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An Arizona high school state champion and Junior Nationals qualifier, Clare Luken has decided to compete in the SEC next season, committing to South Carolina for the fall of 2024. Luke is currently in her senior year at Desert Vista High School in Phoenix, Arizona and swims club with the Gold Medal Swim Club.
“I am excited to announce my verbal commitment to continue my swimming and academic career at The University of South Carolina! I want to thank all of my coaches that have guided me through my career! Can’t wait to swim at the next level! Go Gamecocks!”
Earlier this fall, Luken claimed her first Arizona High School Swimming Division I and Diving State Championships title in the 200 free. After entering finals as the second seed, Luken swam to a time of 1:51.05 during finals to claim gold. She also added a runner-up finish in the 100 free, touching in 51.46. Luke finished as the runner-up in both events as a junior in 2022.
In the long course pool, Luken was a multiple event finalist at the 2023 Arizona Senior State Championships in June. Her top finish at the meet came in the 100 free, where she took second in the 100 free with a time of 57.96. She also added top-eight finishes in the 200 free (2:08.40) and 200 fly (2:23.62).
Top SCY Times
- 50 free – 24.04
- 100 free – 50.50
- 200 free – 1:50.28
- 500 free – 4:58.29
- 100 fly – 57.82
- 200 fly – 2:02.28
When Luken joins the Gamecocks next fall, she will add strong depth to a program that has made big strides in recent years. So far this season, the program has been led by a pair of sophomores in Dylan Scholes and Amy Riordan. Before the program’s mid-season meet, both girls have been under 50.0 in the 100 free while Riordan has been 1:44.31 in the 200 free. That time by Riordan, swam in a dual meet with North Carolina, took three tenths of a second off of the school record.
South Carolina has been on the rise since head coach Jeff Poppell took the team over following the 2020-2021 school year. At the 2021 SEC Championships, the Gamecock women finished in eleventh out of teams. Since then, the team has climbed to an eight place finish in 2023.
At the 2023 SEC Championships, the team was led in the pool by Victoria Kwan, who was a finalist in all three of her individual events. Her top finish came in the 200 IM, where she took eighth in finals.
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