Dagny Knutson, one of the greatest female high school swimmers in history, has had a roller-coaster few years since leaving North Dakota. First, she signed to swim for Auburn, but after coach Paul Yetter left that program, she decided to turn pro and train with FAST when it was still a professional Center of Excellence.
She missed the 2010 Pan Pacs team, a meet that many expected to be her big breakout. Then she went to train with Olympic coach Gregg Troy in Gainesville, Florida while taking classes (though by that point she was ineligible for NCAA competition).
After making the 2011 World Championship team and winning gold as a finals swimmer in the 800 free relay, it seemed as though things were looking up. But after devastating floods nearly destroyed her home town of Minot, and some out-of-the-pool issues, she fell off of the map. She didn’t compete in 2012, and missed the Olympic Trials. It’s not clear exactly what those issues were, but she has made several references lately to recovery at Shands Hospital, and has said that a 5-part story of her journey will be coming soon.
Now, she has announced that she will be returning home to where it all started in North Dakota. She will begin training again with the ASK program that took her to so many early successes and coach Kathy Aspaas in Minot.
Knutson is a very popular swimmer, and there are a lot of people in this country who are rooting for her to succeed. She’s been through a lot for someone only 20 years old, but is still easily young enough to recover and have a successful career.