All-American Sophie Housey Retires from Swimming, Will Return to Michigan

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
SOPHOMORE BEST
200 free 1:47.32 1:45.45 1:47.22
200 back 1:57.64 1:55.83 1:55.16
200 fly 1:58.73 1:57.29 2:00.51

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.

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zdhamme86
3 months ago

Good for her for doing what was best for herself. Too many unhappy swimmers out there swimming not because they enjoy it but because they feel obligated.

Big fan
3 months ago

Mommy

Crimson chin
3 months ago

Farewell Sophie Housey. I was and will always be a big fan.

Mike
3 months ago

I wish her the best. And yes it is retirement from competitive swimming after swimming for probably 12 or 15 years. Swimming is arguably the toughest sport there is and that is certainly not appreciated by non swimmers. Unless your tough as nails and even for some who are; the sport of swimming can just chew you up and spit you out!!!

Azeck
3 months ago

Her bf broke up with her that’s why she transferred to A&M in the first place

John Hueth
3 months ago

She was always fun to watch!

Meathead
3 months ago

Sounds like a crazy sophomore year. Tough to face that much adversity

With that said, leaving a sport that young is quitting, not retiring. Wish her the best

Coach Macgyver
Reply to  Meathead
3 months ago

She is moving forward and moving on. She has clearly hit some hardships and been kicked while down and is still moving forward. Great example of perseverance and resilience.

I know you want to be that guy, but you really don’t want to be that guy. So don’t be that guy.

Binky
Reply to  Meathead
3 months ago

With the possible exception of Guerra, consistently the worst takes on this site.

NCAA>ISL
Reply to  Binky
3 months ago

I dont know, Taa and Yozhik put up a fight

Taa
Reply to  Meathead
3 months ago

How many years of swimming do you require to call it retirement instead of quitting? Most of these kids have swam 10-12 years

Meathead
Reply to  Taa
3 months ago

Finish college eligibility. When you take a roster spot on a team you are making a commitment. How do teammates feel when someone walks away early?

And good point, they are kids. Hard to retire

DMSWIM
Reply to  Meathead
3 months ago

As a former college swimmer, I respected any teammate who quit because their heart wasn’t in it. I didn’t feel abandoned at all. The real problem were the people who stayed on the team despite being burnt out/no longer caring. They really dragged everyone down.

Jimbob
Reply to  DMSWIM
3 months ago

I came in here to write something like this, but you said it pretty well.

It also drags the person themselves down. I knew I was not fully into swimming in freshman fall. I stuck around for quite some time after that. This meant giving up other opportunities like taking classes held in afternoons and evenings, attending on campus speaker events, spending time with new friends, don’t non-swimming college activities related to my eventual career (I’m an attorney), and spending more time with grandparents (who passed away during that time period).

Swimming is great, but if you’re not into swimming in college, you’re not helping yourself, your team, or your school. That’s all an illusion based on fear of… Read more »

Azswummer
Reply to  Meathead
3 months ago

Your username fits the quality of your comment.

Jess
Reply to  Meathead
3 months ago

Stuff it!

Kamikaze
Reply to  Meathead
3 months ago

You have no marbles

Scott
Reply to  Meathead
3 months ago

One of the most senseless comments I’ve seen on this site. All your comment accomplishes is insulting a young woman that clearly has been going through a difficult period in her life. Congratulations.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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