Cal All-American Emma Davidson Enters NCAA Transfer Portal

NCAA qualifier Emma Davidson has entered the transfer portal after three seasons at Cal. Davidson has at least one season of eligibility remaining, plus another if she chooses to use the COVID-19 bonus year.

Update: Cal has confirmed that Davidson exploring the possibility to transfer for the 2023-2024 season to use her COVID-19 5th year of eligibility. She plans to stay at Cal and compete during the 2022-2023 season.

Davidson qualified for her first NCAA Championship meet in 2022. She anchored Cal’s 200 free relay with a 22.07 split and led-off their 400 free relay with a 48.92 split. Both relays placed 11th.

While it’s unclear which Cal Bears might return for a 5th season next year, two other members of each of those relays, Elise Garcia and Isabel Ivey, were both seniors. Garcia recently announced her intention to spend her 5th year at USC.

That could mean some holes in the already-thin Cal sprint relays, though the arrival of Michigan transfer and NCAA champion Maggie MacNeil for her 5th year could mitigate that.

Davidson scored 52 points as part of Cal’s runner-up effort at the 2022 Pac-12 Championships, including a high mark of 8th in the 50 free (48.91). That ranked her 10th among all Cal swimmers at the meet. The Golden Bears finished just 27 points ahead of 3rd-place USC.

Davidson’s Best Times Progression

HS Best Freshman @ Cal Sophomore @ Cal Junior @ Cal
50 free 22.95 22.76 23.44* 22.39
100 free 50.30 49.37 51.03* 48.70
200 free 1:49.45 1:47.96 N/A* 1:45.90

*Davidson swam only one meet for Cal as a sophomore, the year that started in the peak of the COVID pandemic: the Pac-12 Championships. She swam the 100 breast in 1:03.89 instead of the 200 free at that meet. Her best 100 breast time is 1:02.95.

Davidson was a co-recipient of the Karen Moe Humphreys Coaches’ Award for Cal as a junior, along with Leah Polonsky and Isabelle Stadden.

Davidson is a native of Yorba Linda, California, where she won a number of academic honors in high school. That continued into college, where she was named to the Pac-12 Academic Honor Roll in both 2021 and 2022. She was also an all-league volleyball player in high school before focusing fully on swimming.

Swimmers who enter the NCAA transfer portal are not required to transfer. Doing so allows athletes the flexibility to discuss transfer opportunities with other programs.

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3 months ago

What’s wrong with Teri??? I’ve heard she’s a phenomenal coach and person and invests in athlete growth.

Reply to  Jlong
3 months ago

That’s their recruiting pitch “we really care about you as a person” . However, this recruiting pitch is far from reality for the girls on the team. That’s why recruiting is suffering and that is why girls are transferring.

3 months ago

How do coaches feel about swimmers that enter the transfer portal and then decide not to transfer?

Do the coaches hold a grudge against them? Just to enter the portal is a vote of no or low confidence in the program.

Teri’s pride must be wounded with some of her better swimmers wanting out of her program. Emma even won a Coaches award. Ouch.

Reply to  Marklewis
3 months ago

Probably depends on the circumstances.

With fifth years they’ll be applying for Masters programs they may or may not get accepted to so might be no hard feelings if they don’t get in to an ultra competitive Masters somewhere else. Suspect with undergraduates it’s pretty awkward.

3 months ago

What are the chances Davidson and Gantriis both end up joining Garcia there at USC? Could be a good couple of transfers for USC W team.

HOO love
3 months ago

what was the May 1st date for?

Reply to  HOO love
3 months ago

competing right away

3 months ago

It’s hard to recruit kids to one of the most academically competitive public universities in the country. You still need to pass your classes while putting in the swim hours.

Reply to  maverick12376
3 months ago

She was on the PAC12 Academic Honor Roll, so I don’t think this was an issue for her.

Reply to  DMSWIM
3 months ago

meant to reply to the recruiting comment down the chain.

3 months ago

The revolving door seems to be spinning wildly at Michigan and Cal Women these days.

3 months ago

How does swimswam get this info?

Reply to  Sheepy
3 months ago

Big J Journalism. They have had “access” somehow or other since it became a thing.

Reply to  Sheepy
3 months ago

Some coach out there is reallly eager to be in their good graces by feeding them this info. They had Sam Barron in the transfer portal within a couple hours of it happening.

Garrett has access as an NCAA coach, but I don’t know if he’s the one sharing.

Last edited 3 months ago by oxyswim
Grunge Rally
Reply to  oxyswim
3 months ago

Everyone’s acting like it’s some big mystery. Ever heard “2 can keep a secret if 1 is dead”? How many people have transfer portal logins nationally? 3,000 in swimming alone?

Anybody who expects that transfer portal entries won’t get out is fooling themselves.

I’d bet money that there are multiple coaches pinging them with this stuff all day long.

Reply to  Sheepy
3 months ago

Probably have contacts on various teams.

3 months ago

She is not the only one who has entered the transfer portal for Cal women’s swimmers. There are at least a couple more.

Reply to  500swimmer
3 months ago

Elise Garcia and who else?

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Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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