PHOENIX, Arizona, October 6. IT's becoming a busy day on the recruiting front. On the same day that five-star Olivia Smoliga made her commitment public, six-star Leah Smith of the JCC Sailfish and five-star Kaitlyn Jones of the Delaware Swim Team pledged their services to Virginia.
Smith and Jones made Virginia head coach Mark Bernardino's day by committing to be a future Cavaliers as part of the Class of 2013. Having Olympian Lauren Perdue around as part of the recruiting trips could not have hurt, especially considering she became one of the stars of the Call Me Maybe video put out by USA Swimming.
Smith, one of a handful of NCAA scoring locks coming out of high school thus earning her six-star status, is ranked third in the state of Pennsylvania that is loaded with women's talent this year. Three of the top seven recruits hail for Pennsylvania with two off the table now as Smith made her choice known today. Rachel Zilinskas is still making a decision, while Emily Cameron made the call to Jack Bauerle and the Georgia Bulldogs.
Smith is a six-star in the Swimming World College Recruit Rankings system primarily due to her distance freestyle efforts. Smith, a Junior Pan Pacific team member, has a 16:02.40 1650-yard freestyle to her credit, a time that would have placed her eighth at the 2012 NCAA Division I Championships. She also would have competed in the B final in the 500-yard freestyle with a lifetime best of 4:39.96. She is also a long course meter threat with strong lifetime bests in the 100 free (57.27), 200 free (1:58.56), 400 free (4:07.10) and 800 free (8:28.01).
Jones, the top swimmer in the state of Delaware according to CollegeSwimming.com, is also ranked 13th in the nation by that service. In the Swimming World College Recruit Rankings system, she's earned five out of six stars by way of a versatile long course meter resume.
“Yes, I committed to UVA today!” Jones told Swimming World. “It is such a great school, and I love the team and coaches so much. I'm looking forward to the next four years.”
Jones' lifetime bests in the 200 free (2:03.65), 100 back (1:03.00), 200 back (2:11.08), 200 IM (2:14.31) and 400 IM (4:47.57) demonstrate the versatility needed at the collegiate level. Meanwhile, her top short course yards times in the 200 back (1:55.05) and 400 IM (4:11.67) already would have qualified her for the NCAA Division I Championships last year.
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