Breaststroker Brianna Cottingham Changes Commitment From UNCA to Arkansas

by Emma Edmund 0

January 20th, 2022 College, College Recruiting, News, SEC

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Brianna Cottingham, a Winter Juniors qualifier who specializes in breaststroke, committed to the University of Arkansas. She originally committed to UNC Asheville in April 2021.

I’m excited to announce that I have officially signed to continue my swimming and academic career at the University of Arkansas! Thank you to everyone that has helped me achieve this goal! WPS

Cottingham is a senior at Reagan High School in North Carolina. At the 2021 North Carolina High School State Championships for Class 4A (large schools), Cottingham placed 4th in the 100 breaststroke. She also swims club for the YMCA of Northwest North Carolina. At the 2021 Upper SE Regional YMCA Championships, Cottingham won the 100m and 200m breaststroke, as well as placing 3rd in the 200m IM.

Cottingham has a Winter Juniors cut in the 100 breast, and a USA Swimming Futures cut in the 200 IM.

Best short-course yards times:

  • 50 freestyle: 25.43
  • 100 breaststroke: 1:03.06
  • 200 breaststroke: 2:16.99
  • 200 IM: 2:08.21

Cottingham would’ve been a major recruit for UNCA, but she wrote that Arkansas offered her more opportunities.

“I signed to Arkansas on November 19th, 2021 for the upcoming school year,” Cottingham wrote. “I made the decision to change my commitment because of the amount of opportunities for me to grow in such a strong and well supported environment.”

Her best times haven’t shifted between when she committed to UNCA and when she committed to Arkansas.

The University of Arkansas is a member of the Southeastern Conference. At the 2021 SEC women’s championships, Arkansas finished 8th out of 12 teams. Last season, Cottingham’s times would’ve ranked her as the 6th-fastest 100 breaststroker on the team, and the 4th-fastest 200 breaststroker. 

Cottingham will have the opportunity to train with Bella Cothem, who was the second-fastest 100 breaststroker last season and will be a junior next year. Other top breaststrokers–Emma Garfield and Vanessa Herrmann–are currently seniors and may not return in the fall.

Cottingham joins distance freestyler Sydney Craft, freestyler and butterflier Chloe Brede, freestyler/butterflier/backstroker Maddy Hartley, and freestyler and butterflier Delaney Harrison for the fall of 2022. 

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