STANFORD, California, September 8. STANFORD head coach Greg Meehan didn’t have to go far to find his latest blue chip recruit as Palo Alto Stanford’s Ally Howe decided to stay home for her college career and end her Class of 2014 recruiting early in the process.
Howe, the third-ranked swimmer in the nation according to CollegeSwimming.com, is a powerful backstroker with some stunning times from this summer in her short course yard events. Typically, the top recruits usually have some stellar long course times and will have to work to translate that type of talent into the ever-important short course pool in the NCAA.
With Howe, she already is a bankable incoming freshman in short course yards with a 52.32 in the 100-yard back and a 25.08 relay leadoff in the 50-yard back. She also clocked a 1:53.52 in the 200-yard back earlier this year as well. Meanwhile, she also already has her third NCAA event in the bag with a sizzling 1:58.23 in the 200-yard IM this year as well.
Howe also is a proven commodity in long course with a 1:01.87 in the 100-meter backstroke and 2:13.10 in the 200-meter backstroke at the Speedo Junior Nationals this summer.
The commitment gives Stanford’s Meehan three out of the top 10, and four out of the top 50 recruits in the land. He already picked up commitments from No. 2 Janet Hu of Nation’s Capital, No. 10 Lindsey Engel of the Orange County Waves and No. 45 Heidi Poppe of the Crow Canyon Country Club Sharks.
Also, diving deeper into the numbers, Meehan is beginning to put up a firewall around the State of California, as he now has commitments from three of the top six swimmers in the state. Howe and Engel are the top two swimmers in the state as ranked by CollegeSwimming.com, while Poppe stands sixth. No. 39 Catherine Ladd of Santa Clara is the only California-based swimmer in the top 50 so far to choose someone other than the Cardinal as she’s headed to Northern California rival the California Golden Bears.
It’s going to be a fierce battle trying to score the other top-five California swimmers in No. 31 Brooke Lorentzen of Mission Viejo and No. 32 Leah Goldman of Peak Swimming. Although, Lorentzen could wind up heading to a more distance freestyle location.
What is most amazing so far about Stanford’s epic Class of 2014 commitments so far is that only one other school has scored the commitment of a top 10 swimmer, and that’s Georgia with No. 9 Megan Kingsley heading to Bulldog country. That’s it. Stanford has three.