Kelly Naze is a versatile swimmer and former U.S. National Junior Team member from Englewood, Colo. Naze is a junior at the University of California, Berkeley where she has decided to major in American Studies. The swimming gene runs in Naze’s family as one of her sisters, Katie, swam for the University of Denver. Naze has been a talented swimmer from a young age, and she proved that she can swim any stroke at an elite level by qualifying for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials in eight individual events. At Cal she’s also switched around her focus a bit, she’s changed events around from training for the 100 backstroke and butterfly to focusing on the 400 IM. That versatility drew many big-name universities to recruit Naze, including Auburn, Florida, USC, and Texas. Naze overcame a serious injury in her high school years that could’ve been career-ending for another athlete. Naze developed spondylosis, which is basically a broken back. After not being able to walk for a while and being out of the pool for six months, Naze bounced back by competing at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials – which was a feat in itself. She’s got back to where she once was pre-injury remarkably fast, and has been apart of Cal’s consecutive Pac 12 Championship Team.
In her freshman season Naze made it into the ‘B’ final in all three of her individual events – she finished ninth in the 400 IM, 10th in the 200 IM and 13th in the 200 butterfly. She made it to the NCAA Championships after qualifying in the 200 and 400 IM. She swam the 400 IM, finishing 25th, and she also came in 25th in the 200 IM and 44th in the 200 butterfly.
Naze had a great sophomore year as well, she qualified for the NCAA Championships again. She mixed up her events a bit this season, she exchanged the 200 backstroke in place of the 200 butterfly. She just missed making a second swim at the NCAA meet when she finished 18th in the 200 backstroke. She also touched 36th in the 200 IM and 27th in the 400 IM.
In her junior season Naze has qualified for her third NCAA Championships as an individual. She’ll be swimming the 200 IM, 400 IM and 200 backstroke.
While a member of the U.S. National Team from 2009-2013, Naze travelled to the 2010 Junior Pan Pacific Championships. She brought home a silver medal in the 100m butterfly and a gold medal as member of the 400m medley relay.
She swam at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials in eight events – her highest finish was 18th in the 200 IM just missing the semi-final.