Californian Summer West Commits to the ‘Winter North’ of Minnesota for College

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Rising high school senior Summer West will trade the beaches of southern California for the snowbanks of Minneapolis in the fall of 2021 after verbally committing to swim for the University of Minnesota.

West, a native of Huntington Beach, California, trains with Irvine Novaquatics and attends Huntington Beach High School. She is primarily a distance freestyler, having earned two finals swims at last year’s CIF Southern Section Division I Championships.

At her last big meet before the coronavirus pandemic hit, the Carlsbad Sectionals, she finished in the top 8 in the 500, 1000, and 1650 freestyles, with a best finish of 4th place in the 1000 free. Her junior year high school season wound up being canceled.

None-the-less, her best times in most of her best events (the 200 free being the exception) came during her truncated junior season.

That includes her best mile time, which came at the Winter Junior – West Championships in December where she placed 16th to pick up a point towards Novaquatics’ team score.

Interestingly, at that meet, in spite of swimming a best time in the 1650 free, she was still about 5 seconds short of her best time in the 500 free.

Best Times in Yards:

  • 100 ree – 53.24
  • 200 free – 1:50.92
  • 500 free – 4:53.44
  • 1000 free- 10:02.71
  • 1650 free – 16:53.76

She’ll join a Minnesota distance group that has a big legacy with the likes of Brooke Zeiger, Kiera Janzen, Ashley Steenvorden, and reaching back to the 90s Olga Splichalova. Last season, however, after All-American distance swimmer Mackenzie Padington opted to skip the season (eventually choosing to transfer to NC State), the team was left thinner than normal in that area.

The team scored 49 combined points in the 500 and 1650 freestyles at Big Tens, which was not their worst ‘stroke group,’ but was among their lowest-scoring.

She joins a Minnesota class of 2025 that includes Colorado sprint freestyler Lyndsey Wehr (23.2/50.9); Canadian sprint freestyler and butterfliers Hannah Cornish (26.1/57.0 freestyles, 1:01.9 fly, in LCM) and Oksana Chaput (26.3/56.9 freestyles, 1:02.0 fly, in LCM); and fellow distance freestyler Eliot Kennedy from Illinois (4:51/16:28 freestyler).

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1 month ago

Yes Congratulations!!

1 month ago

Amazing swimmer. Great family. Congrats Summer West!

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder 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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