Born Sept. 2, 1994 Rachel Zilinskas is an extremely versatile swimmer and could be a threat in any event for the University of Georgia. Specializing in distance freestyle, backstroke, butterfly and IM Zilinskas is also an Open Water swimmer. She has been a member of the National Team in both Open Water swimming and pool events. Hailing from Indiana, Pa. Zilinskas is a fan of Harry Potter, which she read in her downtime from the pool. She was the second-ranked recruit in the country, listed just behind phenom, Missy Franklin, and was the second swimmer in the top five recruits in the class of 2013 to commit to Georgia. Even though she’s just a sophomore she’s listed in the top 10 in Georgia history in three events.
University of Georgia
As just a freshman Zilinskas scored in all three individual events at the NCAA Championships. She finished 14th in the 1,650, and 15th in both the 500 freestyle and 200 backstroke earned Honorable Mention All-America honors, and helped UG win their second consecutive National Championship. She was named to the SEC All-Freshman Team.
At the 2015 NCAA Championships Zilinksas earned her first All-America honors. On day one, Zilinksas competed in the 500-yard free, qualifying 8th for finals and dropping three seconds off her best time. In finals, held her position, finishing 8th in her first NCAA championship final. She was the recipient of the Lisa Coole Memorial Scholarship. She continued a hugely successful meet with her performance in the 1,650-yard free. Holding a consistent pace throughout the entire race, Zilinksas dropped 13 seconds from her season best to finish 6th in the mile, earned more All-America honors.
Zilinskas has been a member of the U.S. National Team, and most recently was on the 2013-2014 USA Swimming National Junior Team after having a great performance in the 10k Open Water event. At the 2012 Junior Pan Pac 10K Open Water event Zilinskas picked up a bronze medal.