Women’s High School Class of 2017


Each summer, college swimming fans look forward to recruiting – the lifeblood of any NCAA swim program. Since 2012, we’ve been ranking down the top NCAA prospects in the nation from each recruiting class. But sports are inherently unpredictable, and even the most sure-fire prospect can go awry or completely change their role over four years.

As we do each year, we’ll look back at the high school class of 2017, which just finished four years of college eligibility this spring.

First, a few notes:

  • Most of the data we’re tracking here deals with NCAA scoring. Obviously, some swimmers are great assets for their teams in dual meets and conference competition without ever being national factors. While we don’t discount the impact of those types of swimmers, the difference in competition between various teams’ dual meet schedules and conference meets makes NCAA scoring the best “apples to apples” comparisons between swimmers.
  • Relays are another point of contention, as a swimmer in a strong program has more opportunity for NCAA relays, though they also have more competition for those relay spots. We’ve left relay results out of the data below, except where specifically indicated. That, too, gives us a more fair comparison between athletes.
  • We don’t rank diving recruits, but we have started to track individual diving scoring, which is helpful in determining how much of an impact a diver is likely to have on NCAA finish.
  • We did our best to scour NCAA results over the past four-plus years, but it’s certainly possible we made a mistake in compiling our data. If you spot an error, please respectfully let us know in the comment section so we can update our work!

2021 Note: Between last year’s canceled NCAA meet, the resulting added eligibility for athletes, and the number of entire programs and conferences taking redshirt seasons for 2021, some of these athletes may have years of scoring still to come, and there are some continuing discussions on which classes each athlete belongs in, particularly with international athletes.

We only include domestic recruits in our recruit rankings, as it’s often harder to predict if and when an international recruit will join the NCAA, and which class they should be ranked with. However, we’ve gone back through and tallied up all individual scorers that roughly fit into this class – international and domestic.

REVISITING OUR TOP 20

Check out this post for our analysis of the top 20 recruits in the high school class of 2017. Bear in mind that this was posted in July of 2016, when these swimmers were high school juniors, and looks much different with the benefit of hindsight.

Here’s a look at our top 10 recruits, plus how many individual points they scored at NCAAs in each of their four years:

Rank Name College Team Total NCAA Points 2018 NCAA Points 2019 NCAA Points 2020 NCAA Points 2021 NCAA Points 2020 NCAA Psych Sheet Points
1 Courtney Harnish Georgia 44 7 15 22 38
2 Sierra Schmidt Michigan 57 9 17 31 21
3 Margaret Aroesty USC 9 9 0 no invite
4 Brooke Forde Stanford 104 21 43 40 42
5 Nikol Popov Tennessee 3 no invite 3 0
6 Lauren Pitzer Stanford 23 1 22 no invite 5
7 Ashlyn Schoof Louisville 0 0 no invite no invite no invite
8 Hannah Kukurugya Stanford 0 0 0 0
9 Taylor Pike Texas A&M 25.5 5 6 14.5 1
10 Grace Zhao Stanford 7 5 2 no invite no invite
11 Victoria Edwards Texas 0 no invite no invite no invite no invite
12 Ashley Volpenhein Stanford 0 no invite no invite no invite no invite
13 Marta Ciesla USC 0 0 0 no invite 3
14 Caitlin Tycz USC 0 0 0 no invite no invite
15 Alexis Margett Michigan 0 no invite no invite no invite no invite
16 Anna Belousova Texas A&M 45 27 18
17 Taylor Ault Florida 0 0 0 0
18 Paige Madden Virginia 98 0 38 60 44
19 Joy Field Texas A&M 0 no invite 0 no invite
20 Regan Barney Princeton 0 no invite no invite no invite no invite

The hits:

  • This was the last class before we started doing senior-year re-ranks. And Brooke Forde was arguably one of the reasons we added that layer to our recruiting coverage. Between our junior ranks and the end of her senior year, Forde dropped from 4:07.4 to 4:02.5 in the 400 IM and 1:57.8 to 1:55.5 in the 200 IM. She wound up the #1 scorer in the entire class, and also won 3 individual and 2 relay titles at NCAAs.
  • Schmidt and Harnish both had very good careers at the top, scoring in all three of their NCAA meets.
  • Paige Madden had a chance to challenge Forde for the top scoring spot. She clearly developed over her career, going from 0 freshman points to 38 sophomore points to 60 senior points. She was seeded to score 44 in the canceled 2020 meet, two more than Forde.
  • Texas A&M’s Anna Belousova was another big hit, scoring 45 points in just two NCAA meets. She wasn’t planning to swim 2020 NCAAs and hasn’t registered a swim since.

The misses:

  • Two of our top 10 didn’t score any NCAA points. Ashlyn Schoof only earned an NCAA invite as a freshman, though she did lead off a scoring 200 medley relay for Louisville this year as a relay-only swimmer.
  • Hannah Kukurugya earned an NCAA invite in all four of her seasons, but was scratched from the roster as a sophomore to help Stanford get under the NCAA roster cap. She came quite close to scoring in the 200 fly with finishes of 18th and 21st.
  • Quite a few in our 11-20 group went without an individual NCAA invite. But all still had an impact at the conference level – Edwards placed at Big 12s as a freshman. Volpenhein was a four-year Pac-12 scorer on a very good Stanford team. Margett was a three-year Big Ten scorer. Field was an SEC scorer and one-time NCAA invitee. Barney was a two-time Ivy League champ in the 400 IM.

OTHER IMPACTFUL RECRUITS IN THE HIGH SCHOOL RECRUITING CLASS OF 2016

Of course, not every contributor comes from our top 20 list. Some swimmers develop extremely well in college. Some swimmers slip under our radar, or don’t really show their ability until their senior year of high school, after our rankings come out.

We dug through NCAA results to find the best American swimmers from this class to not appear on our top 10 list. Again, it’s not always easy to account for redshirt years, gap years or mistakes in an athlete’s listed class each season. So if we forgot anyone, respectfully let us know in the comments.

Name College Team Total NCAA Points 2018 NCAA Points 2019 NCAA Points 2020 NCAA Points 2021 NCAA Points 2020 NCAA Psych Sheet Points
Evie Pfeifer Texas 87.5 23.5 16 48 1
Bailey Bonnett Kentucky 35 14 14 7 9
Kate Moore NC State 29 2 27 15
Kristen Romano Ohio State 27 7 0 20
Sarah Thompson Missouri 23 23 26
Camryn Toney Texas A&M 19 19
Maddie Smith Northwestern 18 18
Julia Poole NC State 16 3 13 5
Katie Trace Ohio State 16 3 13
Josie Grote Indiana 15 15
Sophie Angus Northwestern 11 11 6
Caroline Gmelich Virginia 11 11 3
Autumn Haebig Nebraska 11 11
Emma Nordin Arizona State 9 9 43
Emma Seiberlich Virginia 6 6
Mykenzie Leehy Houston 6 6
Abby Richter Virginia 5 5 14
Alexis Yager Tennessee 5 5 5
Peyton Palsha Arkansas 5 5
Olivia Calegan NC State 4 4 7
Kyla Valls Virginia 4 4
Haley Yelle Texas A&M 3 3
Danielle Dellatorre Georgia 3 3 23
Amanda Nunan Tennessee 2 2 9
Taylor Petrak Ohio State 1.5 1.5
Morgan Friesen Louisville 0 11
Daria Pyshnenko Michigan 0 8.5
Caroline Hauder UNC 0 4
Erica Laning Arizona State 0 2

Standouts:

  • Evie Pfeifer was obviously the biggest unranked name, scoring more individual points than anyone but Forde or Madden. When we ranked this group as juniors, she was 4:42.8 in the 500 free and 4:16.6 in the 400 IM. By her senior year, she cut to 4:39.4 and 4:12.8 and would definitely have improved her rank.
  • Kentucky’s Bailey Bonnett scored in all three of her NCAA Championship meets. She was a true collegiate breakout, going from 1:01.9/2:13.8 as a high school junior recruit to 1:00.8/2:12.5 as a senior to 59.4/2:07.1 as a college freshman.
  • Missouri’s Sarah Thompson probably would have ranked higher on this list had 2020 NCAAs not been cancelled. She was seeded to score 26 that year and scored 23 as a senior after not scoring her first two seasons.
  • Arizona State’s Emma Nordin was in line for a massive scoring surge as a junior before the meet was canceled. ASU took a program-wide redshirt this season amid the pandemic, so there’s a possibility she adds to her scoring total next year.

