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Thread: Women's Swim Recruiting: Class of 2017

  1. #1

    Women's Swim Recruiting: Class of 2017

    Ok, I will be the first to admit that this is waaaay too early to start a recruiting thread for the Class of 2017, but with Olympic Trials just around the corner, we already know who a lot of the major players in the Class of 2017 will be, and, of course, there will be plenty of additions to this initial list. After a disappointing recruiting year in 2016, next year will be crucial to stay in touch with the Furd. Plus, BearDevil and UAC are already putting new info on the old recruiting thread, so might as well consolidate now.

    So, first of all, who are we losing in 2017? Marina Garcia (100 Breast, 200 Breast, and medley relays), Celina Li (200IM and 400IM), Farida Osman (50 Free, 100 Free, and at least four relays), Kristen Vredeveld (50 Free and 100 Free), and diver Hayden Tavoda. So the biggest needs are Breast, IM, and a sprinter. We also need some middle distance swimmers from unfilled needs in the past.

    Ever since Caitlyn Leverenz graduated, breast stroke has been a gaping weakness for our team. I remember when Marina first signed, we thought all of our worries would disappear. Although she is the best we have, Marina hasn't quite lived up to our lofty expectations. In my opinion, we not only need one sprint breaststroker, but it would also be nice to have depth at the position, and get a second breast sprinter. What I am leading to is that I want both, of what should be our top two recruits for the class of 2017.

    The Breaststrokers
    1A. Nicole Popov; Santa Clarita, California - Nikol is a current teammate of uber sprinting stud Abbey Weitzeil, so we already have a little bit of an inside track on recruiting her. Her top times are 59.64 in the 100Y Breast and 2:08.92 in the 200Y Breast. Wouldn't it be nice to have a sub minute breaststroker? Nikol also happens to be a solid 200IMer with a best time of 1:58.78, which addresses some of our big IM need.

    1B. Maggie Aroesty; Long Beach, New York - Maggie's 100 Breast time is actually a little bit faster than Nikol's, although Nikol has been faster in the 200 Breast. Maggie has been 58.98 in the 100 Breast and 2:11.67 in the 200 Breast. Maggie is also an outstanding 200IMer with a time of 1:57.76. Maggie and Nikol happen to be friends, so that would be a pretty cool package deal if they both chose to come to Berkeley. I definitely want both!

    The second biggest need is filling the shoes of the MVP of the past year, Farida Osman. While there are no uber sprinters in the mold of Simone Manuel or Abbey Weitzeil in this class, there are still some very good ones. I really don't have a favorite here yet, but we only need one on this list.

    The Sprinters
    1. Lauren Pitzer; Haltom City, Texas - I'm tentatively putting Lauren first here because she seems to have more middle distance range than the others. Her times are 50 Free (22.77), 100 Free (48.72), 200 Free (1.45.68), and 500 Free (4:42.80). As far as I know, we have no recruiting connections to Lauren.

    2. Ashley Volpenhein; Mason, Ohio - Ashley is an outstanding student, and is also a top target of the Furd. Her times are 50 Free (22.35), 100 Free (48.96), and 200 Free (1:49.39). Ashley has been to our campus unofficially, but like I said before, she is also a target of the Furd.

    3. Marta Ciesla; Fort Lauderdale, Florida - Marta was part of the US Junior National Team, so she knows Nikol and Maggie. Her times are 50 Free (22.52), 100 Free (48.97), and 200 Free (1:51.57)

    Other Great Swimmers
    1. Courtney Harnish; York, Pennsylvania - Courtney is from the same swim club as former Cal target, Meghan Small. She would fill our needs from 200 - 1650 Free, and is also a great in the 200Y Butterfly.

    2. Hannah Kukurugya aka Kuks; Highland, Indiana - Hannah is also a great student and leader. She was one of the captains for the US Junior National Team. Her specialty is the 200 Fly, which leaves a little to be desired because of lack of versatility, but would be great with the intangibles. She is another Furd target.

