Cal Obtains Verbal Commitment from Local Free/Flyer Daniel O’Connell

Danville, California’s Daniel O’Connell has verbally committed to swim for the University of California, Berkeley beginning with the 2018-19 season.

“I am so excited to announce my verbal commitment to The University of Cal-Berkeley! This is a childhood dream come true and I can’t wait to join the Cal family for the next 4 years. GO BEARS!”

O’Connell is a senior at De La Salle High School in Concord. He swims with the Crow Canyon Sharks Swim Team under coach Ethan Hall and coach Joe Natina, but has only been committed to year-round swimming for just over two years. In that time, O’Connell has improved by leaps and bounds. As a freshman he qualified for the CIF-North Coast Section in the 100 fly but didn’t make finals. The next year he qualified in the 200 free and 100 fly, squeaking into the consolation final of the fly where he finished 15th with a PB of 51.79. In May 2017, as a junior, O’Connell just missed the A final in the 200 free, finishing 9th in prelims with 1:41.05; he was 2nd in the fly with 49.99. He then went on to swim at the CIF State Meet where he went 1:41.87 in the 200 free and 49.95 in the fly.

O’Connell has had a similar trajectory in long course meters. A year ago, he wound up his summer at the USA Swimming Futures Championships at Stanford, where he went 25.30 in the 50 free, 54.52 in the 100 free, and 57.67 in the 100 fly. This summer he competed at Speedo Junior National Championships. He was a B finalist in the 50 free and earned PBs in the 50/100 free and 100 fly.

Best times SCY:

  • 50 free: 20.71
  • 100 free: 45.25
  • 200 free: 1:41.05
  • 100 fly: 49.00

Best times LCM:

  • 50 free: 23.81
  • 100 free: 51.84
  • 100 fly: 55.81

The Bears have also received verbal commitments for the class of 2022 from Christopher Jhong and Reece Whitley.

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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Cal Fan

Is cal looking for any distance swimmers?

Speed Racer

Does any distance swimmer look at Cal? That is the real question.


Maybe distance events should be worth double, or better yet triple points so meets aren’t all about relays!

Cal Fan

Why would they not? Sorry just curious. Does cal want any?


Didn’t Yuri have a major role in the development of Katie Ledecky? I would think the man has a pretty good idea how to coach distance swimmers.


You would think so, but their track record with distance swimmers with both Meehan and Suguiyama over the past decade has been lackluster outside of about one year each with Hinshaw and Bagshaw.


Does anybody know when the D1 schools will be posting there meet schedules?


Many already have.


Alright let’s get more specific then. Does anybody know when Cal and Stanford will be posting their schedules?


Cal had a freshman from hawaii –Aukai Lilekikis last year that could have helped with the distance woes. does anybody know where he is. doesn’t appear to be at Cal anymore?

(G)olden Bear

Still there…


He is not at Cal but at home in Hawaii based on social media accounts. Has he transferred anywhere?

About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swim/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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