All-American Zach Yeadon Heads to Cal for Final Year of NCAA Eligibility

According to a Cal Athletics release today, All-American and reigning ACC champion Zach Yeadon is transferring to Cal for his final year of eligibility. Yeadon entered the transfer portal after the shortened 2019-20 NCAA season.

Yeadon is one of three incoming transfers, including former Indiana swimmer Kai Bathurst and former Cal Poly diver Tyler Wesson. Arizona-based Tavis Siebert was also announced as part of the incoming freshman class.


  • 200 free – 1:34.39
  • 500 free – 4:10.39
  • 1000 free – 8:47.33
  • 1650 free – 14:27.93

Yeadon has spent three seasons with Notre Dame after coming from Alamo Area Aquatic Association in Texas.

As a freshman with the Irish, Yeadon placed fourth in the mile at the 2018 NCAA Championships while scoring in the 500. Yeadon also scored in both the 500 and mile at the 2019 NCAA Championships.

In 2020, Yeadon won ACC titles in the 500 free and mile, hitting lifetime bests in the 200 free, 500 free and mile at that meet. The 2020 NCAA Championships were cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but Yeadon was seeded second in the mile and third in the 500, poised for a big meet. Yeadon was a strong recruit at 1:37/4:19/14:49 in the 200/500/1650 before getting to Notre Dame, and he improved significantly in those events with the Irish.

Internationally, Yeadon competed for Team USA at the 2019 World University Games, racing the 400 free and helping the 800 free relay win gold by swimming on prelims.

Yeadon is a massive get for defending national champs Cal as they try to hold off Texas for the next NCAA title. If you add Yeadon’s projected points to a mock 2020 NCAA Champs, not accounting for diving or relays, the needle swings in Cal’s favor by over 20 points.

He would’ve been Cal’s top 500 freestyler last year by two seconds and their top miler by over 20 seconds, and he’ll link up with rising seniors Trenton Julian (1:33.1/4:12.7 last season) and Sean Grieshop (4:14.5/14:51.0) in the distance group. While Cal has had very strong mid-distance freestylers, Grieshop was their only sub-15:00 miler last season.

With Yeadon’s best times, he would’ve crushed the field at the 2020 Pac-12 Champs in the mile by 16 seconds and in the 500 free by almost two.

Yeadon will also overlap with incoming freshmen Dare Rose (1:49/3:51 LCM) and Tyler Kopp (15:08 SCY), the best distance freestylers in Cal’s new class.

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10 months ago


Texas Native
10 months ago

The disrespect…

Reply to  Texas Native
10 months ago

Like Maxime to Texas. Both powerhouses getting richer gonna be a dog fight at NCAAs for next couple of years.

10 months ago

Why transfer senior year?

Reply to  Swimfan27
10 months ago

There are many reasons, I’m sure. But just look at Rooney to see how well it can go. I wish Yeadon the best of luck with his final year.

Reply to  N P
10 months ago

We will never know how well it would have gone for Rooney, and i would argue Rooney was making strides his Junior year at Florida in the 100 fly already so …

Reply to  N P
10 months ago

You really giving Texas credit for Rooney’s improvement…

Reply to  Swimmer
10 months ago

Was there some other major change in Rooney’s swimming that we’re not aware of?

Reply to  Swimmer
10 months ago

I mean, I’m never going to knock Florida – it’s a fabulous program that’s produced countless elite athletes – but the move does seem like the most likely causal reason for Rooney’s improvement this past year. Yes, could’ve been something else, but that’s what it seems like from the outside. Regardless, I’d say the transfer worked out for Rooney, whether or not he may have hypothetically done better staying at Florida.

Reply to  N P
10 months ago

Can’t say that for Clark Burckle.

Reply to  Jeff
10 months ago

Bob Bowman wishes he had him…..

Reply to  Swimfan27
10 months ago

This is all speculation, but I think it might have something to do with post-graduate plans. Notre Dame doesn’t exactly have an elite postgrad group, and I know Cal only allows swimmers who swam for them in college to train with them postgrad. Plus, you can’t beat Berkeley weather, and it’s a great place for graduate school.

Here Comes Lezak
Reply to  AJW
10 months ago

really? what about Wyatt?

Reply to  Here Comes Lezak
10 months ago

If you’re referring to my brother, I can’t speak on what Dave’s exact reasoning was for letting Wyatt train with the Cal men or the policy on the post-grad group, but Wyatt was pursuing his PhD at Cal at the time. So while he didn’t swim for Cal collegiately, he did go to school there.

Reply to  Coleman Hodges
10 months ago

That’s player

NM Coach
Reply to  Coleman Hodges
10 months ago

You CANNOT forget to eat at the FRONTIER when you go visit Wyatt again!!! That is, once the NM Govenor opens up the restaurants in our state again.

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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