Haylee Knight of the Weymouth Club Waves in Weymouth, Massachusetts has verbally committed to the LSU Tigers.
Knight’s best events are the 100 and 200 yard backstrokes, where she’s been 55.77 and 2:02.90 in the short course pool. She’s also got some good marks in long course, including a 26.83 in the 50 free and a 1:03.37 in the 100 fly (though only a 1:07 in the 100 meter backstroke, strangely).
Knight’s improvements as a junior are incredible – as a sophomore, her best time in the 100 back was a 58.4, and she dropped almost three seconds in the event in her junior season alone. She made even bigger drops in the 100 fly (5.5 seconds) as she expanded from her previous primary events in the sprint freestyles (51.8 in the 100 as a sophomore, 51.7 as a junior).
If we’re not too bold as to make the comparison, the trend is strikingly similar to the path traveled by current LSU junior Caley Oquist, who had a breakout season in 2014 that included qualifying for the NCAA Championships. She was a 55.3 backstroker coming out of high school, much better in the 100 than the 200, and during her junior year of high school discovered her true calling in the backstrokes and dropped a similar three seconds.
That’s a comparison that will excite LSU fans given where Olquist has progressed to in her two years in Baton Rouge. The timing works out well too, as Knight will be on campus for a year before Olquist completes her eligibility.