophomore classes, but among junior classes as well, going back to 2012. In fact, in the four other sophomore classes we’ve ranked, no swimmer has ever been faster than 4:05.5. Grimes’ time would have been third at this past year’s NCAA Championships – and she was only 15 years old when she swam it.

She’s got the fastest 1000 and 1650 free times we’ve ranked among sophomore classes, and is the second-best 500 free time behind only last year’s #1 recruit, fellow Olympian (and Sandpipers of Nevada teammate) Bella Sims. Grimes also swims down to the 200 free very well, which gives her the potential to contribute to relays. And what great distance prospect profile would be complete without a comparison to Katie Ledecky, so here goes: we weren’t ranking sophomores yet when Ledecky came through, but as a sophomore she was 1:42.9/4:31.3/9:22.3/15:28 in the 200 through 1650 freestyles. Grimes is not far off, and easily the best distance prospect we’ve seen since Ledecky.

2. Leah Hayes – Fox Valley Park District Riptide – Kaneland High School – Sugar Grove, IL
Best Times:

  • 200 IM: 1:54.09 (best in class)
  • 400 IM: 4:11.60
  • 200 free: 1:44.13
  • 100 free: 48.34
  • 50 free: 22.86

A longtime age group standout, Hayes projects as an oustanding IMer who should also carry a heavy relay load at the NCAA level. Her 1:54.09 is the best 200 IM time in this class by a longshot – no one is within two and a half seconds of Hayes there. She also stacks up well compared to the current NCAA field – she would have placed 7th at 2022 NCAAs with her best time. Hayes is just a tick off the best 200 IM we’ve ever ranked in a sophomore class. (Olympian Alex Walsh was 1:54.02 as a sophomore back in the class of 2020). She’s also a very good 400 IMer, and between her 100 and 200 free speed, she should be a plug-and-play relay weapon by the time she sets foot on a college campus. Hayes is arguably better in long course meters, too, where she’s been 2:09/4:39 in the IMs and 54.8/1:59.1 in free.

3. Anna Moesch – Greater Somerset County YMCA – Green Brook, NJ
Best Times:

  • 50 free: 21.97 (best in class)
  • 100 free: 47.76 (best in class)
  • 200 free: 1:44.10 (best in class)
  • 200 IM: 1:59.34
  • 400 IM: 4:18.81

Moesch has had a meteoric rise to becoming the class’s best sprint freestyler, separating herself from the clump of swimmers we noted at the top. At this time last year, she was 22.8/49.7/1:49.6 – that means drops of five and a half seconds in the 200 and two full seconds in the 100 free, showing a big improvement in her pacing and endurance. A standout 50/100/200 freestyler is going to have opportunities to contribute on any (or all) of the five NCAA relays, which is a massive recruiting value. Moesch distinguishes herself in another way, too: she’s an intriguing IMer, which could also suggest she’s got the chops to sprint a stroke or two if needed. Historically speaking, Moesch is a really high-level sprinter: she’s faster than the fastest sophomore sprinters in the class of 2020 (Alex Walsh‘s 22.0 and Regan Smith‘s 48.8) and checks in just a tick behind Class of 2022 standout Curzan (21.7/47.6 as a sophomore).

4. Levenia Sim – TNT Swimming – Spanish Fort High School – Spanish Fort, AL
Best Times:

  • 100 back: 51.03 (best in class)
  • 100 fly: 52.36 (best in class)
  • 200 back: 1:53.53
  • 200 fly: 1:56.56
  • 200 IM: 1:58.75
  • 100 free: 49.26
  • 50 free: 23.22

Sim is the best 100 backstroker in the class, edging out our #5 swimmer by a tenth of a second. 51.03 is the fastest 100 sophomore 100 back we’ve ranked since Regan Smith was 50.8 back in 2018 when we ranked the class of 2020. Sim compares favorably to Claire Curzan (51.2) and Gretchen Walsh (51.5) as sophomores. You could probably split hairs on #4 vs #5, but Sim does have two class-leading times and is better than our #5 swimmer in two of their three best events. Sim’s 200 back still lags a little behind her elite 100, but that’s a place we typically see a lot of development as swimmers even out their pacing later on in their high school years. Sim is also a very solid 200 IMer, and that may wind up being her best option as a third NCAA event, especially if she opts to avoid the 100 fly/100 back double in the NCAA format.

