BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Keep an eye on the CSUB men’s swimming and diving team in 2010. The Roadrunners have been pegged by CollegeSwimming.com as having compiled the 19th best recruiting class in the nation, the website released Tuesday. The Roadrunners trail only the nation’s best as 14 of the 18 teams ranked ahead of CSUB completed the 2009 season ranked in the top 25.
“To be in the company of the teams on this list and to be recognized in just one year is a huge accomplishment,” said Head Coach Chris Hansen, who will enter his second year at the helm of the Roadrunner program this upcoming season. “It’s great for our men’s swimming program and CSUB athletics as a whole.”
Hansen has added 13 newcomers to his squad for 2009-10, led by freshman Jake Priest (breaststroke/IM) out of Las Vegas, Texas A&M transfer Keenan Natyzak (freestyle/butterfly) and Limestone College transfers Chad McKenzie (breaststroke/IM) and Matt Parsonage (butterfly/freestyle/breaststroke). All four are expected to immediately impact the Roadrunners in dual competition throughout the season, and will compete for top times at the Conference USA Championships in February.
Hansen also collected a pool of local talent, signing Bakersfield natives Vance Elmore (freestyle), Bryce Ogden (diving), Logan Peeples (butterfly/IM), Mark Silvus (freestyle) and Dan Whickensheimer (butterfly/freestyle). Also included in the recruiting class are Brazil native Joao Foresto (freestyle), Paradise native Nick Cavazos (freestyle), Granite Bay native Kevin Miller (freestyle) and Mesa, Ariz., native Mitch Wurm (freestyle).
“Jake’s signing really opened the door for us and adding Matt, Chad and Keenan sealed the deal,” said Hansen. “We also couldn’t have done this without the help of last year’s team.”
Stanford led CollegeSwimming.com’s rankings with the nation’s No. 1 recruiting class after finishing second at the 2009 National Championships. Following the Pac-10 powerhouse are No. 2 Texas, No. 3 USC, No. 4 Michigan, No. 5 Virginia, No. 6 Tennessee, No. 7 Cal, No. 8 and 2009 National Champion Auburn, No. 9 Florida and No. 10 Minnesota. The only other team from the West ranked in the top 25 was Arizona at No. 25.
CSUB’s men’s swim team made great strides in 2009, led by a pair of C-USA individual titles by graduated senior Henry Holmberg. The distance free swimmer captured the 500 and 1,650 freestyle events while also breaking the University of Houston pool record, the CSUB record and recording NCAA Division I qualifying mark in the latter event.
The Roadrunner athletics program will complete the reclassification process to full Division I status in 2009-10 and are scheduled to be post-season eligible beginning in the fall of 2010.