CA Record-holder Jonah Cooper Verbally Commits to Ohio State Buckeyes

Pleasanton, California’s Jonah Cooper has announced he plans to swim for The Ohio State University beginning in the fall of 2019.

“I am humbled and incredibly thankful to have verbally committed to swim and study medicine with THE Ohio State University! I am honored to have the opportunity to achieve my goals of becoming a nurse at a World Class cutting edge medical center, and train at a D1 school. My family has grown, and I will join my new brothers and sisters in the Fall of 2019.  I was impressed with the improvement seen in every team member, and the great results achieved by their new coaching staff lead by Bill Dorenkott, Matt Bowe, Mike Hulme, Jordan Wolfrun and Bryon Tansel.  This outstanding new coaching staff and team atmosphere, provide a very comfortable and thriving environment. The medical facility is world class and I cannot wait to be a Buckeye!”

Cooper won the 100 back at the California State High School Championships last May, in his sophomore season with Foothill High School. In doing so, he set the meet record with 47.34. A week prior he had won the 100 back with a PB of 46.96 at CIF-North Coast Section Championships. That was also a meet record, by 7/10. At the Section meet he won the 100 free in 44.38, also a best time, and just .28 off Maxime Rooney’s meet record.

Cooper swims club with Pleasanton Seahawks under Todd Tucker, his coach of the last 7 years. He won all 6 of his individual events (50/100/200 free, 100/200 back, and 100 fly) and contributed to PLS’s 3 winning relays at the 2017 CA/NV Sectionals in December. Over the course of his club and high school swimming career, Cooper has so far broken 180 records (NCS, CIF State, Pacific Swimming LSC, and Pleasanton Seahawks, combined) and he still has two high school seasons left. He ranked #1 in the nation last year in the 100y back in both the 16 and 17 single-age brackets.

He told SwimSwam: “Here are a couple of interesting facts about me. I just started growing last year, today I am 6’3 3/4 but I have a wing span of 7’2. I have a big swimming family, with 18 aunts & uncles, and 63 1st cousins. And I have mad basketball and football skills.”

Top SCY times:

  • 50 back – 23.23
  • 100 back – 46.96
  • 200 back – 1:45.50
  • 50 free – 20.50
  • 100 free – 44.38
  • 200 free – 1:37.11
  • 100 fly – 48.66
  • 200 fly – 1:51.43

If you have a commitment to report, please send an email with a photo (landscape, or horizontal, looks best) and a quote to [email protected].


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Swim Family
5 years ago

Bravo Jonah !
Ohio is an amazing medical school and you will be supported by the best of the best that NCAA has to offer for your training.
We have been truly inspired watching you swim over the last 6 years, and you have grown into (a very Big) but such a wonderful young man, Ohio is lucky to have you! Cannot wait to see you race at the 2019 NCAA championship!!!
Like the others said, go after your dreams and reach for all the Stars you CAN.

Human Ambition
Reply to  Swim Family
5 years ago

You will have to wait another year.

Diana Keenan
5 years ago

So proud of you Jonah, keep reaching for the stars. We love you!

Nor Cal Swim
5 years ago

Congrats to Jonah, such a talented swimmer and really great kid. I have raced him and watch him race over the last five years, and he completely dominates not just the back, but free and Fly – triple threat. Big pickup for the Buckeyes

5 years ago

A Durden miss . . . (a guess but CAL needs that in-state talent)

5 years ago

Go Bucks! The Ohio State University is an awesome school and team. Coach Dorenkott has proven he can help swimmers reach their goals!

5 years ago

Mad skills

Reply to  DFL
5 years ago ‘92, boy.

5 years ago


HB Swim Dad
Reply to  Dad
5 years ago

maybe he meant 72″ wingspan which makes more sense.

Math is hard
Reply to  HB Swim Dad
5 years ago

Which is less than someone who is 6’3” should have.

Reply to  Dad
5 years ago

My son used to swim against him in SoCal. Very talented and dedicated swimmer, although as of last December, he did not have a 7’2″ wingspan. His backstroke underwater is truly amazing…

He is a year older than most kids in the class of 2019 so that does give him a bit of advantage in national ranking.

Reply to  Johan
5 years ago

Looks like it

5 years ago

46 backstroker is no joke

About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

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