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The Auburn University women’s swim and dive program has signed 22-year-old Russian Olympian Elizaveta Klevanovich for the spring semester, giving the Tigers a huge reinforcement come championship season.
Klevanovich placed 2nd in the 100-meter freestyle at the 2022 Russian National Championships with a personal-best 54.43 that would have made the semifinals at the 2023 World Championships. Russian and Belarusian swimmers were excluded from the last two World Championships due to the ongoing war in Ukraine, but all signs point to them having the chance to compete at the Paris 2024 Olympics as neutral athletes.
Best Times (LCM)
- 50 free – 25.15 (from 2020)
- 100 free – 54.43 (from 2022)
Converted to SCY
- 50 free – 22.02
- 100 free – 47.50
Klevanovich’s best long-course meter (LCM) times converted to short-course yards (SCY) would have made the A-final in both the 50 free and 100 free at the 2023 SEC Championships. The Tiger women have placed 7th at SECs in each of their first two seasons under head coach Ryan Wochomurka.
At this year’s Russian National Championships in April, Klevanovich placed 3rd in the 50-meter freestyle (25.25) and 5th in the 100 free (54.89), not far off her best times in both events. She last competed internationally at the 2021 World Cup Series. At the Tokyo Olympics two summers ago, she swam for Russian women’s 4×100 free relay team that placed 11th in prelims.
Back in 2019, Klevanovich captured a gold medal at the European Short Course Championships as a member of Russia’s mixed 4×50 free relay team. The year prior, at the 2018 European Junior Championships, she brought home three relay gold medals (women’s 4×100 free, mixed 4×100 free, and mixed 4×100 medley) along with a pair of individual silvers (50 free and 100 free).
A native of Tyumen, Russia, Klevanovich will be the third Russian on the Auburn women’s roster next season along with Anastasia Makarova (from Pushkino, Russia) and Polina Nevmovenko (from Saint Petersburg, Russia). Nevmovenko was the Tiger women’s top finisher in the 100 free at SECs last season (10th place, 48.55) while Lexie Mulvihill was their top finisher in the 50 free at SECs last season (11th place – 22.31).
The Auburn women scored in the 800 free relay at the 2023 NCAA Championships with a 16th-place showing, but they just barely missed scoring in the 400 free relay with an 18th-place finish. Although it will be her first season swimming SCY, Klevanovich’s arrival next semester could be the boost the Tigers need to get over the NCAA scoring hump in the shorter freestyle relays.
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