Women’s Recruiting Class Rankings Revisited: Top 12 Schools For 2016-2019

Every summer, we rank down the top recruiting classes snagged by each team. But what do those rankings look like four years later, when each swimmer has had an opportunity to complete a full NCAA career of competing and scoring?

We’ve already looked back at our top 20 individual athletes in the high school graduating class of 2016, ranked when they were high school juniors in the summer of 2015. Now it’s time to look back at our team-by-team recruiting class rankings to see which teams got most from their recruiting hauls.

Back in July of 2015, we ranked out the top 12 recruiting classes nationwide. You can look back on our ranks here:

We’ve republished each of the 12 classes below, verbatim from how they were listed in our 2015 post. Then we tracked down some stats on each class, plus a short analysis of each class along with any extra swimmers who wound up being part of the class.

Bear in mind that international swimmers throw a wrinkle into this sort of analysis, given the difficulty in projecting ahead of time when an international recruit will join an NCAA program and officially start their eligibility.

Note: The ‘number of NCAA Scorers’ section refers only to individual scorers, and only among athletes included in our original recruiting class rankings. Late additions to the classes are noted when we can find them.

*Special 2020 note: with the 2020 NCAA Championships cancelled, any 2020 references below refer to psych sheet scoring, including the team finish, marked with an asterisk.

#12 Florida Gators

Top-tier additions: #12 Savanna Faulconer, Kelsey Dambacher, Makayla Sargent, Georgia Darwent, Sherridon Dressel, Laura Rodriguez Cao
The rest: 
Isabella Garofalo, Kelly Fertel, Danielle Keymont, Nicole Urquidi, Emma Ball, Madison Conway, Tori Bindi

  • NCAA finishes over 3* years: N/A, 35th, 24th, *13th*
  • Number of NCAA scorers in class: 2

It was Florida’s unranked recruits Kelly Fertel and Sherridon Dressel who scored points for this class. Meanwhile international Emma Ball was seeded to add points as a senior this year. This group had the rough 2017 meet where Florida finished with zero NCAA points, but moved way up the ranks over their four seasons.

#11 Duke Blue Devils

Top-tier additions: Alyssa Marsh, Kylie Jordan, Suzanne Dolan, Kira Page, Brittany Kampfer, Jaina Gaudette (diving)
The rest: 
n/a

  • NCAA finishes over 3* years: 47th, 42nd, 23rd, *22nd*
  • Number of NCAA scorers in class: 2

Both Alyssa Marsh and Kylie Jordan were scorers as juniors, and Marsh projected to score nearly 20 points individually this year. This group was part of a run of recruiting resurgence for Duke, and saw the team move up more than 20 places in NCAA finish over their four years.

#10 Kentucky Wildcats

Top-tier additions: #16 Ali Galyer, #19 Asia Seidt, Madison Winstead
The rest: 
Alex Nelson, Kierston Farley-Sepe, Morgan Lakes, Elizabeth Merriman, Jessica Wingo, Emma Skinner, Emma Dellmore (diving)

  • NCAA finishes over 3* years: 14th, 14th, 15th, *9th*
  • Number of NCAA scorers in class: 3

You feel especially bad for this Kentucky group, which looked as close to a lock as possible for a top-10 finish, which would be the program’s best-ever NCAA showing. It was this senior class that really powered the rise, too. Asia Seidt was the #2 overall individual scorer in this class, and Ali Galyer also scored in all three of her seasons and projected for a career-high 21 this year. Madison Winstead was a one-year scorer.

#9 Arizona Wildcats

Top-tier additions: #15 Kirsten Jacobsen, #20 Kennedy Lohman, Hannah Cox, Mallory Korenwinder
The rest: 
Abby Miller, Taylor Nations

  • NCAA finishes over 3* years: 16th, 20th, 14th, *29th*
  • Number of NCAA scorers in class: 2

It was distance standouts Kirsten Jacobsen (27) and Hannah Cox (16) who scored individually. Cox scored in all three of her seasons. Lohman ended up transferring out to Texas, but didn’t score at NCAAs for either program. This Arizona group also saw a coaching change after their freshman year, but stayed inside the top 20 all three seasons.

