Is it too late to be recruited for Caltech swimming?

Hi CC,

I’m currently a senior and am wondering if it is too late to be recruited for Caltech swimming. My stats should be academically competitive for Caltech (ACT C36, M35, S36 and some bio competitions where I placed top 10%), and based on the 2018-2019 roster, I am faster than 2-3 people. I already submitted the questionnaire online, is there anything else I need to do? How exactly does the recruiting process for Caltech work, e.g. do you have to commit if you are accepted? What are my chances? Here are my times (M):
100-yd breaststroke: 1:05 mid
100-yd freestyle: 54 low
100-yd IM: 1:01 high

Are the times you noted in SCY, SCM or LCM? Also, 100 IM is not a college event, only 200IM or 400IM.

SCY, I haven’t swam 200 IM since 2016, so I thought the 100 IM would be more accurate. I would guess my 200 IM to be somewhere around 2:10 or so.

I don’t think the Caltech coaches have much influence in admissions - at least that is the sense we got from the coach when our D was in the recruiting process. However, he was very helpful in providing feedback on how to strengthen her application and what admissions would be looking for.

I think you need to reach out to the coach directly to see if there is any interest, just filling out the survey is not enough.

I have a friend from my school who is in the recruiting process and they said if your stats are competitive for Caltech, the coach can help you write a letter of recommendation that will help you stand out against the rest of the pool of applicants. Is that true, or is the letter not that much help? Also, would it be better to contact the head coach or the assistant coaches? I read somewhere else that the assistant coaches are the main ones communicating with prospective recruits.

Why don’t you contact the coach at CalTech and ask?

A 1:05 in 100 breast would make you the fastest on the team by far. I’d reach out directly to the head coach via e-mail. Last I heard, the team does not have an assistant swim coach (last year’s assistant recently took a position at another school). Also, if you get accepted to Caltech, you don’t have to go. As a general rule, however, coach will only give you support if they feel like their school is your first choice.

Mens or Womens?

If Mens you can probably walk on and be part of the team, but you will get very little coaches support. Never hurts to try to get coaches support though.

If Womens you would be very competitive and likely to get as much support as the coach can give.

Check out there conference championship and see if you would have scored points:

It’s for mens. How much support can the coach give for my application? Does it significantly help my chances or is it merely a second look?

The only person who can answer your question is the men’s swimming coach. Beyond filling out the online questionnaire have you emailed or called them? If not, why not? I encourage you to call tomorrow.

Good luck.

I did contact the coach earlier, but is it ok to ask them directly how much they can help my application? If anyone has any experience with Caltech recruiting for swimming from the past few years, it would be very helpful for me.

I have some experience, but it’s 3rd person. In the past there was very little influence from coaches, but it seems like in the last 3-4 years things have changed. I would recommend asking the coach because I’ve heard they’re very open about the amount of support. Plus, it can only help.

We’ve heard that CalTech coaches have very little influence. Your times are pretty far off the range where you would expect strong coach support. It’s a big mistake to look at the slowest swimmer and compare your time to them. If you’ve sent in the questionaire, you can also trying emailing the coach directly, but I would consider it a long shot.

Email or call the coach directly, as others have suggested. Ask if you’d be a good fit for the team, then ask a few questions about the admissions process for athletes. You’ll know very quickly if you can expect any support. (Honestly, if you’ve already contacted the coach and there was recruiting interest I think you’d know; but try again).

Current swimmer on the team. Coach gets about 2/3s of supported swimmers in, about 8-10 combined girls and boys will attend each year of those accepted. I doubt you’ll be invited to visit or get a letter with your current times but try and reach out anyway. For instance, one of the freshman this year has a 57 1 breast. However, you have the stats and that is the main cutoff when coach Andy is making decisions. Look at the incoming class’s times on (and search their USA swimming times too because sometimes that isn’t accurate) to get a sense of what times are actually being recruited. Good luck.

Wait, if you are a male swimmer, you have no shot at getting recruited with your times, so this would be moot.

Check out the Class of 2023 roster. There several competitive men who joined the team this year: