MOUNT PLEASANT, South Carolina, October 8. THE West Virginia Mountaineers picked up a recruit for the Class of 2014 when James Koval committed to take his distance talents to Morgantown in the fall.
Shortly after making the decision, Koval told Swimming World, "I'm very excited to commit to WVU! I was extremely happy with my official visit. The team is headed in the right direction, both athletically and academically, the scenery is beautiful, and the school spirit is off the charts. My dad, his mother, and each of his four siblings all attended WVU, so it also feels great to carry on the family tradition. Go 'Eers!"
Koval swims his best in the longest races, with current best times of 9:27.80 in the 1000 free and 15:51.46 in the 1650. He also could contribute in the 500 free (4:36.89) and 400 IM (4:09.50). On Saturday, Koval dominated his final High School State Championships, winning both the 200 (1:44.73) and 500 free (4:39.69), and swimming on Academic Magnet's winning 200 medley relay and runner-up 400 free relay. Koval led the Raptors to their second consecutive 3A state title.
Koval swam four events at Junior Nationals in Irvine this summer, as he owns impressive long course times in the 400 IM (4:38.57), 400 free (4:07.18), 800 free (8:28.93), and 1500 free (16:12.59).