There have been a lot of heavily-recruited athletes to come out of Ankeny.
Perhaps nobody, though, has been more pursued than current Ankeny swimming standout Trent Frandson.
The junior ended a fierce recruiting battle for his services several weeks ago when he verbally committed to California. He picked the Golden Bears over two other national powers–Texas and North Carolina State.
There were dozens of college coaches that recruited Frandson.
“I had offers from over 75 schools,” said Frandson. “On the first day of open communication which this year was June 15, I had something like 45 emails, 20 texts and four or five cold calls. I then narrowed it down to like 20 schools and had weekly to bi-weekly calls with them for most of the summer. And then I set up official visits in August.”
Frandson is considered the nation’s top 500 freestyler in the Class of 2021. He is the No. 13 recruit overall in the Class of 2021, according to the Way Too Early list of top-20 boys on swimswam.com.
Frandson will join the No. 5 recruit, Jack Alexy, on the Bears’ roster in the fall of 2021.
“In the end it was really close between the three schools,” Frandson said. “But the tipping point was the education at Cal. It’s the best public university in the nation, and I saw my swimming as an opportunity to get a top-notch education as well as going to arguably the best swimming program in the nation.”
Frandson is a two-time state champion and a two-time USA Swimming Scholastic all-American. As a sophomore, he led the Hawks to the first state title in school history, when he earned automatic all-American honors in four events and was named the state’s swimmer of the year.
Frandson won the 200 freestyle in a time of 1:37.75. He then captured the 500 freestyle in 4:23.46, which smashed the state record.
Frandson anchored Ankeny to a runner-up finish in the 200 freestyle relay with a split of 20.32 seconds. He later swam the leadoff leg in 45.14 on the second-place 400 freestyle relay that sealed the Hawks’ team crown.
Frandson, who placed second in the 500 freestyle and fifth in the 200 freestyle as a freshman, swims year-round for Central Iowa Aquatics. He said the recruiting process wore on him at times.
“I would have calls with coaches back-to-back-to-back throughout the day in the summer and that on top of practice was a bit of a chore,” he said. “It was a relief to get done with the whole process. Near the end there were a lot of calls between three schools with some pressure as well so it got kind of stressful.”
However, Frandson said he also enjoyed traveling all over the country this fall.
“I had a lot of fun with it,” he said. “I got to meet lots of new people and go to football games so that was a lot of fun.”
The relationships that Frandson built with his future teammates and coaches at Cal proved to be the difference.
“The main reason I picked Cal was because of the guys there and the culture they had,” he said. “They had a lot of fun and I really meshed with them really well, which is important because they are going to be my family for four years of my life.”
Frandson competed in the Winter Junior Championships last month in Seattle, where he improved his career-best times. He would have placed in the top 20 in the 1,650 freestyle at the 2019 Pac-12 Men’s Championships, and he is already C-final worthy in the 200 and 500 freestyle events.
“I was happy with my times,” Frandson said. “The only time I was a little disappointed was when I got fourth and the top three kids were all Texas commits. Texas and Cal are rivals so it’s going to be a grudge match the next time I swim against those boys.”