The Wisconsin program has been hot this off-season in their recruiting quests after renewed success at the 2013 NCAA Championship meet that included a surprise 200 backstroke title from sophomore Drew teDuits, and they’ve picked up two more names this week to fill out their roster.
One is Tennessee transfer Alexandria Frasier for their women’s squad. She comes in with flat-start bests of 23.18 in the 50 free and 49.91 in the 100 free.
Frasier has multiple All-American honors as a member of Tennessee relays from her freshman and sophomore years, but ended up sitting out the 2012-2013 season altogether.
At Wisconsin, she will slide neatly into the spot vacated by graduating senior Ruby Martin (who had a best time last year, poetically, of 49.91 in the 100 free) as Wisconsin’s #3 sprinter. With a lot of quality at the top in Ivy Martin and Beckie Palm, her depth will be vital to Wisconsin scoring relay points at NCAA’s this year.
With a 1:47.18 in the 200 free, she could also be a huge contributor to Wisconsin’s 800 free relay. Most of her best times came as a freshman or younger, though, so she’ll have a challenge to work back to that form in her two seasons with the Badgers. (She sat out the 2012-2013 season, so we presume Wisconsin will apply for a redshirt at the end of this season.)
The other addition is New Zealand’s Matt Hutchins, who is a member of his country’s 2013 World University Games team. and a New Zealand Age Group National Record holder.
“Matt is a top-level recruit for us and he’s going to be part of a group of mid-distance freestylers that will be the strength of our team. I think he’s going to have a huge impact right away on this program.”
Hutchins brings a wealth of international experience on his resume, including an appearance at the 2011 Youth Commonwealth Games.
Hutchins was 3rd at New Zealand’s 2013 Open Championships in the 400 free with a 3:54.27, and 4th in the 200 long course freestyle in 1:52.44. Those times convert to 4:22 in the 500 yard and 1:38.4 in the 200 yard freestyles, respectively. Those conversions should hold up fairly well, as he’s generally been better in short course than long course in his career (a 1:46 in the 200 SCM freestyle, for example).