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.
TOP TIMES (SCY)
- 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.