    3. Sierra Schmidt; Erdenheim, Pennsylvania - Sierra is a long distance swimmer who is known for her pre race dancing routine. We could use another distance swimmer depending on how Chenoa Devine and Anina Lund develop, but I'm not sure that Teri would spend another scholly on a distance swimmer. She has been reported to be a Michigan lean.

    The Local
    Taylor Ault; Sonora, California - Taylor is a middle and long distance swimmer, who might be a better deal scholly wise than Sierra. We haven't had good luck with the North Bay girls recently, so hopefully that will change with Taylor.

    This list will change and grow a lot over the Summer, but this is a good starting reference sheet. My wish list is Nikol and Maggie, one of the sprinters, and Courtney. In my opinion 2018 is the big year talent wise. We are talking Dream Team type of talent, with the likes of Taylor Ruck, Eva Merrell, Penny Oleksiak, Cassidy Bayer, Madison Homovich, Grace Ariola, Halladay Kinsey, Samantha Shelton, and more!

  2. #2
    Great list, thanks.

    Still think there's unfinished business with the 2016 class with a transfer or international. Kinda think 2017 will be all about beating LSJU, so the immediate needs would be middle distance, distance, and 400 IM. Nobody's beating LSJU in the 800 (Ledecky, Manuel, Neal, Eastin, Drabot), but Bears will still be solid (Baker, Amy, McL, Abbey). Problem is the individual 200 Free which potentially only Abbey will swim. Easy to get buried there. If Mau recovers, maybe shift McL, but another middle distance scorer would help. Depends on Keaton, but Celina may be the only 400 IM scorer in 2017. 400 IM and individual 200 Free is a tough double, but someone who could swim 500 Free/400 IM/1650 would work.

    Definitely agree on Nikol and Maggie as top priority targets, just not entirely sold on the need for both. For sure need a sprint breastroker for medleys and individual scoring would be a boost, but also need help in distance, middle distance, and sprint. Definitely wouldn't turn both down if they wanted to come, but tough call on priority of a second breaststroker over a freestyler who could have a bigger relay impact.

    Sprint relays are fine with the OG Dream Team, but individual 50 (Abbey, Amy, Hull), 100 (Abbey, Hull), and 200 (Abbey, McL) are tricky. If Mykkanen can contribute in both backs, could free up Baker for the 200 Free and Amy for the 100 Free. Tough call, but Bears could use any of the three sprinters.

    Haven't looked at CH as a relay swimmer, but she and Sierra would both be awesome gets, although I suspect CH goes to Georgia or Tennessee and Sierra goes to UM or Georgia.

    Sonora's between Yosemite and Sacramento. Ault goes to Sonora High in SoCal. Same club team as Ryan Kao. Would be another good get.
    Last edited by BearDevil; 03-21-2016 at 05:01 AM.

  3. #3
    One additional footnote on the potential transfer front. Auburn, once swimming royalty, finished 33rd!?! That program has completely imploded and a coaching change is long overdue. For sure there will be some transfers. Hull no doubt still has friends on the team and one (ideally from her recruiting class to align for 2018) might be useful to the Bears.

    Still not sure who the last piece for 2016 will be, but my 2017 preferences would be: Popov (in state, keep her away from 'Zona or 'SC), Pitzer (100-200 strength, keep her from A&M and UT), CH (200 IM, 200 Free, 1650 Free, keep her from Georgia), Sierra (500/400 IM/1650, keep her from Georgia), and Ault (500/400 IM/1650). Way too much distance, but LSJU kills the Bears in 200/500/1650 and 800 with Ledecky, Byrnes, Stevens, Voss. Poppe's regressed and may retire and Eastin probably doesn't swim 100 Breast. Can see tedbear's double breast angle, but CH and Sierra are more versatile than Popov and Maggie.
    Last edited by BearDevil; 03-22-2016 at 04:27 AM.

