Austrian National Record-holder Marlene Kahler Commits to USC

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Austrian freestyler Marlene Kahler, 20, has announced her intention to swim at the University of Southern California beginning next fall.

“I am beyond excited to finally announce my verbal commitment to the University of Southern California. I can’t wait to continue my swimming career as a part of the USC swim team. ❤️💛 Thanks to all the people who have been on my journey so far and special thanks to my family who is always supporting me – no matter what! #fighton ✌🏼 #usc”

Kahler is a member of the Austrian National Team and is the current national record-holder in the LCM 800 free (8:32.51) and 1500 free (16:21.52) and the SCM 1500 free (16:03.68) and 4×100 medley relay (55.29 anchor). Her 800 free time was over 4 seconds faster than the previous national mark.

Kahler competed for Austria earlier this month at the LEN European Swimming Championships where she placed 9th in the 800 free (8:37.11) and 13th in the 1500 free (16:44.69). She has been selected to represent Austria at the Tokyo Olympics. She was a bronze medalist in the 400 free (4:12.48) and the 800 free (8:36.57) at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires.

Top LCM times (converted):

  • 50 free – 26.14 (22.82)
  • 100 free – 56.64 (49.58)
  • 200 free – 1:59.60 (1:44.86)
  • 400 free – 4:09.73 (4:39.80)
  • 800 free – 8:32.51 (9:34.24)
  • 1500 free – 16:21.52 (16:02.27)

Kahler will suit up for USC with New Zealand’s Alice Waldow, Australia’s Calypso Sheridan, a graduate transfer from Northwestern, Courtney Tseng, a graduate transfer from Princeton, and Canada’s Gigi Sasseville. She will have an immediate impact for the Trojans, with converted times that would have won the mile and scored in the A finals of the 500 free and 200 free at the 2021 Pac-12 Championships. At NCAAs, she would have been top-8 in the 1650 free and the 500 free and top-16 in the 200 free.

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Duck duck, oof
6 months ago

What is “duck” in Austrian?

Reply to  Duck duck, oof
6 months ago

Brotfressquackenschnabeltier (If you mean the animal)

Last edited 6 months ago by Anonymoose
Reply to  Anonymoose
6 months ago

I think he means what you yell when a water bottle is coming your way.

Reply to  MarkB
6 months ago

Whoops! Well then it’s „duck“

6 months ago

For those Trojan swim fans wondering what new HC Jeremy Kipp and staff have been doing since being hired last year with recruiting, the good news is starting to break. It started with #3 women recruit from the Class of 2022 (Justine Kozan) but then the 2 grad transfers (Calypso and Tseng). Now Austrian distance star and Olympian Kahler. And a couple of international men’s performers (Miljenic from Croatia and Koenigsperger from New Zealand) have found an additional year of eligibility

If you look for patterns from what Kipp did at Northwestern, look at his first year in class of 2019 when he recruited heavily in Europe and brought in two top 10 rated men recruits (Burdisso from Italy and… Read more »

John jay
Reply to  SwimPhan
6 months ago

Trojan alumni here. You are correct on some points. Lagging in recruiting top CA and USA swimmers. USC is not like USC of old.
Relying on foreign swimmers is tricky. We llove them but need the best US kids too.

Reply to  John jay
6 months ago

John Jay: Good to see a fellow Trojan who wants to talk swimming (recruiting, performance, development) instead of just talking smack about your rivals.

Not to “wonk out” here but I’m a big fan and practitioner of business models: what works, what doesn’t, what needs to change to be competitive in your environment. The business model for college athletics is not an academic one but a business one because it’s in the entertainment business. That’s why the Pac-12 presidents hired a new Commissioner heavy on business and media expertise and specifically in the revenue generation side. But academics and athletics are not mutually exclusive. See Stanford’s athletic teams that regularly compete for and win NC’s . ‘Nuff said.

There is… Read more »

Reply to  SwimPhan
6 months ago

This whole metaphor is bizarre giving that college swim programs hemorage money. It’s really neither academics nor business – it’s charity.

Luey Dewis
Reply to  SwimPhan
6 months ago

SwimPhan sounds like Kipp’s PR department. Kipp is still under investigation by USC for his abusive behavior, bullying, and physical violence. To paint him as a legitimate coach while the program is under a huge, dark shadow due to his unacceptable actions and cultivating a toxic environment is a laughable, transparent attempt at whitewashing his image. Good luck with that.

On another note, USC is 80k a year, not 60k.

Reply to  SwimPhan
6 months ago

This may be the dumbest take on college swimming in general, and the downward trend of USC men’s swimming in particular, that Stewie has read in at least 10 years…

Human Ambition
Reply to  John jay
6 months ago

Hard to get kids on partial scholarships at $60K tuition schools like USC & Notre Dame.

Reply to  Human Ambition
6 months ago

This is the biggest factor imo. Hard to see any private school being dominant over multi year periods with such high costs. Stanford women are the exception however women have more athletic $ and Stanford at least in the past has been generous with academic scholarships for swimming. Cal texas nc state and other public schools will continue to benefit

Bobo Gigi
6 months ago

She looks like Olivia Smoliga.

Reply to  Bobo Gigi
6 months ago

I don’t know if recruiting international swimmers is formula for success, but I know showing photos of blonde eastern-european looking women is formula to bringing Bobo Gigi back on SwimSwam.

Reply to  PsychoDad
5 months ago

Austria is not Eastern Europe though…
And she looks like every other blonde Austrian girl. 🤷‍♀️

Last edited 5 months ago by FST
Sam B
Reply to  FST
5 months ago

She doesn’t. I would guess Russian or Dutch if I had to.

ACC fan
5 months ago

Olivia Smoliga doppelganger?

About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

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