DANVILLE, California, October 17. WHILE the West Coast schools have been making some serious headway as top flight recruits have been committing left and right to universities in California, a Big Ten school did a bit of poaching this week.
Swimming World five-star prospect Paige Bradley of Danville, Calif., who swims for the Crow Canyon Sharks, made her pledge to the University of Minnesota this week. Bradley owns a pair of top times in the 100-meter breast (1:11.75) and 200-meter breast (2:35.09) that cleared the previous U.S. Olympic Trials cuts. She also already has an NCAA Division I B cut time based on the current qualification standards with a 100-yard breast clocking of 1:02.25 to her credit.
"On the surface, Minnesota might not seem like the place a California girl, born and raised, would choose to spend the next fours years in college!" Bradley told Swimming World. "Over a year ago, when my parents and I began the process of researching schools and swim programs I promised myself that I would keep an open mind and be willing to ‘think outside the box'. I also enlisted the help of my club coaches, Dan Cottam and Ethan Hall, to evaluate college swim programs so that I could successfully transition from my club training into the much higher level college training. Eventually, I narrowed my choices down to Southern California, California, Texas A&M and the University of Minnesota, all exceptional schools with outstanding swim teams and coaching staffs.
"From the moment I stepped onto the Minnesota campus, I felt at home," Bradley continued. "The faculty members that I met impressed me about the quality of education I would receive. The campus is beautiful and so is the city of Minneapolis! Right away, I liked the girls on the team. I felt like I fit in with everyone very well and I can't say enough about coach Kelly Kremer. What Kelly and Terry Nieszner have done the last four years for the women's team is very impressive, and I'm very excited to contribute to and be a part of that continued success. Kelly did a great job showing me that he could see my potential as a swimmer and student. I'm confident that he can take me to the next level and help me achieve my goals within an amazing team atmosphere."