5. Maggie Wanezek – Elmbrook Swim Club – Brookfield East High School – Brookfield, WI
Best Times:

  • 100 back: 51.13
  • 200 back: 1:52.36 (best in class)
  • 100 fly: 53.97
  • 50 free: 22.68
  • 100 free: 49.76
  • 200 free: 1:48.74
  • 200 IM: 1:59.80

Wanezek is an oustanding backstroker out of Wisconsin, sitting just a tick off the class’s best time in both distances. Her 1:52.36 is the best 200 back in the class, and she’s a tenth out of the top 100 back time at 51.13. We’ve gotten a little spoiled with a run of amazing high school backstrokers lately, but Wanezek compares really, really well to the same huge names we mentioned above: Regan Smith (50.8), Claire Curzan (51.2) and Gretchen Walsh (51.5). Wanezek is a better two-distance backstroker than Sim is, with a much more polished 200 back that’s 1.6 seconds faster. She might project best as a 50 free/100 back/200 back type at the college level, although she’s also a good 100 flyer. The other good argument for putting Wanezek at #4 (seriously, we went back and forth on these two for awhile and there’s no wrong answer) is that she’s got more free relay value at this point.

6. Erika Pelaez – Eagle Aquatics – homeschooled – Hialeah, FL
Best Times:

  • 100 fly: 52.74
  • 100 back: 52.26
  • 50 free: 22.29
  • 100 free: 48.62
  • 200 free: 1:46.63
  • 200 back: 1:55.12
  • 200 IM: 1:59.65
  • 400 IM: 4:17.00

Pelaez is hyper-versatile, and we can’t help but wonder if she would actually rank higher on this list if she had specialized a little bit and put up a class-leading time somewhere. Still, focusing on a well-rounded portfolio of times is probably the right way to go as a high school sophomore, and she’s got very clear potential to jump up into the top three with a good junior year. Pelaez is extremely close to the top 100 flyer in this class, about four tenths of a second behind Sim. She’s 52 in both butterfly and backstroke, which brings a ton of relay value with. And if if weren’t for Moesch’s brilliant year, Pelaez would be arguably the top sprint freestyler in the class with good range from the 50 through the 200. Pelaez is also a very good long course swimmer with a sub-minute 100 fly and 25.3/55.5 speed in freestyle.

7. Lily Christianson – Irish Aquatics – Penn High School – Osceola, IN
Best Times:

  • 50 free: 22.14
  • 100 free: 48.57
  • 100 breast: 1:01.58
  • 200 IM: 2:00.01

Christianson is a great sprinter who gets above the wash of 22-high/49-low types. In long course, she’s very comparable to Pelaez above, with meters times of 25.4/55.4. If you dropped Christianson into last year’s sophomore class, she’d be the best sprinter of the bunch and probably rank in the top 5 overall. The other intriguing thing about Christianson is her versatility. She’s got flashes of being one of those great sprinters who can sprint all four strokes – her 100 breast is 1:01.5, her 100 fly 54.0 and her 100 back 54.1. None of those times quick move the needle yet, but the fact that she’s that fast across all four strokes bodes well for her NCAA value, as well as her potential to move up fast in the 200 IM.

8. Piper Enge – Bellevue Club Swim Team – Mercer Island High School – Mercer Island, WA
Best Times:

  • 100 breast: 59.83 (best in class)
  • 200 breast: 2:09.09 (best in class)
  • 200 IM: 1:58.44
  • 400 IM: 4:18.95

Enge is the clear-cut top breaststroker in the class. She’s the only sub-minute breaststroker of the bunch and a full second faster than anyone else in this sophomore class. In the 200, the margin is even bigger, with no other swimmer within two seconds of her. It’s been a few years of recruiting classes without a major standout breaststroker – probably since Alex Walsh‘s 58.1/2:06.4 speed in the class of 2020. But Enge is the best breaststroke prospect we’ve seen since then, at least among sophomores. Adding value is her 1:58 in the 200 IM, a very viable third NCAA event with some continued development. She’s also a really, really good long course swimmer, highlighted by a 2:27.9 in the 200-meter breaststroke.