  4. #4
    True Blue Golden Bear
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    Thanks for starting a separate thread on the recruits. Unless you post to the end of the other recruiting thread, some of the new postings were difficult to find in the humongous thread though not quit as bad as the Men's basketball recruiting thread.
    Last edited by OBear073akaSMFan; 03-23-2016 at 04:07 PM.

  5. #5
    Ditto...OB73... I thought it was just I who felt this way. THANKS!

  6. #6
    Looking at LJSU's roster, they only have three 2017 swim seniors (Neal, Stafford, Halsted). Would not be surprised if Poppe retired from swimming after two disappointing seasons. That means they need sprint, middle distance, and breast. As noted, they'll be in on Volpenhein (UVa, 'SC) and Kuks (Lville, Georgia). Not on Popov ('Zona, 'SC, Cal). Maggie's a bit of a mystery. Probably use Eastin on medley relays and Szekely in the individual breast events. Not much crossover this year since tedbear basically gave Meehan a road map last year.
    Last edited by BearDevil; 03-24-2016 at 04:35 PM.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by BearDevil View Post
    Not much crossover this year since tedbear basically gave Meehan a road map last year.
    Thank you tedbear for being such a loyal ! lol Don't forget we need to downplay the brightest prospects and talk up the others from now on, in order to confuse Greg Meehan and any furds who may be paying attention to this board...

    Srsly tho, cheers for some great picks once again, and for BD's always comprehensive perspective

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by UrsusArctosCalifornicus View Post
    Thank you tedbear for being such a loyal ! lol Don't forget we need to downplay the brightest prospects and talk up the others from now on, in order to confuse Greg Meehan and any furds who may be paying attention to this board...
    Revisiting the current class relative to tedbear's treasure map to Meehan, does occur to me that Teri cleaned up some dual and PAC holes that may ultimately strengthen the program's NCAA prospects too.

    It's absurd that Baker swam every event except the 1000 Free in dual meets last season. Versatility's great and a hallmark of Teri's teams, but she needs to hone in on events where KB and others can help the team most at NCAAs. Linn and Lund may never become NCAA qualifiers or scorers, but they can save others from swimming off events in duals. Naze and KV were highly ranked recruits, but didn't become NCAA scorers until junior years. Huge payoff if Jenna, Mykkanen, Murphy, and Chenoa qualify or score at NCAAs early.

  9. #9
    True Blue Golden Bear
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    Quote Originally Posted by BearDevil View Post
    It's absurd that Baker swam every event except the 1000 Free in dual meets last season. Versatility's great and a hallmark of Teri's teams, but she needs to hone in on events where KB and others can help the team most at NCAAs.
    Wow..think this is a first. Never heard you critique coach Teri before but think you are on the right track.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by OBear073akaSMFan View Post
    Wow..think this is a first. Never heard you critique coach Teri before but think you are on the right track.
    Like Teri personally and professionally, but don't think she's perfect. Do like how well her teams represent the University, but do have some minor quibbles. Would prefer that she'd have two scorers in every swimming event along with single springboard and platform scoring divers. Agree with building around relays, but Teri tends to focus on individual event stroke cluster scoring (back, fly, and sprints). Roster make up doesn't really matter since the highest score wins, not how points are generated. Also think Teri has too many transfers.

  11. #11
    Bumping this since recruiting season starts in a couple of weeks.

    Still feel a big time transfer will surface before classes start. Maggie's slightly ahead of Popov now.

  12. #12
    Maggie-18th in the 100 Breast at Olympic Trials; Popov-22nd. Maija-56th.

    Other former Cal recruits:

    Riley Scott-25th, Kristen Vose/Meaghan Raab-26th. LSJU's Poppe was 122nd (second to last). Think she retires with two more years of eligibility.
    Last edited by BearDevil; 06-27-2016 at 12:15 PM.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by tedbear View Post

    The second biggest need is filling the shoes of the MVP of the past year, Farida Osman. While there are no uber sprinters in the mold of Simone Manuel or Abbey Weitzeil in this class, there are still some very good ones. I really don't have a favorite here yet, but we only need one on this list.

