2023 NCAA Qualifier Claire Tuggle Announces Transfer to USC

Claire Tuggle has announced on Instagram that she will be transferring to USC to continue her academic and athletic careers.

“I want start this with a big thank you to the coaches and team UVA and everything they have given me over the past year. With that being said I am so excited to announce I will be continuing my athletic and academic career at the University of Southern California. I am so excited for this next chapter and too see what it brings. Fight On❤️💛”

Tuggle spent her freshman year at the University of Virginia. At ACCs this past season, Tuggle was fourth in the 500 free (4:40.41), seventh in the 1650 free (16:15.91), and 12th in the 200 free (1:46.33). Notably, her 500 and 1650 frees were both best times. In addition, Tuggle swam a personal best of 1:44.81 in the 200 free at the beginning of February. Both her 200 and 500 frees were huge swims as her previous bests in both events stood from March 2018.

Tuggle went on to qualify individually for NCAAs but was ultimately left off Virginia’s roster due to the roster limit of 18 athletes (with divers counting as half). Tuggle would have been seeded 25th in the 200 free, 30th in the 500 free, and 44th in the 1650 free.

Tuggle’s best SCY times are:

  • 100 free: 48.99
  • 200 free: 1:44.81
  • 500 free: 4:40.41
  • 1650 free: 16:15.91

The USC women finished second at the 2023 Pac-12 Championships. Tuggle’s best times would have been third in the 1650 free, fifth in the 500, and fifth in the 200 free. Notably, the team had zero A finalists in either of the 200 free and 500 frees, so the arrival of Tuggle helps fill a gap there. Rising junior Marlene Kahler finished second in the 1650 freestyle so Tuggle and Kahler will have two years of training together.

At NCAAs, USC went on to finish 12th at NCAAs. USC did not have an 800 free relay qualify for NCAAs, but Tuggle has the potential to boost the relay. The team’s fastest time this season was a 7:06.03 which they swam at Pac-12s, just off of the ‘B’ provisional standard of 7:05.88. Tuggle’s best time is faster than all four legs of the team’s relay that they swam at conferences.

Tuggle, originally from Mariposa, California, will now return to her home state. Tuggle was ranked the #4 recruit in her class as sophomore, #5 as a junior, and #13 as a senior.

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1 year ago

For as long as I remember, a team builds their program and becomes a powerhouse. Swimmers who could make NCAAs almost anywhere else get left off the NCAA team because of numbers. Some swimmers transfer to be able to swim at NCAAs for another program. There might be more to this particular situation than that but it has happened since they put a team limit to conference meets and NCAAs so it is plausible. And with – couple more years of “COVID 5th years”, number will continue to be a problem.

Swim lover
1 year ago

There goes her career

Merrill Lynmon Roe
1 year ago

Related USC news: USC AD Mike Bohn announces resignation today. Quite an impact in just four years.


Sherry Smit
1 year ago

Great choice! Best of luck

1 year ago

I’m astonished no one is bringing up what really happened.

Reply to  Sittingonthesidelines
1 year ago

What happened

Reply to  Curious
1 year ago

Wait, you all don’t know? So this one time at swim camp…

Reply to  Sittingonthesidelines
1 year ago

Do tell…

Reply to  Canaswim
1 year ago

There is probably nothing to tell

Reply to  Sittingonthesidelines
1 year ago

Aren’t you perpetuating your so called issue by not explaining “what really happened”…..?

1 year ago

A headline truly out of left field. Good luck to Tuggle, you’ll need it. Tbh wouldn’t even be surprised if Maurer cut her

Reply to  Andrew
1 year ago

Oh cut it out. Maurer is a great coach who means well.

Joel Lin
1 year ago

A great fit for her to go to a great academic university closer to home & to continue her ascent as an NCAA middle & distance freestyler. Aim high Claire, we are all rooting for you.

1 year ago

Guess UVA lost the tuggle of war battle

About Anya Pelshaw

Anya Pelshaw

Anya has been with SwimSwam since June 2021 as both a writer and social media coordinator. She was in attendance at the 2022 and 2023 Women's NCAA Championships writing and doing social media for SwimSwam. Currently, Anya is pursuing her B.A. in Economics and a minor in Government & Law at …

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