By Jason Marsteller
PHOENIX, Arizona, October 23. WHILE the Texas women, under the direction of Kim Brackin, made the biggest early splashes with pledges from Kathleen Hersey and Leah Gingrich, Gregg Troy of Florida and Lea Maurer of Stanford have returned fire with some big gets of their own.
According to the SwimmingWorldMagazine Class of 2008 Recruiting Update, both Florida and Stanford are starting to put together some strong classes of their own.
Florida has scored commitments from six swimmers, including a pair of swimmers who participated in the National Club Swimming Association's All-American meet in Hawaii this summer. I was privileged enough to be along for the ride in Hawaii, and can say that both Claire Dickmann and Shara Stafford were great people to get to know at the meet.
The following swimmers are the early pledges for Coach Troy:
Sarah Bateman; Lake Brantley/Patriot Aquatics: A definite sprinter with quick times in the 50 and 100 free as well as the 100 back.
Blair Collins; Sarasota/Sarasota YMCA: The YMCA national titlist in the 200 back, Florida scores a threat in the dorsal events.
Claire Dickmann; Notre Dame/Clippers Swimming: Provides Florida with a strong middle-distance freestyler and an overall butterflyer.
Anna Pold; Torry Pines/North Coast Aquatics: Versatile swimmer with swift times in the 200 back, 200 fly and 400 IM.
Lindsay Rogers; Hamilton Southeastern/Southeastern: Gives Florida a breaststroke specialist with some ability in the IM events.
Shara Stafford; Topeka/Topeka Swim Association: Another sprinter with Olympic Trials cuts in the 100 free and back as well as a quick time in the 50 free.
On the other side of the country, Coach Maurer is assembling another incredible class following the addition of Elaine Breeden and Julia Smit in last year's class. So far, a trio of top women have committed to signing with the Cardinal.
Angela Duckworth; Desert Mountain/Sun Devil Aquatics: A definite intellectual, Duckworth came down to Stanford, Harvard or Princeton before pulling the trigger on pledging to Stanford. Duckworth adds a distance freestyle threat to Coach Maurer's arsenal.
Jessica Rodriquez; Westlake/Longhorn Aquatics: Rodriquez, a two-time Pan American Games gold medalist, gives Stanford another middle-distance freestyle swimmer to throw at the competition.
Samantha Woodward; Edmond Memorial/Chesapeake: National Team member in the 100 fly, Woodward offers Stanford a butterfly specialist to claim big points for the Cardinal.
With other teams starting to catch up, Brackin hasn't stood still as she recently picked up a commitment from Kate Riefenstahl of Germantown Academy. Riefenstahl will provide another sprinter to Brackin's Longhorns as Riefenstahl has quick times in the 50-100-200 freestyle events.
One last note to make. It seems like the men might be suffering from some commitment phobia as the reported women's pledges far out-number those from the men. Feel free to contact us at Newsmaster to let us know about your commitments.