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Swimming in D3?

Walker1194Walker1194 Registered User Posts: 1,005 Senior Member
edited April 2012 in Athletic Recruits
My D is interested in swimming D3. Her times aren't all that impressive but she is not currently swimming year round because there are no teams that are close and the commute would put a strain on our whole family. She only gets about five hours a week during the HS swim season. She has qualified for our state meet with our relay teams and has been an alternate for regional finals in the 100 fly for two years (only top two from each region go to state in an individual event). She is the girls team captain (jr). GPA is 4.16 (w) and has an ACT of 32. Her HS coach thinks that she would have no problem contributing to a team and all that is holding her back is the lack of training time. When she swam year round, she had multiple A and AA times.

My question is does she just try and "walk on" or get on the team as part of the admission process? I really don't know how all this works. We are just starting to explore this option and would appreciate any guidance!
Post edited by Walker1194 on

Replies to: Swimming in D3?

  • SteveMASteveMA Registered User Posts: 6,079 Senior Member
    Email some of the coaches from schools she is considering. With her grades and test scores, she will be attractive to pretty much any D3 school. If the coach wants her badly enough, they find the "academic" money to attend too. Since swim season is over, they will be able to call her and have more contact with her. Has she visited any schools yet? If not, you might want to soon and meet with coaches while you are there. The nice thing about swimming and similar sports is that your time is your time and it's a lot easier to recruit based on those times.
  • boiler83boiler83 Registered User Posts: 28 New Member
    Most swim programs have a recruit questionnaire form that can be completed online (usually found on the home page of the athletic department). Have your D complete these for the schools of interest and see where it leads. You may also want to check out the times from the various conference meets and she how she compares. Many coaches like recruits that have room for improvement and are not already either "burned out" or "worn out" from year round swimming. Good luck with the search!
  • Walker1194Walker1194 Registered User Posts: 1,005 Senior Member
    We have filled out a few questionnaires online and have visited one school that she likes. We are doing the college spring break college tour road trip next week :). The one coach that has been in contact with our HS coach has expressed an interest in her but said he can't talk to her unless she comes to a campus visit. I wasn't aware that they would be able to email my D. I thought it was on campus or nothing. Thanks for clearing that up! She is debating about visiting UChicago and Oberlin but those two will have to be later this spring or summer. Idk about enough merit money to make it worth even looking. Reading these CC boards makes me a little scared to look at "reach" schools!
  • swattiechickswattiechick - Posts: 219 Junior Member
    If you gave me times I could better tell you. From what it sounds like, I had similar times to your daughter and was recruited to "lesser" D3s like Bryn Mawr and Grinnell.
  • Walker1194Walker1194 Registered User Posts: 1,005 Senior Member
    She is swimming 50 fly (:30.18), 100 fly (1:07), 50 Free (27.89), 100 free (1:01), 500 free (6:01), 100 breast (1:12). She sacrificed a lot this year to swim events for points even though they weren't her best events. We have anywhere from 15-20 kids in a lane for each practice and she only gets in five hours a week (100% attendance). She runs in the off season on her own and does summer league. For her to have even been an alternate at regionals here was an achievement as all the swimmers in the finals were year round swimmers and getting way more hours of training and in a better facility than we have access to.
  • etondadetondad Registered User Posts: 1,120 Senior Member
    Those times aren't NESCAC recruitable or Kenyon/Emory/Dennison, but I am sure that there are DIII schools which would welcome her. Look at the championships for the various conferences and you will get a sense of how she would fit. The idea of the AI-- or balancing great jocks with bad AIs with not so great jocks with great AIs is a DI not DIII concept. I can only write about my D's experience with NESCAC, but she was told repeatedly that each potential recruit would have to make it through the admissions process on her own-- that there wasn't a "team average" approach.
  • SteveMASteveMA Registered User Posts: 6,079 Senior Member
    I know people that have been involved in D3 programs, fairly successful programs, with times like those. Teams need depth and since your DD is getting fairly reasonable times with minimal training, she will have a lot of room for improvement in college.