#8 Georgia Bulldogs

Top-tier additions: #7 Veronica Burchill, Jordan Stout, Alexis Glunn, Katherine Parker, Meryn McCann
The rest: Mary Claire Cardwell, Katherine Aikins, Sandra Scott, Jordyn Gulle

  • NCAA finishes over 3* years: 4th, 11th, 18th, *6th*
  • Number of NCAA scorers in class: 1 (plus transfer Sofia Carnevale)

Top-10 recruit Veronica Burchill was a pillar for her four years, scoring in all four. Though she never scored more than 16 in a year, Burchill was projected to blow out that number with 29 psych sheet points in 2020. Georgia also got UNLV transfer Carnevale to score, but a lot of major graduations saw the Bulldogs slide backwards a little bit over this group’s four years.

#7 Louisville Cardinals

Top-tier additions: #9 Grace Oglesby, Casey Fanz, Jillian Visscher, Avery Braunecker, Hannah Whiteley
The rest: 
Margaret Jahns, Sofie Underdahl, Emily LeClair, Molly Fears (diving), Michaela Sliney (diving)

  • NCAA finishes over 3* years: 6th, 5th, 4th, *14th*
  • Number of NCAA scorers in class: 2

Star flyer Grace Oglesby scored 53 points over her career, but 51 of them came in her sophomore and junior years, so that number probably would have climbed much higher this season. Meanwhile Lainey Visscher scored in her sophomore year, and Casey Fanz was projected to score in 2020. This group also provided solid relay depth as Louisville climbed into the top 5 over their four years.

#6 Tennessee Volunteers

Top-tier additions: #1 Meghan Small, Erika Brown, Alexandra Atkins
The rest: 
Madison Graham, Tessa Cieplucha

  • NCAA finishes over 3* years: 22nd, 7th, 8th, *2nd*
  • Number of NCAA scorers in class: 3 (plus transfer Stanzi Moseley)

What an awesome class. Erika Brown went from an unranked recruit to the #4 scorer in the class, and was in line to contend for multiple NCAA titles this year. Meghan Small scored 54 points over three seasons. Canadian import Tess Cieplucha added two scoring seasons and projected to more than triple her career scoring in 2020 with 42 psych sheet points. This group also added valuable relay leg and one-year scorer Stanzi Moseley from USC, and strung together two top-10 finishes before ending up 2nd in psych sheet points this season.

#5 Texas Longhorns

Top-tier additions: #5 Claire Adams, #18 Lauren Case, Jordan Wheeler, Kaitlin Harty 
The rest: 
n/a

  • NCAA finishes over 3* years: 5th, 6th, 5th, *19th*
  • Number of NCAA scorers in class: 2

Claire Adams was as good as advertised, putting up 50 individually while often swimming all five relays at NCAAs. Lauren Case was a freshman scorer, but scored nothing after that year. Harty transferred out to Tennessee but hasn’t ended up scoring at the national level. Texas might be halfways relieved that this year’s NCAAs got canceled, because their run of top-10 finishes was in serious jeopardy based on a dismal 19th in psych sheet scoring.

#4 Wisconsin Badgers

Top-tier additions: #2 Beata NelsonCierra Runge (transfer from Cal), Abby Jagdfeld (transfer from Purdue), Abby Kochevar, Megan Doty, Hannah Lindsey
The rest: Kendall Smith, Elise Roediger

  • NCAA finishes over 3* years: 15th, 17th, 16th, *15th*
  • Number of NCAA scorers in class: 1

This looked like an absolute monster of a class led by three instant-impact additions. The obvious success was Beata Nelsonwho was the CSCAA’s Swimmer of the Year in 2019 and a top-3 individual scorer in the class over four years. Runge transferred out as quickly as she’d transferred in, though she did wind up scoring for Arizona State later on. Abby Jagdfeld was a solid pickup, contributing well on some NCAA relays. Wisconsin was 21st the year before this class arrived, but never finished outside the top 20 in the three seasons with this group.

