High School (Valencia)
Coming out of high school, Popov was ranked #5 on SwimSwam’s Top 20 NCAA Recruits Class of 2017. On September 11, 2016, Popov announced her verbal commitment to swim for Tennessee.
Popov was also a NISCA All-American, Junior national team member, and Junior World qualifier.
2016 US Olympic Trials
At the 2016 Olympic Trials, Popov swam three events: the 100m and 200m Breaststroke and the 200m IM. Her highest finish there was 29th in the 100 breast.
At her first SEC Championships, Popov placed 28th in the 100 breast (1:02.39), 39th in the 200 breast (2:16.40) and 58th in the 50 free (23.98).
Popov made great strides in the pool her sophomore year. She was part of the SEC champion 200 medley relay team, which set a pool and SEC Championships meet record (1:34.26), and the gold medal 400 medley relay team, which set a championships meet record (3:28.43). Individually, she was the runnerup in the 100 breast (58.24), 5th in the 200 breast (2:07.87) and 25th in the 200 IM (1:58.88).
At the NCAA Championships, Popov was a member of the Vols’ national champion 200 medley relay, which set a pool record (1:34.10) and part of the 12th place 400 medley relay team. Individually, she placed 14th in the 100 breast (59.59) and 41st in the 200 breast (2:11.29).