The Wolfpacker

March-April 2020 issue

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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10 ■ THE WOLFPACKER BY MATT CARTER N C STATE MEN'S SWIMMING MADE waves outside the pool last fall when it landed a slew of commitments from many of the nation's top swimmers in the 2021 class. called it "about as good of a 72-hour recruiting pe- riod as any team in the history of collegiate swimming." Five of the nation's top 17 swimmers in's "way-too-early" top 20 list for the 2021 class have already pledged for NC State, and a few of them are already producing exciting results in their respec- tive junior seasons of high school. The headliner of the group is Aiden Hayes, a versatile swimmer from Norman, Okla. rates Hayes as the country's top swimmer in the 2021 class, while had him No. 2. In December, Hayes won the 50 free- style, 100 backstroke and 200 butterfly at the Winter Junior Championships. Hayes' time in the 200 butterfly was 1:41.34, second fastest in USA swimming history for 15- and 16-years-olds behind a 1:40.91 swam by Luca Urlando last year. The previous second best belonged to Mi- chael Phelps (1:42.10), arguably the great- est swimmer of all time. Fellow NCSU commit David Curtiss from Yardley, Pa., swam the 50 freestyle in 19.42 seconds at the 2020 Eastern Inter- scholastic Swimming and Diving Champi- onships in February. That broke three-time Olympic gold medalist Ryan Murphy's National Independent High School record of 19.54 seconds set in 2012. Curtiss' swim is the seventh fastest all time for Americans in the 17- to 18-year- old age group. The record is 19.29 seconds held by Caeleb Dressel since 2013. A couple days later, Curtiss swam 43.77 seconds in the 100 freestyle, within striking distance of Murphy's Independent High School record of 42.95 seconds. Swim- ranks Curtiss as the nation's No. 7 swimmer, while CollegeSwimming. com has him at No. 19. Chapel Hill (N.C.) High product Sam Hoover set a state record in the 100 free- style at the North Carolina 3-A champi- onships by blistering the field in 43.10 seconds. He also set a new 3-A state record in the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:35.57, barely off the overall state mark of by 0.20 seconds. ranks Hoover No. 12 in the country, while CollegeSwim- has him at No. 13. NC State's other high-profile commits in the 2021 class are Garrett Boone from Charlotte's South Mecklenburg High (No. 9 according to and No. 25 by and Arsenio Bustos from Orange (Conn.) Amity Re- gional High (No. 17 per and No. 14 by Women's swimming is also bringing in some significant additions, including the transfer of Minnesota star Mackenzie Pad- ington. The long-distance specialist is using an Olympic redshirt this year and will be a junior when she swims for the Pack next season. Padington placed third in both the 500 and 1,650 freestyle races at the NCAA Championships as a sophomore. Swimming, though, is not the lone sport tearing it up on the recruiting trail. Mile- recently wrote a story on the NC State women's cross country 2020 recruit- ing class, and the first line was: "Has North Carolina State signed the best women's distance recruiting class ever?" The six-runner class is headlined by Katelyn Tuohy, a three-time winner of the Nike Cross Nationals (NXN) who was named the overall Gatorade Female Athlete of the Year in all sports for 2019. Tuohy is also a three-time winner of the national Gatorade Female Cross Country Athlete of the Year. Two other runners — Jenna Schulz and Marlee Starliper — had top-five finishes at the NXN. On the wrestling mat, NC State has already inked four top-100 signees in the 2020 class per FloWrestling, and the Wolf- pack is off to a fast start in 2021 as well with another four top-100 pledges as of late February. ■ T R A C K I N G THE PACK NC State swimming commit Aiden Hayes is ranked as the country's No. 1 recruit in the class of 2021 by and listed No. 2 by PHOTO COURTESY AIDEN HAYES Non-Revenue Sports Shine In Recruiting Pack commit Sam Hoover, a product of nearby Chapel Hill (N.C.) High, set a state record in the 100 freestyle and is ranked as a consensus top-20 recruit nationally. PHOTO COURTESY SAM HOOVER

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