INTERNATIONAL

Name College Team Total NCAA Points 2018 NCAA Points 2019 NCAA Points 2020 NCAA Points 2021 NCAA Points 2020 NCAA Psych Sheet Points
Robin Neumann Cal 51 16 14 21 4
Mackenzie Padington Minnesota 37 5 32
Jing Quah Texas A&M 17 11 6 9
Reka Gyorgy Virginia Tech 16 16
Calypso Sheridan Northwestern 15 15 44
Klara Thormalm San Diego State 15 9 6
Sarah Darcel Cal 12 12
Mariia Astashkina Louisville 12 12 0
Tamila Holub NC State 11 11 0
Olivia Anderson Georgia 7 7 2
Petra Halmai FGCU 6 6 7
Sonnele Oeztuerk Auburn 3 3 0
Ioanna Sacha Houston 3 3
Tjasa Pintar Tennessee 2 2 3.5
Freya Rayner Ohio State 0 11
Arina Openysheva Louisville 0 7
Jemma Schlicht USC 0 1.5
Flora Molnar Alabama 0 1

Standouts:

  • This wasn’t a massive international class, perhaps diluted by the pandemic, with a number of scorers turning pro or taking redshirt seasons when international travel was difficult.
  • Cal’s Robin Neumann was the every-year contributor, scoring 51 across four seasons and three NCAA meets.
  • Minnesota’s Mackenzie Padington probably would have pushed towards Neumann’s scoring levels. She ramped up in a big way as a sophomore, rising to 32 points, but announced a transfer and then ultimately turned pro around the Olympic year.
  • The biggest points loss in the 2020 cancelation was Calypso Sheridan, who was in line to score 44 for Northwestern.

Diving

Name College Team Total NCAA Points 2018 NCAA Points 2019 NCAA Points 2020 NCAA Points 2021 NCAA Points
Brooke Schultz Arkansas 82 29 32 21
Delaney Schnell Arizona 76.5 13 31.5 32
Emily Bretscher Purdue 39 14 25
Charlye Campbell Texas A&M 24 24
Abigail Knapton Nebraska 22 22
Cami Hidalgo Georgia Tech 22 22
Alicia Blagg Miami 19 19
Frida Kaellgren Arizona State 14 14
Ashley McCool Florida 11 11
Christy Cutshaw Michigan 7 7
Mya Kraeger Indiana 4 4
Genevieve Angerame Ohio State 2 2
Kelly Straub Notre Dame 1 1
Maha Amer Arkansas 1 1

Standouts:

  • Brooke Schultz was an individual NCAA champ for Arkansas, and divers actually accounted for two of the top five individual scorers in the class. That included Arizona’s Delaney Schnell.
  • A huge portion of this class’s diving points came in 2021 as seniors.

ALL INDIVIDUAL SCORERS IN THE CLASS:

(Ranked recruits are listed with their 2014 rank. International recruits are listed with “INTL” and unranked recruits with “UNR.” Diving recruits are listed with “DIVE”)