9. Bailey Hartman – Crow Canyon Country Club Sharks– Carondelet High School – Danville, CA
Best Times:

  • 200 fly: 1:55.70 (best in class)
  • 100 fly: 52.87
  • 500 free: 4:41.73
  • 200 free: 1:45.58
  • 1000 free: 9:53.04
  • 1650 free: 17:09.09
  • 200 IM: 2:00.85

In a class that’s a little more sprint-based, Hartman is the outlier. She excels in the tough mid-distance races – if you had to pick the highlights of her times portfolio right now, it’d probably be her class-leading 200 fly and her NCAA invite time in the 500 free. Hartman may project best as a 500 free/200 free/200 fly type in the NCAA Championships lineup, but she’s also a very good two-distance butterflyer who could turn out to be the best overall flyer in the class if she focuses in there. She hit that 52.8 in the 100 fly in March, then one month later blasted a 58.7 in the 100-meter fly in the long course pool – that’s easily the fastest 100-meter fly time in the class.

10. Annika Parkhe – Patriot Aquatic Club – Deerfield High School – Deerfield, IL
Best Times:

  • 200 free: 1:45.21
  • 500 free: 4:45.67
  • 100 fly: 52.70
  • 200 fly: 1:57.18
  • 100 back: 53.15
  • 100 free: 49.71
  • 50 free: 23.17

Parkhe is kind of cut from the same mold as Hartman with great 200/500 free times to pair with 100/200 fly speed. Parkhe is a tick faster in the shorter races. Her 52.7 in the 100 fly is only a few tenths out of the best time in the class, and she’s three-tenths faster than Hartman in the 200. She’s got a little more work to do in the 500 free and 200 fly to catch Hartman, but still projects as a very good collegiate swimmer. Parkhe could also mix in some sprint backstroke. She’s on the cusp of breaking a minute in the 100 long course meter butterfly.

11. Leah Shackley– Blair Regional YMCA – Beaver Falls High School – Bedford, PA
Best Times:

  • 100 back: 52.42
  • 200 back: 1:54.91
  • 100 fly: 53.98

Shackley is a very good backstroker who probably projects as a classic back/fly combo swimmer in the NCAA. She doesn’t have a big range of events yet, but her 100 back is already under the time it took to earn an NCAA invite in 2022. Like most of the class, she’s still developing in the 200 back, but has a chance to crack the top 10 if she irons out that distance by next year.

12. Katie Christopherson– SwimAtlanta – Westminster Prep School – Atlanta, GA
Best Times:

  • 200 IM: 1:56.72
  • 100 breast: 1:00.81
  • 200 breast: 2:13.02
  • 100 free: 49.98

Outside of #2 Hayes, Christopherson can swim with anybody in this class in the 200 IM, boasting an NCAA invite time in that race. We tend to see big improvements in IMers as they reach the college level, too, so already holding an invite time is a big deal. Christopherson is also the second-best 100 breaststroker in the class, and coming along fast in the 200 breast. Keep an eye on sprint free, where she just went 26.0/56.1 in long course last month.

13. Elise Clift – Mansfield Aquatic Club – Mansfield High School – Mansfield, TX
Best Times:

  • 1650 free: 16:13.10
  • 1000 free: 9:45.77
  • 500 free: 4:44.95
  • 200 free: 1:47.70
  • 400 IM: 4:18.49

Clift is one of just 15 swimmers in this class who already hold an NCAA invite time – hers comes in the 1650 free, but she’s also within three seconds in the 500 free. She projects as a classic 200/500/1650 free swimmer for now – but watch out in the 400 IM, too, as she’s got some interesting developmental potential there.

14. Alexa Reyna – Badger Swim Club – White Plains High School – White Plains, NY
Best Times:

  • 1650 free: 16:21.76
  • 1000 free: 9:47.88
  • 500 free: 4:42.92
  • 200 free: 1:48.70
  • 400 IM: 4:19.68

Another strong distance swimmer, Reyna is a little faster than Clift in the 500 free and holds an NCAA invite time there, but trails Clift in the rest of her races. Clift has very good long course times, though: 2:03/4:16/16:42, all coming between April and May. Considering her best short course times are from February, there’s a big improvement curve here that suggests Reyna may be rocketing up the ranks by next year.

