Updated: Apr 8
Recruit rankings data has been manually collected by TSR contributors from multiple, reliable sources. Transfers and foreign recruits who are not expected to have four years of eligibility are excluded from these rankings. Order of rankings was decided by all TSR contributors. Despite our research, it is possible that certain names have been erroneously omitted.
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One of the most exciting recruiting classes in the country will have zero impact on the national meet come this fall. While that may sound like a bold prediction, it is an unfortunate fact rather than guess. Cal Baptist is a brand new team to Division One, meaning that they have to follow NCAA regulations since they are a program transitioning from Division II to Division I.
The team is limited to competing in competitions during the “regular season” and will end their season at the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Championships. The transition process for the Division II to Division I change occurs over a four-year span which means that 2022 will be the first fall that Cal Baptist will be eligible for an NCAA “postseason” (Regionals & Nationals). By that time, the current recruiting class will be in their third or fourth year (depending on redshirts) of eligibility which allows for them to have a future impact on the national scene.
With that in mind, this incoming class could vault Cal Baptist to the top of the collegiate ranks when we reach that point in the future.
This incoming class pulls talented athletes from a wide array of locations, including California, Croatia, Portugal, and Poland. The Lancers are making a statement this year by gathering a handful of key international recruits that will help elevate this team to a new level.
Headlining the group is Wiktoria Klebowska from Bytom, Poland. The 19 year-old has a number of personal bests, including 4:29 and 9:41 for 1500 meters and 3000 meters, respectively. Although both marks are solid, her most impressive time is arguably her 10:20 PR in the steeplechase. That mark would put her in immediate contention for a bid to NCAA's on the track and given her age, it would be expected that she only improves upon this mark over the next four years. While she has no notable results in cross country, her personal best of 17:02 for 5000 meters indicates she should be a strong fit on grass as well.
Two other women who could join Klebowska in the steeplechase are Luz Karen Olivera of Peru and Elin Brink of Sweden. These two women will not have four years of eligibility, so we can't necessarily make them an official part of our considerations for these rankings. Regardless, they are valuable names to mention.
Olivera owns personal bests of 4:30 for 1500 meters and 10:15 for the 3000 steeplechase. She also finished 15th while representing Peru at the U20 World XC Championships. As for Brink, her personal best in the steeplechase is only 10:34, but she has also run 4:21 over 1500 meters and 2:11 for 800 meters. She has yet to represent Sweden at an international championship, but will get her first chance this summer at the U23 World Championships. This trio of women in the steeple could provide CBU with valuable points at the WAC Championships on the track where they could potentially go 1-2-3 in the event.
Of the seven incoming women, five are from international countries. The two others are local California products who will be looking to continue representing their state on the collegiate level. One of the two is Paige Haynes of Vista Murrieta High School. Haynes was an NXN qualifier this past fall and helped her team finish 7th overall at the national meet. She owns a personal best of 16:27 over three miles on the cross country course, as well as marks of 5:05 and 10:53 on the track. She was also third-team All-State in California for XC this past fall. Haynes' experience on the national stage could prove to be beneficial this fall as CBU looks to defend their WAC title.
Cynthia Martin of Chaparral High School is the other rising freshman from California who owns similar credentials to Haynes. Martin was listed as an honorable mention for the All-State selection in California XC this past fall and owns personal bests of 10:53 for 3200 meters and 17:07 for three-miles (XC). There is a good chance she will be able to dramatically improve on these times as she starts her career at CBU and it will help that many of her fellow recruits come in with similar marks. She will add to the already impressive distance depth.
Continuing to add to the international talent is Marta Afonso Lourenco of Portugal. Lourenco comes in with marks of 9:53 over 3000 meters and 17:00 for 5000 meters. She will gain extremely valuable international racing experience later this summer when she represents Portugal at the U20 World Championships. Her mark for 3000 meters is approximately a 10:30 for 3200 meters which would rank her among the elite individuals in the US high school system. Adding in international experience will give her a chance to face similar competition to the NCAA system and should help prepare her for bigger meets this fall.
Cal Baptist comes in with one of the deepest recruiting classes for any women’s team in the NCAA. Coach Tribble, Coach Cooke, and Coach Stanley are looking to prove that Cal Baptist is worthy of competing at the D1 level and so far they are passing that test with flying colors. Although they will have to wait another three years to have any impact on a national stage, expect big things from this group when that time comes.