Dakota Luther, the name might not sound familiar, but to older swim fans, the lineage should be recognized. The daughter of former US Olympian, Whitney Hedgepeth, Luther has onto the US scene in 2017 when she made the world championship team in the 200 fly. Formerly coached by another Olympian, Brendan Hansen, Luther forged her own path to swimming glory.
Luther made an immediate impact as a freshman at the University of Georgia. At the SEC Championships, Luther placed fourth in the 200 butterfly, 10th in the 100 butterfly, and 23rd in the 500 freestyle, and was a part of the fifth place 800 freestyle, the eighth place 200 medley, the ninth place 400 medley relays. At the NCAA Champs, she placed 17th in the 100 fly with a lifetime best of 52.10, and 9th in the 200 fly, winning the B heat with a lifetime best of 1:52.99.
2017 US World Team Trials
Luther finished second to Hali Flickinger to secure her spot on the US team competing at the World Championships in Budapest later this summer. Luther finished just 0.04 seconds ahead of third place winner, Sarah Gibson. The Georgia signee makes her first US National Team.
2017 World Championships
Luther was in 10th place after the swimming of the heats and qualified for the semifinals with a time of 2:08.86. In heat one of the semifinals, Luther finished eighth in the heat with a bit slower time than her heat swim, 2:09.55, failing to make the championship final.
2019 World University Games
At the world university games in Italy, Luther swam all 3 butterfly distances. In the 50, she didn’t make it past prelims, swimming a lifetime best of 27.6. In the 100, she finished 2nd with a time of 58.82, just off her best. In the 200 fly final, Luther soared to gold, touching over 1 second ahead of her teammate Olivia Carter for 1st place in a personal best of 2:07.92. Luther finished her program in the 4×100 medley relay, where she split 59.01 on the fly leg to help Team USA win gold.