All-American swimmer Sophie Housey has announced her retirement from competitive swimming. After a brief stint at Texas A&M University, she announced on Tuesday that she would return closer to home at the University of Michigan.
Housey had three years of NCAA eligibility remaining (including the bonus 5th year for COVID). She is a native of Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan, which is less than an hour from Michigan’s Ann Arbor campus.
At Michigan, Housey will be a “regular student,” working on a degree in sports management.
“To the sport I once loved, I cannot be more thankful to write this,” Housey said. “After lots of consideration, I have decided to retire from swimming. I want to thank my coaches, family and friends for allowing me to have a successful career!
I am thankful to have had the opportunity to swim at Texas A&M, however, after my short time there I came to the realization that my love for the sport had dwindled and my decision was clear.
Choosing what is best for me now and in the future was a large part of this decision. With that being said, I am thrilled to be back home as a regular student at the University of Michigan to finish my degree.
My college years have been an absolute rollercoaster, but I feel confident and fulfilled in leaving the sport knowing all that I’ve accomplished.
go blue ~again~ as a narp lol 😜”
Editor’s note: NARP is an acronym that stands for “non-athlete regular person,” used as a tongue-in-cheek euphemism for a retired college athlete.
As a freshman, Housey swam the opening leg of Michigan’s 10th-place 800 free relay at the NCAA Championships, finished 14th individually in the 200 free, and swam the third leg of Michigan’s 8th-place 400 free relay.
Housey said when she entered the portal that injuries presented new challenges during her sophomore season.
“Within the first month of school, I had an internal health scare,” she told SwimSwam. “I got very sick.
“I then sprained my shoulder and was unable to swim with both arms for several weeks. An unexpected family death happened in the midst of rehabbing my shoulder, which led to a further stretch out of the pool.”
Housey says she then got the flu which caused her to lose 15 pounds, and her training was inconsistent throughout the spring semester.
“Once I was back in the pool, it was extremely hard to regain the strength and weight that was lost,” Housey said. “Out of my control, all of these factors were detrimental to my performance this season.”
Housey swam in just three meets for the Wolverines as a sophomore: a tri meet against Wisconsin and Minnesota, and a dual meet against Ohio State, in January, plus the Big Ten Championships.
Housey says that she was fully healthy by Big Tens, and in spite of those hurdles that impacted her training, she still scored 26 individual points for Michigan. That included high finishes of 15th in both the 200 free and 200 backstroke. While her 200 free was short of her best time, she did manage to drop about 7-tenths in the 200 backstroke:
Time Progression, Primary Events:
|HS BEST||FRESHMAN BEST||
Other Personal Bests:
- 100 free – 49.91 (January 2020 – club invite)
- 500 free – 4:55.59 (January 2021 – tri meet)
- 100 back – 54.84 (December 2021 – pre-season quad)
- 100 fly – 54.81 (January 2020 – club invite)
- 200 IM – 1:59.32 (2018 – NCSA Junior Nationals)
- 400 IM – 4:15.58 (2018 – NCSA Junior Nationals)
Housey says that she views her retirement as part of her positive growth as she learned to be happy with what she’s already accomplished.
The Texas A&M women have one of the top 200 freestylers in the SEC, Chloe Stepanek, on their roster, but in recent years have lacked the depth to go with her. The Aggies finished 6th at the 2022 SEC Championships meet, which put them at the top of a pile of teams that were well behind the 5th-place Florida Gators.