Men's Swim Recruiting 2018
In another thread we started to discuss potential 2018 recruits for the men. Recognizing it is way to early, the recently concluded Winter Junior Championships featured a number of emerging young stars in both men's and women's swimming. I thought I would offer some early thoughts for the men and leave it to others much more knowledgeable for the ladies.
In 2018 we will be looking to replace 8 seniors including Lynch (fly/sprint), Josa (fly/sprint/IM), Hoppe (breast), Green (IM/back) and Kao (distance).
In the 2018 class there are several A level program changers:
-Drew Kibler hails from Carmel, Ind. and swims for the same club as did Amy Bilquist. He will obviously be targeted by all the usual suspects but don’t sleep on the hometown Hoosiers who are building a solid sprint and mid-distance program. Drew has tremendous free range as he already has times that would have earned points in the 2016 NCAAs in the 200 and 500 free, while his 50 and 100 times are just outside top 16. He is my choice as #1 recruit in the class.
-Trey Freeman who swims for the Baylor Swim Club (Kristin Vredeveld also swam for Baylor) in Chattanooga is another swimmer with great free range in the 2018 class. Whereas Kibler has a bit more sprint speed, Freeman projects as scorer in the 1650 and 500 free. He would fit the bill for the distance stud requested by Longseeker, but his profile makes him a natural target for Stanford’s impressive distance group (recognizing the Card’s have a very unbalanced roster).
-My personal first choice for a 2018 Bear recruit is Reece Whitley. Reece is the best young breastroker in the country with times that would have scored in both individual breast events at 2016 NCAAs, with his 200 time the 3rd best time. His 200 IM time is just outside last year’s top 16 and projects Reece as a three event scorer and medley relay beast .Think of a Josh Prenot with more sprint speed.
Beyond the “Big Three” there are several other swimmers of interst where I can see Cal having a possible connection/recruiting angle. First, let’s look at the swimmers from the Golden State:
-Could James Brinegar be the next distance recruit from the Mission Viejo Nadadores? Shane Forker, Nick Norman, Ken Takahashi and Janardan Burns are all ex- Nadadores, and Jame’s 14:53.52 in the 1650 swam this November would put him just outside 2016 NCAAs scoring and 6th all-time best for Cal in the event.
- Christopher Jhong from nearby Pleasanton is a distance/swimmer who has made an impressive time drop in his 400 IM time.
- Daniel Kim a teammate of James Brinegar at Mission Viejo is one of the better butterfliers in the 2018 class, as we look to replace Lynch and Josa’s talents.
-Staying with butterfly, Andrew Koustik from Costa Mesa, had a nice 200 yard fly at the 2016 U.S. Winter finishing with the 4th best combined event time of 1:45.04, and second best of the class of 2018.
- Zander Minano, a teammate of Cal legacy commit Nate Biondi at Canyons Aquatic Club is a promising sprint free/flyer.
-Other California high schoolers to keep an eye on include Truckee’s Coop de Ryk (sprint free/fly) and Owen Kao (mid to long free) from Laguna Niguel (I do not believe he is related to Ryan).
In the earlier posts we discussed two Polish international sprinters with high end sprint prowess, sprinters Kacper Stokowski and Bartosz Piszczorowicz. I know it’s difficult to allocate scholly dollars to foreign swimmers (who are not eligible for other financial aid), but either of these two would be an interesting addition to our free/fly sprint groups.
Bolles swimmer Willie Davis also had a couple of fast swims at Winter Juniors with a 19.92 in the 50 free and 44.19 in the 100.
-If we miss on Mr. Whitley, perhaps Daniel Roy from Spokane is worth an offer. He finished 2nd to Reece in the 200 breast and 3rd in the 100 breast at Winter Juniors (combined times).
Happy to learn of any other recruits of interest, especially where Cal has a potential recruiting edge.
I just posted this in the other thread but it probably fits better here:
Going into the 2018-2019 season there will be four men still on the team that have swum at NCAAs as of now: Seliskar, Norman, Thomas, and Sand. Takahashi could join them from the current sophomore class, but hasn't looked as good this year as last year. The freshman class adds two definite NCAA guys (Jensen and Sendyk) plus Lileikis who looks to be headed in the right direction and is a probable relay piece, Xie and Song who may or may not get there this year, and Young, who has struggled so far. So all of those together likely come out to about 9 current swimmers who should be factors at NCAAs in 2019.
