#3 Isabelle Stadden Announces Verbal Commitment to Cal for 2020

Fitter and Faster Swim Clinics is the proud sponsor of SwimSwam’s College Recruiting Channel and all commitment news. For many, swimming in college is a lifelong dream that is pursued with dedication and determination. Fitter and Faster is proud to honor these athletes and those who supported them on their journey.

Isabelle Stadden of the Aquajets in Minnesota has verbally committed to the California Berkeley Golden Bears. Stadden, SwimSwam’s #3 recruit in the class of 2020, is following in the footsteps of Cal great Rachel Bootsma, a 2012 Olympic gold medalist who swam four years for the Bears and came to Berkeley by way of the Aquajets, too.

I couldn’t be happier to announce my verbal commitment to continue my academics and swimming at the University of California Berkeley!! Thank you to all of my family, friends, and coaches for the love and support through this process and for helping me get here. So excited to be a baby bear!! GO BEARS🐻💛💙



  • 50 back – 24.43
  • 100 back – 51.33
  • 200 back – 1:50.37
  • 100 breast – 1:02.31
  • 100 fly – 54.39
  • 200 IM – 1:59.56
  • 400 IM – 4:15.77
  • 50 free – 22.96


  • 50 back – 28.13
  • 100 back – 1:00.06
  • 200 back – 2:08.24
  • 200 IM – 2:17.02

Primarily a backstroker, Stadden ranks 5th all-time in the 15-16 age group in the 200m back and 6th in the 100m back, just .29 behind where Bootsma was at 16 in the 100. She’s far from a one-stroke swimmer, though, with impressive versatility in every other discipline and the range to bring a nice IM at both the 200 and 400 distance.

Right now, her time in the 200 back would’ve placed her 4th in the event at the 2019 NCAA Championships, while she’d have made the 100 back B final. Cal was led by Amy BilquistIsabel Ivey, and Keaton Blovad in the backstroke this past season, but Bilquist has completed her NCAA career and Blovad is a rising senior. Ivey, meanwhile, started her freshman year in January and will have some overlap with Stadden.

This is a huge snag for Cal, who previously had no top 20 recruits in their class of 2024 despite Stadden being the 16th of the top 20 to have announced a verbal commitment. With #2 Alex Walsh heading to Virginia, that leaves #1 Regan Smith and #6 Phoebe Bacon in terms of the four juggernaut backstrokers of the class still left to commit somewhere. Bacon is reportedly down to either Wisconsin or Georgia.

While Cal has been out-classed by many top teams in terms of the 2020 recruit market on the women’s side, it’s worth noting that Stanford has yet to land a top 20 commit thus far in the game. Just four of our top 20 remain uncommitted on the women’s side.


If you have a commitment to report, please send an email with a photo (landscape, or horizontal, looks best) and a quote to [email protected].

About the Fitter and Faster Swim Tour 

The Fitter & Faster Swim Tour produces swim clinics featuring elite stars of the sport and the most innovative teaching platforms. FFT Swim Clinics can be customized to meet age and skill level of every team and community. Call 786-837-6881 or visit http://www.fitterandfaster.com/ to learn more.


Instagram – @fitterandfasterswimtour

Facebook – @fitterandfastertour

Twitter – @fitterandfaster

FFT is a SwimSwam partner.

In This Story

Leave a Reply

Notify of

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
So confused
3 years ago

Has Stanford gotten any verbals for the class of 2024, female or male? My understanding is there won’t be any until after all their grades are in junior year, at the earliest. With Ted gone, Stanford is way behind the eightball with regards to the men’s team for the class of 2024. This will be interesting. Any thoughts?

Reply to  So confused
3 years ago

Huh? I am a Cal fan here in the Bay Area and Stanford’s women’s team is set real well for at least a few years. As to their men’s team, they are strong in most of their classes. And remember they had to compete in the NCAAs this year WITH OUT Shoults and Levant which may have cost them a place in the top 5. My worry is they may go after Cal Coach Durden albeit he has a legacy position at Cal. But Stanford’s women’s coach Meehan was poached from Cal where he was Men’s assistant to Durden. Maybe Meehan switches to Stanford’s men’s team? Stay tuned!

Reply to  longseeker
3 years ago

I doubt Meehan will switch to the men’s team at Stanford. What could be the incentive? Coaching men at NCAAs is way more competitive than women. The money is the same.

3 years ago

Oh yeah!!

3 years ago

That leaves Reagan Smith totally up in the air. Spread the wealth so I say Stanford. Just a shame that with the early commitments, we have to wait two years to see them and the team (men and women) can completely change by the time these studs get on campus!

Reply to  Superfan
3 years ago

How exactly is going to Stanford “spreading the wealth?”

Reply to  Hambone
3 years ago

The wealth of this class.

Reply to  Superfan
3 years ago

She’ll turn pro.

3 years ago

I was hoping! This is great! Congrats to her and to CAL!

3 years ago

Go Bears !!!

3 years ago


3 years ago

Congrats to Isabelle, Cal and the Stadden family!

3 years ago

Gracie Felner of WA and Bellevue also committed to Cal. GO BEARS!!!

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.

Read More »