Interested in college swimming? A great way to know where you stand in the eyes of a college swim coach is to look at the facts. Compare your times to the times of other swimmers on that coach’s team. If you go a sub-:50 100 yard backstroke and are looking to go to Harvard, take a look at the meet results. The heat sheets are readily available on the Harvard men’s swimming homepage. In a recent meet between Harvard, Dartmouth, and Cornell, a sub-:50 100 yard backstroke would have earned a Harvard swimmer either first or second as only one swimmer — a Dartmouth swimmer and the school’s record-holder in that event — managed to swim below :50 in the event. The fastest Harvard swimmer completed the race in :50.32, good for second place.
Go through each of the result sheets for various Ivy League meets if these are the schools you’re interested in swimming at. Compare your times to other swimmers on the team as well as to swimmers on rival teams. See how you’d stack up against them. Also, take a look at what year in school these swimmers are. If a school is led by three seniors in the backstroke events, you can bet that this school will be looking to target a couple of backstrokers for the incoming class. If the strong backstrokers tend to be freshmen or sophomores, maybe the coach has an eye more towards flyers, breakstrokers, freestylers, and IMers.
If you’re looking to get recruited for college swimming — especially in the Ivy League — to not take advantage of the resources that are available to you is foolish. It’s like taking a test without first studying or going to a job interview without knowing with whom you are meeting (you’ve got to Google!). Do your homework. Go through heat sheets. Know where you stand. It’s an advantage that swimmers and runners have that basketball and football players just don’t. And in a country where basketball and football take priority in admissions over sports like swimming and track, you’ve got to use every advantage you possibly can!
Also, considering lying about your swim times to college coaches? Think again! Don’t do it. Not ever. And, while you’re here, check out this article on talented students originally published by “Peterson’s” and written by our Founder, Bev Taylor.