15. Emily Thompson – Greater Somerset County YMCA– Ridge High School – Basking Ridge, NJ
Best Times:

  • 400 IM: 4:10.08
  • 200 IM: 1:57.67
  • 200 fly: 1:57.82
  • 100 fly: 53.06
  • 100 back: 54.53
  • 200 back: 1:57.27
  • 200 breast: 2:15.49

In a class with a 4:00 IMer, a 4:10.0 doesn’t get the credit it should. That time would have earned an NCAA invite in 2022. Across the four previous sophmore classes we’ve ranked, there are only five swimmers total with a faster 400 IM time than Thompson. She’s also a very good 200 IMer, and that versatility clearly shows through in the rest of her top times. She’s got plenty of options as a third NCAA event, from the 200 fly to the 200 back to the 200 breast.

16. Clare Logan – Fanwood Scotch Plains YMCA – Westfield High School – Westfield, NJ
Best Times:

  • 50 free: 22.54
  • 100 free: 48.81
  • 100 back: 53.15

Logan is a very good sprint freestyler who claws her way into the top 20 by virtue of that 48.8 100 free. (Pretty much all of our “best of the rest” types are 49-something). She also hit both of her best sprint free times in the spring of 2021 when she was just 15. Though she didn’t drop in sprint free this year, she did cut almost a second in the 100 back and should be a nice 50/100 back type for relays in the NCAA format.

17. Charlotte Wilson – University of Denver Hilltoppers – Cherry Creek High School – Englewood, CO
Best Times:

  • 100 back: 52.70
  • 200 back: 1:54.58
  • 100 fly: 53.94
  • 200 IM: 1:59.91

Right now, Wilson is a good two-distance backstroker who skews a little more toward the 100. Like we’ve said about much of this class, we expect to see the 200s come around with more pacing and polish, and 52.7 speed should give Wilson a really good tool to work with as a 200 backstroker. She’s still developing a third event, but getting into the 53s in the 100 fly is a good place to be with two years of high school remaining.

18. Campbell Chase – City of Richardson Swim Team – Woodrow Wilson High School – Dallas, TX
Best Times:

  • 200 IM: 1:57.62
  • 400 IM: 4:12.09
  • 50 free: 23.24
  • 100 free: 50.15
  • 100 breast: 1:02.04

Chase is a really good two-distance IMer who isn’t far off of NCAA invite times in either race. She’s also got a lot of other events that could become interesting as a third NCAA race, including 57s in fly and back and that 1:02.0 in the breaststroke. At this time last year, she was 2:02.3/4:20.8 in the IMs, so the improvement trajectory is great.

19. Emily Brown – Unattached-OH – Coffman High School – Dublin, OH
Best Times:

  • 200 free: 1:46.91
  • 500 free: 4:45.47
  • 200 IM: 1:57.96
  • 400 IM: 4:18.01
  • 100 free: 49.70
  • 50 free: 23.11
  • 200 back: 1:56.08

It’s hard to know exactly how Brown projects in the NCAA right now. The 200 IM and 500 free don’t work well together in the NCAA Championships format, but pairing that kind of endurance with that kind of stroke versatility means a lot as a sophomore with lots of room to develop. The time drops are massive: five-plus seconds in the 200 IM, eight in the 400 IM and seven in the 500 free since last year.

20. Mackenzie Headley– Farmington Valley YMCA Tsunami – Suffield Academy – Windsor, CT
Best Times:

  • 100 breast: 1:00.87
  • 50 free: 22.52
  • 100 free: 49.13
  • 200 breast: 2:16.43

Is Headley a good breaststroker who crosses over into freestyle or a sprint freestyler who can swim breaststroke? Right now, you’d probably have the say the latter, as Headley is one of the better sprint freestylers in the class and her 200 breast still lags a bit behind her 100. On the other hand, she dropped three seconds in the 200 breast over the past year, so the needle may be moving in that direction going forward.