Of the incoming class, Hoffer, Grieshop, Mefford, and probably Carr should be capable contributors right away. Julian, Daugherty, Hatch have some work to do, I'd expect at least one to make the roster.
Assuming the goal in constructing the roster is to create a full NCAA squad of 18 potential scorers and five complete relays, that leaves us with 3-5 NCAA roster spots that could be filled by class of 2018 swimmers without any "diminishing returns" as it were from giving money to a swimmer that doesn't compete on the national stage. The trend of this team is that if they aren't contributing, qualifying, or at least making a big step forward their freshman year, they likely won't be a big point-scorer over the next three (hopefully Thomas breaks the mold here).
The top three swimmers in the class are clearly Kibler, Whitley, and possibly this Moldovan Olympian Alexei Sancov who recently started training at Terrapins in Concord (the same team that produced Justin Lynch). Not sure if he's staying in the US, if he's classified as a HS junior, or even if he's an amateur, but if he is he'd be just behind Kibler in this huge group of middle-distance swimmers coming up.
In addition I agree that Brinegar is a logical candidate, along with perhaps Sonora's Simon Lamar, and I'd also point out that the second best breaststroker in the class is Max McHugh out of Wisconsin who is already at 53.00 and 1:55 from last year. I believe his brother goes to Minnesota though. It should be noted that Willie Davis has a twin brother, Issac Davis, who goes 19.9 in the 50 but doesn't (yet) have the range to do anything else, so they may be a package deal. If we don't get Kibler, or even if we do, there's plenty of sprint talent to go around. Franzman (IN), Krueger (WI), Bobo (TX), Willenbring (TX), LeVant (TX), and the aforementioned Davis twins all have been either sub-19, sub-43, or both. LeVant is now the fourth or fifth best swimmer in the class, with range extending from 100-500, plus can swim both butterflies.
It's a shame that with the abundance of freestyle talent in this class, the bulk of it is concentrated in Texas in the midwest and not in California
Last edited by BRBear; 12-13-2016 at 11:23 AM.
Reason: additional info
"Going into the 2018-2019 season there will be four men still on the team that have swum at NCAAs as of now: Seliskar, Norman, Thomas, and Sand. Takahashi could join them from the current sophomore class, but hasn't looked as good this year as last year. The freshman class adds two definite NCAA guys (Jensen and Sendyk) plus Lileikis who looks to be headed in the right direction and is a probable relay piece, Xie and Song who may or may not get there this year, and Young, who has struggled so far. So all of those together likely come out to about 9 current swimmers who should be factors at NCAAs in 2019."
Ryan Kao also swam at 2015 NCAAs (500/1650). He appears to be focusing more on the 500 currently and is ahead of last year's pace by 2 seconds.
"The trend of this team is that if they aren't contributing, qualifying, or at least making a big step forward their freshman year, they likely won't be a big point-scorer over the next three (hopefully Thomas breaks the mold here)."
Interesting observation (c.f. Gornay, Campbell, Silverthorne, Coan, Burns, Dillinger etc). Is this generally true with swimming recruits, i.e. many highly rated preps just simply do not pan-out, or does Cal with its somewhat more rigorous academic demands make it difficult for student/athletes to be successful at both their sport as well as in the classroom.
"The top three swimmers in the class are clearly Kibler, Whitley, and possibly this Moldovan Olympian Alexei Sancov who recently started training at Terrapins in Concord (the same team that produced Justin Lynch). Not sure if he's staying in the US, if he's classified as a HS junior, or even if he's an amateur, but if he is he'd be just behind Kibler in this huge group of middle-distance swimmers coming up."
Nice catch re Sancov and the Concord Terrapins. I would hope Durden and staff have answers to your questions about Sancov's eligibility. Maybe he can stick around long enough to gain California residency.
"In addition I agree that Brinegar is a logical candidate, along with perhaps Sonora's Simon Lamar..."
Lamar was listed as a commit to Stanford last year by collegeswimming.com, but no longer, and I suspect I have a mental block about his desire to be a Bear.
