PHOENIX, Arizona, October 20. THE University of Virginia unearthed a hidden gem for next year's male freshman class, claiming rising middle distance freestyler Andrea D'Arrigo with a verbal commitment.
D'Arrigo was born and raised in Rome but recently moved to Gainesville, Fla., to train at Gator Swim Club and attend the Gainesville P.K. Yonge Research Development School. He had an impressive 2012, posting lifetime best times that rank him as one of the top 18-and-under long course swimmers in the United States. He posted a 51.39 in the 100 freestyle at last spring's Italian nationals/Olympic Trials, but his best events are the 200 and 400 freestyles. At the Sette Colli meet in June, D'Arrigo posted times of 1:49.34 and 3:51.72, which would have placed him in the semifinals of the 200 free and in the top 16 of the 400 at the U.S. Olympic Trials. These times rank him as a five-star recruit in the Swimming World College Recruit Rankings.
Though D'Arrigo definitely would deserve a six-star ranking based on his long course times, what keeps him from gaining that status is a lack of comparable short course yards times in his brief time in the United States. But according to our time conversion utility, his best long course times would convert to 1:36.0 and 4:18.3. That 200 free time would have knocked on the door of a top 16 finish at the 2012 Division I NCAA championships, while his 500 free would have put him in the championship final.
D'Arrigo told Swimming World that he is not swimming in the high school season, which is approaching its championship season in a couple of weeks.
D'Arrigo's addition to Virginia's roster could continue the Cavalier's strong history in middle distance freestyle that includes Fran Crippen and 2011 national champion Matt McLean.
“I am so blessed to be committed and able to wear the UVA colors,” D'Arrigo told Swimming World. “I am very excited and I would like to thank my mom for helping me, but also (Virginia's) Coach (Chip) Kline and (Mark) Bernardino that helped me and were interested in me since I filled their recruitment. I always wanted to go to UVA since I visited when I was a little kid. I've heard how great of a school it was from Italy. Rome is my home but I think now it will be Virginia.
“I am very proud to be able to study at such a great school. It has a great program and reputation. I am happy to continue both my studies and swimming. That's why I moved to the States, and I think that with the help of Coach Kline and Coach Bernardino and the great team they are creating, I can fulfill all of my academic and swimming dreams. I think they will help me gain the 2016 Olympic final.”
D'Arrigo is Virginia's first notable male recruiting capture of the season, complimenting the three female commitments from earlier this month from Leah Smith, Kaitlyn Jones and Laura Simon.
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