#3 USC Trojans

Top-tier additions: #3 Becca Mann, #4 Stanzi Moseley,  Louise Hansson, Tatum Wade
The rest: Piper Brockley, Catherine Sanchez, Maddie Meisel (transfer)

  • NCAA finishes over 3* years: 9th, 12th, 10th, *8th*
  • Number of NCAA scorers in class: 2

Becca Mann scored as a freshman, but then turned pro. Moseley transferred out after a year and scored her only points for Tennessee later on. But Louise Hansson kept this team solidly in the top 12, leading all scorers in the nation in this class with 128 individual points.

#2 Cal Golden Bears

Top-tier additions: #2* Abbey Weitzeil (deferral), #13 Keaton Blovad, Maddie Murphy, Courtney Mykkanen, Chenoa Devine
The rest: Anina Lund, Alexa Buckley, Aislinn Light

  • NCAA finishes over 3* years: 2nd, 2nd, 2nd, *3rd*
  • Number of NCAA scorers in class: 3

Weitzeil was fantastic – we included her with the high school class of 2015, where she would have finished as the #5 overall scorer adding in this year’s psych sheet points. Keaton Blovad was a highly-touted recruit who needed a few years before she got to NCAA scoring level, but when she did, she exploded for 18 points as a junior. The big contributor of this class, though, was Maddie Murphya key relay leg and 38-point individual scorer.

#1 Stanford Cardinal

Top-tier additions: #1* Katie Ledecky (deferral), #6 Katie Drabot, #8 Allie Szekely, #11 Erin Voss, #14 Megan Byrnes
The rest: Brooke Stenstrom, Haley Farnsworth (diving), Hannah Boyd

  • NCAA finishes over 3* years: 1st, 1st, 1st, *7th*
  • Number of NCAA scorers in class: 5

Katie Ledecky, like Weitzeil, was recruited with the class of 2015. She only swam two collegiate years, but scored 57+ points in both years. This was at the height of Stanford’s crushing recruiting streak, and this group was dominant at the NCAA level. Katie Drabot scored 71.5 and was on pace to break 100 with this year’s meet. Megan Byrnes was a huge 41-point scorer as a freshman, but dropped off a little as her career went on and wouldn’t have competed at NCAAs this year. Erin Voss scored 24 points, steadily rising each year. Allie Szekely scored as both a freshman and sophomore, but missed scoring as a junior. Most importantly, this class went 3-for-3 in NCAA titles, and could have made it a four-peat this year with a great taper.

RE-RANKING THE CLASSES

Certainly individual points don’t encapsulate everything a recruiting class brings to a program over four years. But they are the easiest way to rank the classes against each other four years later. Here’s a look at all the classes represented, ranked by individual points from all swimmers in this graduating class:

Rank Team
Points Over 3 Years
1 Tennessee 166.5
2 Kentucky 155.5
3 Stanford 145.5
4 USC 130
5 Wisconsin 106
6 Minnesota 74
7 Texas 63
8 Louisville 59
9 Cal 56
10 Arizona 43
11 Arizona State 34
11 Ohio State 34
13 Arkansas 31
14 NC State 30
15 Florida 26
15 Georgia 26
17 Virginia 23
18 Hawaii 18.5
19 Duke 17
19 Indiana 17
19 Virginia Tech 17
22 Michigan 16
23 Auburn 15
24 Purdue 11
25 Missouri 9
25 Northwestern 9
27 South Carolina 5
28 Notre Dame 2
28 West Virginia 2

And our new top 12, purely in terms of individual NCAA points:

The far left column tracks each swimmer’s final rank within the class. The next column tracks their individual ranking in our top 20 recruits post. HM means “honorable mention.” UNR means “unranked” and INTL means “international”, as we don’t rank international swimmers in our top 20 post.

