IN ASSESSING the value of a recruiting class we weigh multiple factors, the most important of which is whether or not an athlete is likely to have any kind of immediate impact at the collegiate level. Our ratings take into consideration new U.S. high school pickups, foreign recruits and both JC and 4-year transfers, but do not include earlier recruits coming back from a redshirt year or other kind of ineligibility.
Here’s the 2019–20 year’s women’s First 5, with major credentials:
What a haul for Petros Kyprianou as the Bulldogs score their first-ever No. 1 with no fewer than 5 superstars who among them earned no fewer than 18 All-Am spots during their prep careers. Where to start? Let’s start with Anna Hall, twice a setter of the HSR in the heptathlon (5829, plus 5847w), who also rated twice in the high jump (6-0). Vaulter Julia Fixsen (13-11¼) scored twice in the vault, including a No. 1 as a junior, as did high jumper Shelby Tyler (6-¾). Arria Minor (11.31A, 22.89A, 51.92A) was twice A-A in both the 200 and 400. The biggest collection of A-A awards goes to Jasmine Moore (20-11¾/21-¼w, 44-10/45-4¾w) with a half-dozen: 4 in the TJ, 2 in the LJ. On top of all that, Hall may not be the best all-around recruit as 2-time NCAA scorer Nina Schultz moved over from Kansas State with her 6133 score and also has 6-¾ & 20-11¾ jumps skills. Phew!
The Vols crack the top 5 for the first time since a No. 5 in ’04 as Beth Alford-Sullivan scored with a trio of All-America stars. The headliner is 2-time long hurdle scorer (and this year’s No. 1) Britton Wilson, who has 40.78/56.36 credentials) and has also sprinted 23.59 & 52.06. She’ll be backed up by the year’s No. 2 ranker, Vanessa Watson (57.44). The third A-A is ’18 scorer Prom’Myse Hoosier (20-7), who’ll be backed up by Shatara Johnson (20-1¾/20-9½w). Chilean sprinter Martina Weil (23.78, 52.60) provides some speed and JC putter Latavia Maines has 54-0 credentials.
Dennis Shaver’s Bayou Bengals added to their straightaway strength with the addition of 3-time 100 All-America Thelma Davis (11.25, plus 23.10/22.95w). And over the barriers A-A Alia Armstrong has run 13.33. They’re joined by a third All-Am in the form of hammer thrower Emma Robbins (184-6). British long sprinter Amber Anning (23.76, 52.18) will also be an aid.
TA trio of All-Americas came Mike Holloway’s way, including the list-leading long jumper, Alexis Brown (20-9¾A, plus 11.54A/11.50w), century standout Semira Killebrew (11.24, also 23.73) and ’18 hurdle star Grace Stark (13.16 for No. 1 on the all-time list). Providing across-the-board throws help will be Dane Thea Jensen (49-5¾, 155-1, 172-9 HT, 159-10 JT). The JC ranks contributed promising triple jumper Natricia Hooper (44-4¾).
The Ducks only picked up a single All-America but nonetheless make the top 5 for the seventh year in a row, just one off the record held by UCLA (1995–02). The A-A is long jumper Alysa Hickey (20-2/20-9w, plus 5-10½).The other top frosh is versatile Swiss Mathilde Rey (5-10, 5606), but it’s in the transfer department where Robert Johnson scored most, featuring Aneta Konieczek (9:57.70 steeple), Moira O’Shea (16:11.46), Jaimie Robinson (43-10½), Stephanie Ward (16:29.05), Danyel White (11.49, 22.79) and Laura Paredes (182-4 JT). □