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Humberto Najera, a senior at Santa Margarita Catholic High School in Rancho Santa Margarita, California, has announced his intention to swim and study at the University of California, Berkeley, in the class of 2027.
“I’m super excited to announce my verbal commitment to swim and study at the University of California Berkeley. I want to thank my family, friends, and coaches that have helped me along the way. Go bears 🐻”
Najera currently swims club with SET Swim Club (Saddleback El Toro Aquatics), after having represented The Swim Team through the summer and wrapping up LCM season coming in 5th in the 200 back, 11th in the 200 IM, and 23rd in the 400 IM at Speedo Junior Nationals.
An Honorable Mention recruit on our list of top boys from the high school class of 2023, he has the top SCY 400 IM time in the cohort. From March to December last year he dropped from 3:55 to 3:47, placing 3rd in the event at Winter Juniors West. He also swam the 200 free, 200 back, and 200 IM and finished 10th in the 200 back.
Best SCY times:
- 400 IM – 3:47.33
- 200 IM – 1:47.26
- 200 back – 1:44.29
- 500 free – 4:26.19
- 200 free – 1:38.31
- 200 fly – 1:46.85
Najera will join a Cal squad steeped in a tradition of excellence in the 200 back. The current roster, led by junior Destin Lasco, is deep in the event. Fully ten swimmers (Lasco, Daniel Carr, Bryce Mefford, Colby Mefford, Sebastian Somerset, Ziyad Saleem, Kyle Millis, Kai Crews, and Hugo Gonzalez) were faster than 1:44 last season, and five of them competed in the 200 back at NCAAs. Lasco (NCAA champion), Carr, and Bryce Mefford were all A-finalists, while Colby Mefford swam in the B final.
Najera could have an even more important role to play in IMs. Cal’s 400 IM group will undergo a complete turnover by the time Najera suits up for the Golden Bears. Of the top six performers from last season (Gonzalez, Jason Louser, Sean Grieshop, Tyler Kopp, Will Roberts, and Chris Jhong), only Kopp is likely still to be on the roster in the fall of 2023.
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