I also like a number of out-of-state guys on your list, but given absence of a Cal edge and the additional cost of non-resident tuition I left them out of my original post, although it would be sweet to nab Levant and/or Bobo away from Eddie.
Last edited by dgong; 12-13-2016 at 03:03 PM.
Ryan Kao is a junior currently though, and will be gone by the time the class in question matriculates. As far as swimmers turning it around after their freshman year, I'm not sure how common it is but it's definitely not unheard of; see Texas's Clark Smith or USC's Steven Stumph.
Didn't know that re:Lamar. That is a bit suspect, but then collegeswimming,com has been known to post erroneous commitment information in the past.
In the past I would've been quick to write off almost any chance of getting guys out of Texas, but the signing of Grieshop shows that Dave has really ascended to the highest possible level of recruiting. You may be right about the expense though. It seems likely that the money might not be there for more than about two elite out-of-staters, so fingers crossed for Kibler and Whitley. If not them then another sprinter and a 200 capable guy like Freeman, LeVant, or Callan out of Oklahoma. Better to scrounge together a near full-ride for a Kibler type than to use it on 5 Californians of uncertain potential, which unfortunately is most of what the this class has to offer.
I would be quite happy with Kibler, Whitley and 5 Californians (Brinegar, Jhong, Koustic, Kim, Minano). The Bears would have some pretty nasty relays pieces with Jensen, Hoffer, Sendyk, Kibler, Whitley, Lileikis, Mefford and Seliskar.
Great thread, thanks.
LSJU is a distance monster, but they're way too unbalanced to be a credible NCAA title contender. Grieshop, Norman, KT, and Forker are a formidable distance crew. No offense to Freeman, but in-state Brinegar is a much better value for Durden's Bears.
No doubt re Freeman versus Brinegar. Same applies to Simon Lamar, but I have a gut feeling that he is Stanford bound. Perhaps this is a odd coincidence, but there was a professor in Stanford's Dept of Aeronautics named Simon Lamar.
Originally Posted by BearDevil
At this time, 2018 is a pretty lean year for male California prep swimmers but 2019 appears a bit deeper. Swimmers of interest include Colby Mefford (Bryce's brother) and another Mykkanen (Christopher), and a couple of local boy's who train with Terrapins (Arod Rodriguez) and Pleasanton Seahawks (Calvin David and Jonah Cooper).
The early top rated men's recruit in the 2019 class is SwimMac's Jack Walker. An out-of-state swimmer, but hopefully Durden's connection with Dave Marsh puts us in the recruiting picture.
I don't track divers but I would hope that Durden is able to attract a steady flow of competitive divers with the new Legends facility. Texas' diving edge likely keeps the NCAA trophy in Austin in 2017 and makes them competitive in 2018 and beyond despite less heralded recent swimming recruiting classes.
Last edited by dgong; 12-15-2016 at 07:05 PM.
Trey Freeman -> Florida Gators
Originally Posted by UrsusArctosCalifornicus
Trey Freeman: Proud to announce my verbal commitment to swim and study at the University of Florida. Big thank you to my family, friends, and coaches that have helped me along the way. Go Gators!
What? Already verbal for 2018.
The Gators must have given him an unbelievable offer for him to commit so early.
Although not quite as early, local boy Max Rooney also made an early commitment to Florida in 2015. Kibler and Whitley remain the top targets for the Bears.
Originally Posted by OBear073akaSMFan
Last edited by UrsusArctosCalifornicus; 01-04-2017 at 07:39 AM.
Freeman's a great swimmer from an excellent school, but he'd be a luxury out of state recruit for a team that already has a better version in Grieshop. Kibler and RW would fill a lot of holes.
Originally Posted by OBear073akaSMFan
Hoffer is valuable because he could swim three medley relay legs (free, back, fly) for the Bears. Mefford/Carr could handle the back and Jensen could handle sprints, but an elite flyer would be a bigger bang for the buck. Sadly there aren't any 2018 CA options.
Florida is putting together a solid 2018 class, having obtained early verbals from Trey Freeman, sprinters Willie Davis and brother Isaac (package deal as suggested by BRBear?), and Florida IMer Miguel Cancel. The Gators only have two seniors on their current roster.
Since when does out of state tuition get in the way of men's swimming?
Originally Posted by BearDevil