Final Rank 2017 Rank Name College Team Total NCAA Points 2018 NCAA Points 2019 NCAA Points 2020 NCAA Points 2021 NCAA Points 2020 NCAA Psych Sheet Points
1 4 Brooke Forde Stanford 104 21 43 40 42
2 18 Paige Madden Virginia 98 0 38 60 44
3 UNR Evie Pfeifer Texas 87.5 23.5 16 48 1
4 DIVE Brooke Schultz Arkansas 82 29 32 21
5 DIVE Delaney Schnell Arizona 76.5 13 31.5 32
6 2 Sierra Schmidt Michigan 57 9 17 31 21
7 INTL Robin Neumann Cal 51 16 14 21 4
8 16 Anna Belousova Texas A&M 45 27 18
9 1 Courtney Harnish Georgia 44 7 15 22 38
10 DIVE Emily Bretscher Purdue 39 14 25
11 INTL Mackenzie Padington Minnesota 37 5 32
12 UNR Bailey Bonnett Kentucky 35 14 14 7 9
13 UNR Kate Moore NC State 29 2 27 15
14 UNR Kristen Romano Ohio State 27 7 0 20
15 9 Taylor Pike Texas A&M 25.5 5 6 14.5 1
16 DIVE Charlye Campbell Texas A&M 24 24
17 6 Lauren Pitzer Stanford 23 1 22 no invite 5
17 UNR Sarah Thompson Missouri 23 23 26
19 DIVE Cami Hidalgo Georgia Tech 22 22
19 DIVE Abigail Knapton Nebraska 22 22
21 UNR Camryn Toney Texas A&M 19 19
21 DIVE Alicia Blagg Miami 19 19
23 UNR Maddie Smith Northwestern 18 18
24 INTL Jing Quah Texas A&M 17 11 6 9
25 INTL Reka Gyorgy Virginia Tech 16 16
25 UNR Julia Poole NC State 16 3 13 5
25 UNR Katie Trace Ohio State 16 3 13
28 UNR Josie Grote Indiana 15 15
28 INTL Klara Thormalm San Diego State 15 9 6
28 INTL Calypso Sheridan Northwestern 15 15 44
31 DIVE Frida Kaellgren Arizona State 14 14
32 INTL Sarah Darcel Cal 12 12
32 INTL Mariia Astashkina Louisville 12 12 0
34 UNR Sophie Angus Northwestern 11 11 6
34 UNR Caroline Gmelich Virginia 11 11 3
34 DIVE Ashley McCool Florida 11 11
34 UNR Autumn Haebig Nebraska 11 11
34 INTL Tamila Holub NC State 11 11 0
39 3 Margaret Aroesty USC 9 9 0 no invite
39 UNR Emma Nordin Arizona State 9 9 43
41 10 Grace Zhao Stanford 7 5 2 no invite no invite
41 INTL Olivia Anderson Georgia 7 7 2
41 DIVE Christy Cutshaw Michigan 7 7
44 INTL Petra Halmai FGCU 6 6 7
44 UNR Mykenzie Leehy Houston 6 6
44 UNR Emma Seiberlich Virginia 6 6
47 UNR Alexis Yager Tennessee 5 5 5
47 UNR Peyton Palsha Arkansas 5 5
47 UNR Abby Richter Virginia 5 5 14
50 UNR Olivia Calegan NC State 4 4 7
50 UNR Kyla Valls Virginia 4 4
50 DIVE Mya Kraeger Indiana 4 4
53 UNR Danielle Dellatorre Georgia 3 3 23
53 INTL Ioanna Sacha Houston 3 3
53 5 Nikol Popov Tennessee 3 no invite 3 0
53 UNR Haley Yelle Texas A&M 3 3
53 INTL Sonnele Oeztuerk Auburn 3 3 0
58 UNR Amanda Nunan Tennessee 2 2 9
58 INTL Tjasa Pintar Tennessee 2 2 3.5
58 DIVE Genevieve Angerame Ohio State 2 2
61 UNR Taylor Petrak Ohio State 1.5 1.5
62 DIVE Kelly Straub Notre Dame 1 1
62 DIVE Maha Amer Arkansas 1 1
64 UNR Morgan Friesen Louisville 0 11
64 INTL Freya Rayner Ohio State 0 11
64 UNR Daria Pyshnenko Michigan 0 8.5
64 INTL Arina Openysheva Louisville 0 7
64 UNR Caroline Hauder UNC 0 4
64 13 Marta Ciesla USC 0 0 0 no invite 3
64 UNR Erica Laning Arizona State 0 2
64 INTL Jemma Schlicht USC 0 1.5
64 INTL Flora Molnar Alabama 0 1

BONUS: THE SUPER-SENIORS

We usually like to run through the top seniors who don’t technically fit with this class. This year, the main one is Sarah Bacon, Minnesota’s three-time NCAA champion diver who came into college with the class of 2016, but took a redshirt year in 2020.

Bacon finished with 135 individual points across four NCAA meets. She had one more NCAA meet than anyone in this class (or her own class of 2016), but even on a per-year basis, she would have outscored everyone in both classes except Forde, Louise Hansson, Asia Seidt and Beata Nelson. You can see that full class’s individual scoring here.

Archives: Revisiting Recruit Ranks





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