Lucy Castro, was a long distance freestyle swimmer for George Washington University, she wasn’t always committed to her school. She was one of the many who were affected by the Western Kentucky Swim team scandal, where they ended up losing their program completely, and many swimmers were left without a team.
We all know that recruiting is supposed to help you get a feel on what the team is really about, and how they do things. But its always a huge possibility and fear that they are sugar coating and/or lying about some of the issues they may be having, just to get an athlete to commit to their school. Lucy therefore has a lot of experience with both good and bad recruiting experiences.
Accomplishments: 2015-16: Took home 23rd in the 1,650-yard freestyle at the 2016 Atlantic 10 Championships (Feb. 21) with a time of 17:48.43… Swam a season-best 1,000-yard freestyle time of 10:26.59 against Georgetown (Jan. 16)…Finished first in the 200-yard butterfly against Towson (Nov. 7) with a personal best of 2:09.39.
LRT Sports: How did you begin your recruiting experience?
I began my recruiting experience the summer of my senior year. I never sent any emails to any coach or tried to get my name out in anyway, which I probably should have done, but it was at the advice of my head coach at the time. I was recruited by a couple of different schools, but I was really looking for the option that was close to home and still D1.
LRT Sports: What were you looking for in a school?
I was looking for a strong swim team where the kids were friendly and somewhere that the coaches took academics seriously. What happened in the end of your recruiting process? After I signed for WKU in November, I found out through various news sources that the program had been cut for the next five years.
LRT Sports: How did you find out about what happened to WKU?
I found out what happened to WKU from a Group Me with the other girls in my class. Various news sources and my club coach then confirmed it at the time. I got an email from the school that night that said that they would revoke my NLI. I didn’t hear from the head coach until 3 days after the fact.
LRT Sports: What did you wish you knew before you committed there?
Looking back at everything, I feel as though the head coach already knew that the program was in jeopardy but didn’t come forward with anything because he didn’t want to lose his job. I wish that I had been warned of any big things (suspensions, team history, etc.) that the team was going through before I committed in the fall.
LRT Sports: How did you move forward after this devastating event?
I thankfully had my parents to be my rocks and help me keep my chin up and tell me that we would figure it all out. I also had people (friends, coaches, parents of friends) who were able to help me and get my name out to teams that still had space left on their rosters. My worst-case scenario choice was taking a gap year since I would still only be 19, if I did.
LRT Sports: Do you have any advice for future collegiate student athletes going through recruiting process?
Everything happens for a reason and it all works out in the end, so try not to stress yourself out too much. I am a religious person and I think that God has a plan for us all and things not working out at WKU brought me to an amazing school filled with so many amazing people and the best swim family that I would not otherwise have.
LRT Sports: What is your favorite pre-race song?
My pre-race song is “Lose Yourself” by Eminem. Even though this is a kind of over-played song, it has stuck with me the most because my mom first played it on our way to my brother and I’s first ever swim meet. I was 8 or 9 at the time and I honestly couldn’t understand what he was saying (nor did I know who Eminem was), but I felt like a total B.A. for getting to listen to Rap Music and the last line “You can do anything you set your mind too” is something I always come back to.
LRT Sports: Why did you choose swimming?
I choose swimming because I was really uncoordinated (and still am) and I just really liked being in the water. I liked that everything was still and quiet when you went all the way down and sat on the bottom and the fact that you could feel your sweat.
When doing research in the recruiting process for my daughter I came across the LRT Sports website. I was immediately intrigued as this was another dimension of the recruiting process that many people don't even consider. My daughter and I could "short list" schools based on the education she was looking for, as well as the opportunity to play her sport. LRT Sports not only gave us pertinent information into the recruiting process with different interviews of coaches and players, it also gave us insight into current and/or former players' opinions on the coach of that school in her sport. We could use this information to re-prioritize my daughters list of schools based on this feedback. I have many friends that are, or will be, going through this process shortly and I highly recommend using LRT Sports as part of anyone's recruiting process.
The college process presents a myriad of challenges. Factor in athletics and it becomes even more daunting. Now, add the fact that you have zero experience with sports. What is a the mother of a college bound student-athlete to do? LRT Sports has truly lived up to its promise. It has kept "the college recruiting process honest and easy by providing first hand information about coaches, schools and the recruiting process." Their interviews with current students, coaches, and professional athletes have provided realistic guidance. I am much more informed because of LRT Sports! The coach ratings are the most helpful. LRT Sports interviews allow us to hear from students as to how the adults are impacting not only their athletic experience but also how they are helping to shape their adult self.
The C.A.L.C. was thrilled to have Keirsten Sires come and speak to us on multiple topics relevant to high school athletics today, including recruiting. Keirsten reached all of our students and left them with great strategies that will not only help on the fields, courts, and mats, but also in the game of recruiting. She was a true professional and delivered a wonderful message.
Now that the recruiting process and the related stress is over, I wanted to thank you for your guidance. You did so much more than we had expected. Once you started the process by matching the best academic schools first, not the best sport programs, I knew you were the one. The way you laid out a timeline of contacting coaches, visits, and camps completely took any guesswork out of the plan for us. All of the student athletes that you put us in touch with gave us a look from the inside, and made us more comfortable knowing what was coming. Finally, using your website as a resource for knowing what to expect from different coaches based on former recruit reviews gave my son confidence before our meetings. There is no way we could have figured this out on our own, you really put us in a great position when decision time came.
I think hearing from other athletes is very beneficial. To be able to learn from people’s mistakes, and to be able to have access to those voices is really helpful; especially voices that have been there and done that. It’s very important for people to have access to information that could benefit them, and in this case there are many voices that can help the next wave of athletes.
If you have something that’s going to spell [the recruiting process] out for you… it’s so valuable. I think what everyone at LRT Sports is doing to spread the word and help advocate and educate athletes on the recruitment process is incredible.
Without question would have used LRT Sports. It would have probably been one of the most valuable tools that I could have had. If you want to know what these coaches are really like then I think this is the best tool out there. I’m really glad you are allowing recruits to have a resource like this moving forward.