Born Jan. 24, 1994 Rachael Acker is a standout freestyle specialist from Palo Alto, Calif. She’s a current junior at the University of California, Berkeley where she’s studying French and plans on attending Medical School. Her mother, Carol, was also a collegiate swimmer at Williams College. Acker has a unique background – she grew up doing ballet, and danced for 10 years before hopping into the pool as a year-round swimmer. She tried swimming at a younger age, but didn’t take it seriously until after ending her ballet career. In addition to her ballet background, she was also was a member of her high school’s varsity water polo team. She’s just as hard of a worker in the classroom as she is in the pool, and Teri McKeaver describes her as an athlete that sets the bar academically for the Cal squad. Even with such a young swimming career, Acker has been on national-winning teams as well as the U.S. National Junior Team.
As a freshman Acker scored individually and on relays at the 2013 NCAA Championships. She finished sixth in the 100 freestyle and ninth in the 200 freestyle while also swimming on the 400 and 800 freestyle relays, which both took third. At the Pac 12 Championships Acker won the 200 freestyle.
In her sophomore season Acker had another successful year. She qualified again for the NCAA Championships she led off the 800 freestyle relay that captured gold, and she also placed 11th in the 200 freestyle and 14th in the 100 freestyle. She was named a Capitol One third-team All-American.
Acker is currently in her junior season as a Cal Bear.
Acker has been a member of the U.S. Junior Natinal Team in 2011-2012 and 2012-2013. She holds the National Age Group record in the 17-18 girls’ 800m freestyle relay, which her team set at the 2011 Conoco Phillips National Championships.
She was a member of the 2013 World University Games Team where she picked up a gold in the 800m freestyle relay as well as a silver in the 400m freestyle relay. She qualified for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials finishing 26th in the 100m freestyle.