2019 California State 100 Back Runner-Up Danielle Carter Leaves Cal Program

Backstroker Danielle Carter has entered the NCAA transfer portal and is no longer part of the California women’s swimming & diving program. Carter is a native of Mountain View, California, which is about an hour from Berkeley across the San Francisco Bay.

“I am continuing to swim and search for a better swimming and academic program that will fit me and that I can contribute to,” said Carter.


  • 50y back – 25.11
  • 100y back – 53.51
  • 200y back – 1:55.40
  • 100y fly – 53.95
  • 200y fly – 2:00.79
  • 100y free – 50.71
  • 200y free – 1:48.61
  • 200y IM – 2:00.79

All of Carter’s lifetime bests in yards are from high school, where she was the 2019 CIF State Championship runner-up in the 100 back as a senior at Los Altos High School.

Carter competed into the summer of 2019 with Palo Alto Stanford Aquatics, where she hit a lifetime best in the 50m back (30.43). Her most recent meet was the Speedo Junior National Championships in August of 2019.

Coming in to college, Carter was a strong backstroke addition, especially in the 200, to a Cal program that has had major success in the discipline historically. She never raced a meet with the Golden Bears, though.

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NC State?


With their backstroke group, don’t think she would be contributing like she wants to.

ACC fan

Not even top 3 at NC STATE


UCLA would look good on her!


“Better swimming and academic program”. Burn.

The Importer AND Exporter

That’s a pretty serious burn for a program that isn’t all kinesiology majors (though half of the team shows undeclared on their roster but maybe that’s a Cal thing due to prerequisites). Personally I was impressed by the majors that some of the swimmers were taking – that’s not always the case.


Her statement makes it sound me she’s looking for a school that will use her in meets. Who knows about academics, Cal may not be Stanford but it’s very challenging in its own right. Maybe she is having a hard time on that end.

I had a friend who did his pHD (stem field ) there and said the intro classes he taught where more like the post intro class at his the undergrad school.


This does not sound especially amicable.


better swimming-academic that gonna b STANFORD 🙂
already talkin 2 da top coach their gocard


I read it as looking for a better ‘fit’, not a better program. I’m sure the perceived burn was not intentional at all. She sounds like she wants to compete and not just practice,


Did you stop reading after the word “program”?


No, I just read them as three separate things that she wants: (1) better academics (admittedly a tough ask outside HYPS); (2) a better swimming program; and (3) to contribute.

Perhaps she did mean (1) and (2) would be met by (3), but that’s not how it reads and I expect a kid who is clearly very bright will have written her statement carefully.


This isn’t necessarily a burn. Not sure what she didn’t like about the swimming program, but Cal acedemics aren’t for everyone. Cal is an excellent school, but they have large class sizes and the academics are very challenging- especially the science majors. This isn’t to say carter isn’t a good student, but she just might have wanted a different school. Swimming wise- McKeever is a great coach but she runs a pretty unique program. More dry land than is typical for most college programs (including dancing and spin classes) and she used to always say Cal did less yardage than average. Carter may have wanted a more traditional program. This doesn’t look “good” for Cal but it could just be… Read more »

About Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon studied sociology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, graduating in May of 2018. He began swimming on a club team in first grade and swam four years for Wesleyan.

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