July 5, 2012
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern's incoming recruiting class for the 2012-13 season, which features several international standouts, has been named the nation's 16th best by Collegeswimming.com. The rating comes on the heels of NU's 2011-12 class earning the No. 21 rank in the country.
Says the website: "The last couple of years of his career (former NU head coach) Bob Groseth brought in some of his best recruiting classes. Jarod Schroeder is beginning to leave his imprint on the program and you can see it in the landing of a couple of big names, Grant Halsall and Van Donkersgoed. Those two aren't exactly (two-time Olympians Matt) Grevers and (Mike) Alexandrov but they more than make up for the losses of Tony Mattar and John Frutiger."
That analysis does not even include Jordan Wilimovsky, a Malibu, Calif., distance specialist who took 17th among the 91-member men's 1,500-meter freestyle field at last week's U.S. Olympic Trials with a career-best time of 15:33.29. He is the fourth-fastest 18-and-under swimmer at that distance in the nation. Prior to arriving in Evanston, Wilimovsky -- the No. 71 overall swimmer in this class nationally -- will represent the U.S. at the inaugural FINA World Junior Open Water Swimming Championships in Welland, Ontario, Canada, in August.
Halsall, one of the top swimmers from Great Britain, is the No. 16 overall recruit in this year's class according to Collegeswimming.com
. He currently is the fastest 18-and-under backstroker in his country and ranks fourth all-time in British history. Halsall also excels in the butterfly stroke.
Donkersgoed is the top recruit in the state of Minnesota and ranks 63rd nationally says Collegeswimming.com. The talented breaststroke and individual medley specialist has competed multiple times for the USA Junior National Team, and, showcasing his depth, also has served on the USA Swimming Rules and Regulations Committee.
Another international addition to the Wildcats is Greek breaststroker Marios Smailis, who came to the United States to do his college prep work at the Bolles School in Jacksonville, Fla. He is ranked as the No. 29 recruit in the state of Florida and will pair with Donkersgoed to give NU a strong 1-2 punch in the breast events for the next four years.
Local product Nick Bessler of Naperville North high school is the No. 7 ranked recruit from Illinois in Collegeswimming.com's formula. He recently competed at the 2012 NCSA Junior National Championships in butterfly, individual medley and freestyle events.
Not factored into the rankings is an incoming transfer, Aaron Sears, who attended Maryland as a freshman in 2011-12 before moving on to Northwestern when the Terrapins dropped their program. He is a breaststroke and freestyle competitor.
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