In the case of transfers, we’ve only awarded points to the school that the athlete earned while at that school – so a swimmer who transferred after two years will have their first two year’s worth of point totals count for their original school and their next two years for their second school.

#1 Tennessee

Final Rank 2014 Rank Name College Team Total NCAA Points
2020 Psych Sheet Points
6 UNR Erika Brown Tennessee 93 54
10 1 Meghan Small Tennessee 54 27
31 INTL Tess Cieplucha Tennessee 15 42
47 4 Stanzi Moseley USC/Tennessee 4.5

#2 Kentucky

Final Rank 2014 Rank Name College Team Total NCAA Points
2020 Psych Sheet Points
4 19 Asia Seidt Kentucky 113.5 43
15 16 Ali Galyer Kentucky 35 21
41 UNR Madison Winstead Kentucky 7

#3 Stanford

Final Rank 2014 Rank Name College Team Total NCAA Points
2020 Psych Sheet Points
8 6 Katie Drabot Stanford 71.5 35
13 14 Megan Byrnes Stanford 41
22 11 Erin Voss Stanford 24 12
39 8 Allie Szekely Stanford 9 3

#4 USC

Final Rank 2014 Rank Name College Team Total NCAA Points
2020 Psych Sheet Points
3 INTL Louise Hansson USC 128 47
48 3 Becca Mann USC 2
54 17 Tatum Wade USC 0

#5 Wisconsin

Final Rank 2014 Rank Name College Team Total NCAA Points
2020 Psych Sheet Points
4 2 Beata Nelson Wisconsin 106 54

#6 Minnesota

Final Rank 2014 Rank Name College Team Total NCAA Points
2020 Psych Sheet Points
7 10 Lindsay Kozelsky (Horejsi) Minnesota 73 14
51 UNR Tevyn Waddell Minnesota 1

#7 Texas

Final Rank 2014 Rank Name College Team Total NCAA Points
2020 Psych Sheet Points
11 5 Claire Adams Texas 50 16
32 18 Lauren Case Texas 13

#8 Louisville

Final Rank 2014 Rank Name College Team Total NCAA Points
2020 Psych Sheet Points
10 9 Grace Oglesby Louisville 53 16
41 UNR Lainey Visscher Louisville 6
54 UNR Casey Fanz Louisville 0 4

#9 Cal

Final Rank 2014 Rank Name College Team Total NCAA Points
2020 Psych Sheet Points
13 UNR Maddie Murphy Cal 38
25 13 Keaton Blovad Cal 18 5

#10 Arizona

Final Rank 2014 Rank Name College Team Total NCAA Points
2020 Psych Sheet Points
18 15 Kirsten Jacobsen Arizona 27 5
28 UNR Hannah Cox Arizona 16

#11 Ohio State

Final Rank 2014 Rank Name College Team Total NCAA Points
2020 Psych Sheet Points
17 UNR Molly Kowal Ohio State 29 20
43 INTL Kathrin Demler Ohio State 5 24

#11 Arizona State

Final Rank 2014 Rank Name College Team Total NCAA Points
2020 Psych Sheet Points
14 INTL Silja Kansakoski Arizona State 34

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Nswim
6 months ago

Doesn’t hardy have one more year of eligibility due to her redshirt?

Armchair
Reply to  Nswim
6 months ago

Tennessee’s Hardy? Yes, she does.

factsonly
6 months ago

impressed with tennessee! looks like they do a great job of developing athletes.

Hint of Lime
6 months ago

Does the final ranking of Cal at #9 omit Abbey and her projected points?

Admin
Reply to  Hint of Lime
6 months ago

Correct. Abbey was included with the high school class of 2015.

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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