 

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Paring the list down to 20 always feels like pulling teeth. This isn’t an exhaustive list of others we considered, but the top few left off the list who made the decisions on 18-20 very difficult.

Camden Doane – King Aquatic Club – Tacoma, WA
Best Times:

  • 200 fly: 1:57.61
  • 100 fly: 53.65
  • 400 IM: 4:16.72
  • 200 free: 1:47.02
  • 500 free: 4:49.47
  • 200 IM: 1:59.54

Doane has a fascinating portfolio of times. I want to say her 200 fly and 400 IM might be the most impressive, but a 1:47.0 in the 200 free is always going to be valuable in recruiting. Doane might turn into a 200 specialist between fly, free and IM. But we could also see her going 500 free/400 IM/200 fly at NCAAs.

Abby Dunford – Sandpipers of Nevada – Las Vegas, NV
Best Times:

  • 1650 free: 16:20.92
  • 1000 free: 9:50.79
  • 500 free: 4:44.47

Dunford is actually Canadian, but we’re including her in our ranks because she trains and competes in the United States, much like Taylor Ruck did as a high schooler. Dunford comes out of a Sandpipers of Nevada program that is exploding with great distance swimmers, and brings really good 500/1000/1650 times. She’s also even better in long course: 16:20/8:46/4:21.

Aspen Gersper – Saint Andrews Aquatics – Saint Andrews High School – Boca Raton, FL
Best Times:

  • 100 back: 53.94
  • 200 back: 1:57.94
  • 100 fly: 53.99
  • 200 fly: 2:00.09
  • 200 free: 1:48.27
  • 100 free: 49.45
  • 50 free: 23.25

Gersper is super intriguing for versatility across three of hte four strokes. She’s got twin 53.9s in fly and back to go with a 49.4 in freestyle, and she can swim all three strokes up to the 200s as well. Keep an eye on her sprint freestyle, where she’s 25.9/56.2 in long course meters.

Addison Sauickie – Sarasota Sharks – Riverview High School – Sarasota, FL
Best Times:

  • 200 free: 1:46.50
  • 500 free: 4:47.23
  • 1000 free: 10:10.96
  • 1650 free: 16:38.84
  • 100 free: 49.78

Sauickie has really great freestyle range. The 200 seems to be her sweet spot at the moment, but she’s strong from the 100 all the way through the 1650. She’s made more strides in long course this past year, going 56.6 in the 100-meter free, so she’s definitely one to watch for next year’s ranks.

 

BEST OF THE REST

Some more names that came up in our research. For the purposes of space, we won’t include every top event for these athletes, but just a few of their standouts. Verbal commitments are listed where they’ve been reported. Each of these athletes is still an extremely high-level recruit:

  • Sprint free:
    • Teia Salvino (22.5/49.3/1:49.0)
    • Caroline Larsen (22.4/49.6)
    • Avery Karl (22.6/49.9)
    • Josie Connelly (22.6/50.4)
    • Lily Neumann (23.1/49.7/1:47.6)
    • Lillie Nesty (23.0/49.8/1:47.9)
  • Distance free:
    • Kate Hurst (4:47.8/9:49/16:30)
    • Mila Nikanorov (4:53/9:57/16:30)
    • Carli Cronk (4:51/10:14/16:33)
  • Backstroke:
    • Camille Murray (53.3/1:57.7)
    • Finley Anderson (54.2/1:55.9)
    • Lexi Stephens (53.9/1:57.5)
    • Mabel Koff (54.2/1:56.4)
  • Breaststroke:
    • Bridget McGann (1:01.5/2:11.2)
    • Catherine Hughes (1:02.0/2:12.5)
    • Ella Smoker (1:02.2/2:12.9)
    • Charlotte Burnham (1:02.2/2:13.2)
    • Hannah Marinovich (1:02.9/2:13.7)
    • Katya Ivanov (1:02.3/2:13.9)
  • Butterfly:
    • Addison Reese (54.2/1:59.1)
    • Georgia Colborn (54.3/1:58.9)
    • Samantha Chan (54.0/1:59.9)
    • Emily Kitayama (55.2/1:59.6)
    • Annika Finen (54.3)
    • Audrey Crawford (54.3/2:01.9)
  • IM:
    • Grey Davis (1:59.3/4:15.4, 53.0FL)
    • Hayden Penny (4:12.7, 1:48.9FL)
    • Sofia Plaza (4:14.7, 2:12.6BR)
    • Payton Foster (2:00.3/4:15.6, 1:48.4FR)
    • Gracie Weyant (2:00.6/4:16.9IM, 2:11.9BR)

