No matter the sport, the battle between coaches in the Southeastern Conference and beyond reaches across state lines to capture the commitment of sought-after high school athletes.
For the LSU men’s swimming team, one of its most prized recruits in recent years wasn’t found near Louisiana. In fact, then-assistant swimming coach Dave Geyer couldn’t even meet Craig Hamilton face-to-face.
But in the pool, Geyer said the transition from meters to yards can wreak havoc on international swimmers. As far as he and others can tell, Hamilton has had no ill effects.
“We knew the potential was there [for Hamilton],” Geyer said. “It was just a step-by-step process for him.”
In addition to holding three school records, Hamilton has qualified for three straight NCAA Championships and garnered an honorable mention All-American 15th place finish in the 1,650-freestyle last season.
Hamilton said the upcoming NCAA Championships will be his best yet, with his seeded time in the top 16. He hopes to build on the experience gained from the last two championship meets to outdo his previous finishes.
“I feel like I’ve capitalized [on Geyer’s training style], and I’ll be closer to the top 16 than ever,” Hamilton said.