Western Kentucky’s Former Top Commit Zach Apple Chooses Auburn Instead

Zach Apple, the best incoming freshman who has been disenfranchised by Western Kentucky University’s decision to suspend their swimming program for 5 years, has re-committed to Auburn.

The 6’6″ product from the Greater Miami Valley YMCA in Ohio has only been swimming seriously for two years, but already has put in impressive sprint freestyle times. Apple’s best times in yards:

  • 50 free – 20.36
  • 100 free – 44.59
  • 200 free – 1:38.31

Apple’s relative newness to full-blown competitive swimming has resulted in a relatively narrow lineup of events (he has no official breaststroke races on his record, for example), but his potential is mouth-watering.

Even as a senior (since the fall signing period alone) his best time in the 100 free improved by over two seconds. He swam 46.7 as a junior, and has no records in the SWIMS database prior to November of 2013, when he went just 50.38.

Auburn returns their top four 100 yard freestylers from last season (all of whom were in the top seven in the SEC) and every member of their 200, 400, and 800 freestyle relays from the NCAA Championships, so they are set in their relays, but do get a little thinner after that top group.

Earlier on Monday, Asia Quentin, another signed recruit in Western Kentucky’s class of 2016, announced that she was going to Arkansas.


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swimma fan
7 years ago

Ashley Mallon, from Georgia, a previous WKU commit also committed to UGA. Go Zach!!!

7 years ago

This is great news. This kid is the type we need in the sprints going forward. Athletes first. And Auburn is a fantastic place for him. He’s gonna be real good.

I hear California may need a breaststroker.

Reply to  Hulk Swim
7 years ago

Care to elaborate on that second part?

Reply to  TheTroubleWithX
7 years ago

Probably referring to Weirdo’s comment about Fabian Schwingenschlogl (whatever his last name is) from WKU that made A final in the 100 br at NCAAs.

Reply to  Hulk Swim
7 years ago

define fantastic? Auburn WAS the Sprint Mekah,.. and had NOONE in the 50 & 100 free A finals at NCAA this year.

Reply to  SWIMFAN
7 years ago

I feel good about Molocek and Darmody and this kid going forward. Even Texas has had some lean years. Hawke is a fantastic coach. He’s getting the horses again. I’m not saying they’re gonna win a national team title this year or next… but they may challenge to win sprint relays.

Reply to  Hulk Swim
7 years ago

They’ll have to deal with the ‘hot teams’ in sprint relays in the next few years (Alabama, NC State, USC, Texas, Cal)

I am just not impressed with Auburn’s history under Hawke in the last few years. Take a look at their NCAA finishes since they won national title in 2009
2010: 6th
2011: 6th
2012: 6th
2013: 8th
2014: 6th
2015: 9th

Their women’s results are even worse… and we are talking about THE Auburn Swimming & Diving.

Reply to  SWIMFAN
7 years ago

If you don’t know anything, don’t say anything. Coach Hawke is building a fantastic program, sprint or otherwise. It’s very hard to repeat the successes of the David Marsh years, and every team can’t be top 3 at NCAAs every time. I agree, Auburn didn’t have the greatest season, but they’re going to make you eat your words in the coming years.

Derek Mead
Reply to  SWIMFAN
7 years ago

You have a good point, meaning they haven’t been top 5 since Hawke took over, and it was an incredible program when he got the reigns. There are just flows for every team/conference, can’t stay the best for ever. SEC football had been dominant for 5-7 years, and this season they were clearly overrated, does that mean the SEC coaches started performing poorly?

Other people catch up and have their own runs. I think Auburn has become more built around a few studs and less depth. He hasn’t had the same success, but he also hasn’t gotten too many big time recruits (compared to Cal, Texas, USC…).

Reply to  SWIMFAN
7 years ago

Why is everyone hating on Auburn all of a sudden, Everybody hates on a team when they don’t do as well as last year. FYI, Texas had NOBODY in the 50 freestyle A or B finals.

7 years ago

where did the stud male breastroker decide to go? he was the only guy not a senior at men’s ncaas in top 8 in the 100 I think?

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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