BONUS LOOKBACK:

Feeling nostalgic? Here’s a look back at our historic recruiting class rankings, plus our retrospectives of those classes after four NCAA seasons:

Girls
Recruiting Class
High School Class of 2023 Way Too Early Ranks As Sophomores Ranks as Juniors
High School Class of 2022 Way Too Early Ranks As Sophomores Ranks as Juniors
High School Class of 2021 Way Too Early Ranks As Sophomores Ranks as Juniors Re-Rank As Seniors
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 Post-college retrospective
High School Class of 2017 Ranks as Juniors Post-college retrospective
High School Class of 2016 Ranks as Juniors Post-college retrospective
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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Sherry Smit
2 months ago

Let’s play a game, where does everyone think Katie Grimes will go to college? Florida? Stanford? Texas? UVA?

HOO love
Reply to  Sherry Smit
2 months ago

Florida although I would love if she went to UVA

Observer
Reply to  Sherry Smit
2 months ago

No way she goes to any of those

Sherry Smit
2 months ago

Abby Dunford qualified to represent Canada at Budapest this summer in the 1500 FR and 10KM Open Water. She split 8:38 going out in the 1500, where she finished in 16:20.

Sherry Smit
2 months ago

Gonna say something controversial, but Grimes seems more impressive as a Sophomore than Ledecky. Yeah Ledecky had an Olympic gold medal in the 800, but she’s mostly freestyle. Grimes has a whole wide variety of events. 1:44.4/4:32.9/9:27/15:34 FR; 53.2/1:52.8 BK; 1:57.6 FL; 1:56.6/4:00.6 IM. Yeah just a thought and there truly isn’t any right answer, but in my mind it’s all about versatility.

oxyswim
Reply to  Sherry Smit
2 months ago

Lol, I’ll take the Olympic gold medalist.

IMO
Reply to  Sherry Smit
2 months ago

Ledecky has held the American record in 400 IM sc and she anchored the 4 x 100 free relay at the Olympics. Pretty sure that’s shows some versatility.

IMO
2 months ago

“It’s been a few years without a major standout breaststroker”. Did you miss Olympic gold medalist Lydia Jacoby? No, she hasn’t been as fast SC as she has LC, but she’s had no reason to even try to swim fast short course. Not like there’s competition for her in high school swimming in Alaska.

Nc swam
2 months ago

First ranking without a NC swimmer?

Hereforthecrazyshow
2 months ago

Is there any way to compare this class to the last 3 to 5 classes? I saw a bit in the article about certain strokes, but how does this top 20 compare to the ones from the past few years on balance? Seems pretty strong at the top – especially top 5.

Hereforthecrazyshow
Reply to  Jared Anderson
2 months ago

Appreciate the response. Does your process involve talking to coaches at all or reviewing film like the football recruiting websites? Or is more based on times, value of events (eg relay potential), and progression?

Mama B
2 months ago

Where is Summer Mc?

oxyswim
Reply to  Mama B
2 months ago

No chance she swims in the NCAA

Canadian
Reply to  Mama B
2 months ago

In Canada

IMO
Reply to  Mama B
2 months ago

She’s swimming as a pro already. Will never swim NCAA.

Sherry Smit
Reply to  Mama B
2 months ago

She probably will do what Penny Oleksiak did.

Last edited 2 months ago by Sherry Smit
Fobby Binke
Reply to  Mama B
2 months ago

She already has sponsors lol

Dr Amanda
2 months ago

Great job everyone! Can’t wait to follow your swims! #iolaniswimclub #iolani2024 #hawaiiswimming

Last edited 2 months ago by Dr Amanda

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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