    The Sprinters
    1. Lauren Pitzer; Haltom City, Texas - I'm tentatively putting Lauren first here because she seems to have more middle distance range than the others. Her times are 50 Free (22.77), 100 Free (48.72), 200 Free (1.45.68), and 500 Free (4:42.80). As far as I know, we have no recruiting connections to Lauren.

    2. Ashley Volpenhein; Mason, Ohio - Ashley is an outstanding student, and is also a top target of the Furd. Her times are 50 Free (22.35), 100 Free (48.96), and 200 Free (1:49.39). Ashley has been to our campus unofficially, but like I said before, she is also a target of the Furd.

    3. Marta Ciesla; Fort Lauderdale, Florida - Marta was part of the US Junior National Team, so she knows Nikol and Maggie. Her times are 50 Free (22.52), 100 Free (48.97), and 200 Free (1:51.57)
    Additional OT data points: Ciesla-19th, Maddie Murphy-23rd (!?!), Pitzer-36th in the 50 Free. Perceived Murphy as a flyer, but looks like she could swim a leg on the 200 Free Relay too.

    Abbey and Bilquist have the range to swim all three free relays, so the trade off would be 50/100 specialist (Ciesla) vs 100/200 specialist (Pitzer).

    Teri can go with Abbey, Amy, Hull, McL, Baker, Murphy in the 200/400 and McL, Baker, Abbey, Amy in the 800. Probably need more depth/options (Jenna? Chenoa?) in the individual 200 Free and 800 Relay.

    Based on OTs, looks like Murphy and 'furdette Voss were underrated and 'furdette Drabot was overrated.
    Last edited by BearDevil; 07-02-2016 at 08:53 AM.

  14. #14
    True Blue Golden Bear
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    Quote Originally Posted by BearDevil View Post
    Additional OT data points: Ciesla-19th, Maddie Murphy-23rd (!?!), Pitzer-36th in the 50 Free. Perceived Murphy as a flyer, but looks like she could swim a leg on the 200 Free Relay too.

    Abbey and Bilquist have the range to swim all three free relays, so the trade off would be 50/100 specialist (Ciesla) vs 100/200 specialist (Pitzer).

    Teri can go with Abbey, Amy, Hull, McL, Baker, Murphy in the 200/400 and McL, Baker, Abbey, Amy in the 800. Probably need more depth/options (Jenna? Chenoa?) in the individual 200 Free and 800 Relay.

    Based on OTs, looks like Murphy and 'furdette Voss were underrated and 'furdette Drabot was overrated.
    Apologies BD, didn't see you talked about our future relays on this thread..

  15. #15
    Barring a last minute surprise Cal addition (transfer or international), 2017 'furdettes look like an unbeatable juggernaut.

    Bear relays will be solid, but the chronic problems (diving, distance, and breast) still remain. The Runge loss still hurts, so the ideal addition would be a distance and/or 400 IM scorer who could swim an 800 relay leg. Keaton's a great addition, but Bears need a second 400 IM scorer to go with Celina.

    Eastin was underrated only relative to the Dream Team and she'll likely be LSJU's primary breastroker. Maybe AS, but neither are going to pile up a ton of individual breast points. Tedbear's dynamic duo of Maggie/Popov would be a better combo, but that needs to be balanced against two additional sprinters.

    Given diving facilities coming on line, would not be surprised to see improved diving recruits along with a coaching change.

    Taylor Ault's distance results at OTs were promising. Get Kao on her.

    Slight aside, but Durden put a monster medley relay on Team USA: Murphy/Pebley, Prenot, Shields, Adrian/Ervin. LSJU men probably get shut out on Team USA in a consecutive quadrennial. David Nolan is a Seliskar clone and his talent was wasted on the farm. Great distance core, but the rest of the men's team is crappy.
    Last edited by BearDevil; 07-02-2016 at 01:25 PM.

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