We've looked at the freshmen and seniors compared to our recruit rankings. But how are #2 recruit Beata Nelson and her junior class doing? Or #4 Brooke Forde and the sophomores? We have the raw NCAA scoring data from all four women's classes, crossed with our earlier recruit rankings, here. Archive photo via Jack Spitser/Spitser Photography
It’s a week of NCAA retrospectives: we’ve looked back at how the graduating senior class did over four NCAA seasons, comparing the data to our rank of the class as high school recruits in 2014. We’ve also taken a look back at team-by-team recruiting classes and our 2015 ranks. And we looked at the current crop of NCAA freshman and the early returns compared to our recruiting rank and re-rank from the past two years.
Since we’ve got the data compiled, we thought it was worth sharing a quick in-progress look at the remaining two classes and how they’ve scored individually over their NCAA careers.
We’ll also include this year’s freshmen and seniors to have all the data in one post. You can find further analysis of those classes above.
The data included is only individual scoring at NCAAs. That’s not an exact measure of an athlete’s contribution to a program: many of these swimmers (and others not listed) were relay scorers at NCAAs, scored significant points at conference meets and provided great leadership and culture-building for their programs. This data isn’t a perfect analysis of the best recruits – it’s merely a quick look at the data we can compile.
Some of these athletes haven’t had as many scoring seasons as others in their class. Some redshirted a season and have more remaining seasons. Some deferred their enrollment as freshmen. Some sat out a year with a transfer. Some turned pro early. Some will turn pro early. Some are hard to pigeonhole into a specific class, international athletes especially. We did our best to group athletes where they best fit. Again, this isn’t a hard-and-fast ranking of value – it’s just the best data we can compile.
The ranks are from our recruit rankings, typically compiled when these athletes were high school juniors. We don’t include internationals in those rankings, as it’s difficult to figure out if and when internationals will join the NCAA and which class they should be grouped with before they appear in the NCAA. Do bear in mind that our rankings were done well over a year before any of these athletes appeared in NCAA competition, so if you do have a quibble with a specific rank, you may want to check how fast that athlete actually was when the ranking was done before you get too livid. Unranked recruits showing massive improvement curves are some of the best stories in the NCAA year-in and year-out, and one reason we rank recruits is so we can better see which athletes had great rises during their college careers.
All that said, compiling these ranks is a lot of data entry and a lot of research. If we missed anyone, or mis-classified anyone with the wrong class or with the wrong domestic/international tag, please let us know in the comments and we’ll update our data as soon as possible!
Seniors (High School Class of 2015, College Class of 2019)
Quick Analysis: What a class this is turning out to be. There are true elite college stars in all three groups: ranked recruits (Asia Seidtis the class points leader among domestic recruits, but Beata Nelson could overtake her next year), unranked recruits (Erika Brown) and internationals (Louise Hansson).
Sophomores (High School Class of 2017, College Class of 2021)
Quick Analysis: this class hasn’t had a huge impact yet. Brooke Fordeprobably would’ve risen to #1 in this class had we re-ranked them as seniors, and she’s been very productive already. Scoring improved dramatically among this class as sophomores, including top international scorer Mackenzie Padington(from 5 points as a freshman to 32 as a sophomore) and fast-rising Paige Madden (non-scorer as a freshman, 38 as a sophomore, good for #2 in the entire class).
Freshmen (High School Class of 2018, College Class of 2022)
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 …