PHOENIX, Arizona, September 14. WE'RE going to stick with the NCAAs for this poll, and we want to know which female could have the best freshman collegiate season. On our list are five promising women.
Rachel Bootsma, who is now at UC-Berkeley, is the national high school record holder in the 100 back and made the Olympic team in that event. Sarah Haase has the independent national high school record in the 100 breast and will be representing Stanford. Brittany MacLean is coming from Canada to swim at Georgia and was a finalist in the 400 free in London. Elizabeth Pelton came close to qualifying for the U.S. Olympic team in the backstrokes and the 200 IM and could be a major contributor for Cal this year. And finally, Sinead Russell from Canada got into the final of the 200 back at the London Olympics, and she'll use her international experience to help the Gators at Florida.
Go to swimmingworldmagazine.com/poll to place your vote by next Friday morning.
For the last two weeks, we had a poll on our site asking you to vote on the female Olympic medalist you are most excited to follow this coming college season. I guess it should come as no surprise that Allison Schmitt got the most votes, 43.88 percent, in fact. Schmitt is returning to the University of Georgia after a redshirt year to swim for the Bulldogs in her senior year. Schmitt won five medals in London and could turn out to be the swimmer of the meet at next year's NCAAs.
Coming in second was Elizabeth Beisel, who will be a junior at Florida. Beisel won a silver in the 400 IM and bronze in the 200 backstroke. She hasn't performed up to expectations at the NCAAs in her first two years, but she could be a major force in March. In a near dead heat for third was California freshman Rachel Bootsma, Texas A&M junior Breeja Larson and California senior Caitlin Leverenz. Rounding out the field was University of Virginia senior Lauren Perdue.