    Filling out the questionnaires are nice, but the coaches can only send you program information. You will get more information and have more contact if your DD emails them directly. The nice thing about most D3 programs is that training and competitions don't take up your entire life. Travel is usually fairly minimal, usually in the immediate area of the school (3-4 hours away depending on where the school is located).
  • 3togo3togo Registered User Posts: 5,233 Senior Member
    edited April 2012
    these guidelines might help ... Swimming Recruiting Guidelines

    PS - the relative light training in high school might actually help with recruiting. I as lightly recruited as a distance runner out of high school and the three follow-on questions after hearing my PRs were ... 1) GPA and SATs ... 2) 400 time (natural speed) ... 3) mileage run in high school. I ran in a very good high school program and had run a lot of miles and did not have a very good 400 times ... it seemed coaches did not think I had a lot of upside. I had friends with worse PRs but more base speed and newer to the sport (less miles) who were recruited much higher than I.
  • Walker1194Walker1194 Registered User Posts: 1,005 Senior Member
    I guess it all really boils down to her swimming potential and what they think they can do with her. She drops time at every meet even with the small amount of training (dropped 30 seconds off 500 free with basically no training for it). D is very "coachable" and very much a leader. You are right when you say at least she isn't burned out! Would she ever be a top swimmer in any D3 program? No, but if she can train normally, she would definitely get you points.
  • swattiechickswattiechick - Posts: 219 Junior Member
    I don't think she has much of a chance being recruited (except maybe at Bryn Mawr) but she could definitely be a walk on. My times were maybe a little bit faster and I had Bryn Mawr and Grinnell. Good luck to her!
  • SimplymomSimplymom Registered User Posts: 31 New Member
    You may want to look at d2 as well. If you go to collegeswimming.com you can click on times then input event, female, and d1 or d2 and you will see al the times recorded for this season. D2 also can give some $ for swimming.
  • SimplymomSimplymom Registered User Posts: 31 New Member
    Rollins college is a respected beautiful college in Orlando Florida. It is d2 and just taking a quick look at results it looks like she would be the second fastest breaststroker.
  • Walker1194Walker1194 Registered User Posts: 1,005 Senior Member
    I've never heard of Kenyon or Dennison, so not exactly on our list of LACs. Emory wouldn't be on our list either. Again, she isn't looking to be recruited so much as being able to swim as being part of her total college experience. Even given her current times, she can and does contribute to the team. Being an a non year round swimmer and an alternate (#13 seed) in the toughest region in our state is no small feat. Again, only FIVE hours a week training in a crappy pool (no blocks) with a billion other kids and competing with kids who swim four hours a day... Her technique is great, it's just conditioning that she really needs in order to excel. Trust me. I'd be the first to tell her it's a pipe dream to swim in college and that she really shouldn't even try. I have watched this kid swim since the age of 7. There is no kid that works harder in the pool. I would think a coach would be able to see that a kid can be brought up to par quickly given some time in the pool and weight room. If swimming in college doesn't work out, she will be fine anyway.
  • swattiechickswattiechick - Posts: 219 Junior Member
    Athletically, at least, I think she'd be a great fit for Swarthmore.
  • SteveMASteveMA Registered User Posts: 6,079 Senior Member
    Since you mentioned top LAC, I looked up the D3 conference that Carleton competes in and the conference championship results. With your DD's 100 breaststroke time she would have placed 16th overall (12 team conference) in finals, her 100 fly would have placed her 16th as well. Her 500 free time needs to come down another 30 seconds to be top 16 but having only swam that a couple times, possible. These top 16 times generally include the top 2 swimmers from the better schools (top 7 schools mostly) in the conference. That leaves at least one more spot, most likely 2 for each event at each school. I know one girl swimming in this same conference with similar 500 times, a bit slower actually, on one of the top teams in the conference. I think your DD has a very good chance of making any of these D3 teams. That is the nice thing about D3 athletics, you can just be on the team for most schools if you are willing to work hard and have some fun.

    Looking at the national results for D3, Carleton took 27th nationally, St. Olaf finished 32nd, but finished 5th and 2nd respectively in their conference tournament.
This discussion has been closed.