The folks at http://www.collegeswimming.com have judged FIU's 2011 swimming and diving recruiting class as No. 23 in the nation.
Now, let's just say this up front: even these days, when a stud high school athlete's meets/games have more camera coverage than the cocktail party scene in Traffic, I regard recruiting ratings with an Internal Affairs officer's skeptical eye. If they were so darn accurate, Texas and Notre Dame would've been trading football championships for about the last 20 years and The Fab Five would've won something on the court other than applause for lengthening shorts.
That said, recruiting analysis in the basic human games -- track, swimming, lifting -- tends to be more prescient. So, throw some dap FIU's way for their class, which includes a few young women with a shot at making their 2012 Olympic teams.
The top-ranked recruit, German Carolin Rademacher, owned the 200-meter breaststroke on her nation's junior level, reeling off four championships from 2005-08. Spaniard Sonia Perez Arau, a transfer from the University of Bridgeport (yes, the collegeswimming.com folks counted some transfers -- hey, it's their list), won the 100 and 200 backstroke at the Spanish Junior Championships. At Bridgeport, she finished fifth in the 200 individual medley and sixth in the 200 back at the 2011 NCAA Division II Championships. Another back and IMer, Johanna Gustafsdottir, has been on Iceland's national team since 2003. The FIU recruits ranked next, Sweden's Klara Andersson and Ukrainian Valeriia Popova, swim breast and IM and freestyle and butterfly, respectively.
The No. 1 rank among recruiting classes went to 2011 national champion Cal, two spots up on arch rival Stanford. Splitting the Bay Area playmates was Georgia at No. 2.
Since we're posting on a summer night, we'll close it out with an old school summer playlist favorite...
-- David J. Neal