Cal’s Alicia Wilson Announces Move to Texas for Fifth Year in 2023-24

Former Cal standout Alicia Wilson announced Monday morning that she will spend her final year of collegiate eligibility at the University of Texas next season.

Wilson, a British Olympic finalist in the 200 IM who has finished as high as third individually at the NCAA Championships in the same event, first entered the transfer portal back in October.

“After redshirting this year, I am incredibly excited to announce that I will be swimming for Texas next season, while pursuing Master’s degree at Texas’ McCombs Business School,” Wilson wrote on Instagram. “I owe so much to Cal and feel so grateful to have accomplished some of my childhood dreams as a Golden Bear. As this chapter has come to a close I cannot wait to continue these dreams as a Longhorn and be part of a really special team.”

Like Isabel Ivey, who will compete for the University of Florida next season, Wilson redshirted this year while exploring her options in the aftermath of Cal’s investigation into former head coach Teri McKeever’s misconduct. Other Bears swimmers such as Isabelle Stadden, Ayla Spitz, and Emma Davidson also entered the transfer portal after McKeever was placed on administrative leave before opting to return to Cal this season.

If the 22-year-old IM specialist can regain her peak form from the 2020-21 season, she would provide a key boost to the Longhorns next year, which will be their last in the Big 12 before they move to the SEC in 2024. Her best 200 IM time of 1:53.58 (from early 2021) and best 400 IM time of 4:04.10 (from late 2020) are both faster than any Texas swimmer has been so far this season.

Best Times (SCY) 

  • 200 IM – 1:53.58
  • 400 IM – 4:04.10
  • 200 back – 1:52.67

Wilson didn’t score at last year’s NCAA Championships, but she did earn 16 points in 2021 for her third-place finish in the 200 IM. She has qualified for NCAAs in each of her four seasons at Cal, including being seeded ninth in the 400 IM and 10th in the 200 IM prior to the meet cancellation in 2020. Every little bit will matter next year in what could shape up to be a tight battle between Texas and the University of Virginia for the national crown in 2023-24.

Along with her career-best third-place showing in the 200 IM, she also placed 18th in the 200 back and 22nd in the 400 IM at the 2021 NCAAs. Last season, she narrowly missed a second swim in the 400 IM, placing 17th, and also took 19th in the 200 IM and 34th in the 200 back.

In addition to her individual success, she also earned First Team All-American honors in the 800 free relay during her junior season as the Bears placed third.

Over the course of her career, Wilson has also earned eight top-eight finishes individually at the Pac-12 Championships, including winning the conference title in the 200 IM in 2021. She has also been second or third in an individual event four times, and her highest finish last season was fourth in the 400 IM.

Internationally, Wilson has accumulated a wealth of experience in recent years, highlighted by qualifying for the British Olympic team at the Tokyo 2021 Olympics last summer. She broke through by making the final of the women’s 200 IM in her Olympic debut, placing eighth.

On top of that, Wilson was also the 2019 World University Games gold medalist in the 200 IM, finished third in the event at the 2017 European Junior Championships, and added a Commonwealth Games bronze medal this past summer as a member of the British mixed 400 medley relay team.

James Sutherland contributed to this report. 

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1 year ago

The shade in the comments. My my my.

1 year ago

good luck texas!

1 year ago

The day where 5th years end will be celebrated more than me going under 1:05 in 100 breast LCM

1 year ago

Curious, where will she train this summer?

1 year ago

Texas is in for a real treat!

1 year ago

I honestly hate it that people can use their 5th year after sitting a year. They should have put a requirement in that SAs had to use it consecutively barring an injury. Her first college meet was in September of 2018 and she’ll wrap up in March of 2024.

That’s nothing against Alicia personally, I would have loved to have that opportunity if I were in her shoes. Also thought it was absurd to wait until half way through the fall to figure out if Hugo was going to swim this year at Cal, and don’t think it was fair that Ivey could start training with Florida and put off taking her 5th.

Reply to  oxyswim
1 year ago

I’m going to guess it took her some time to figure out where to transfer.

Reply to  oxyswim
1 year ago

Generally agree but more ok with it for the Cal women given the circumstances

Reply to  oxyswim
1 year ago

Would love to have done it myself as I was still growing at 21 years old, but I also didn’t miss out on stuff due to a pandemic.

Go Bucky
Reply to  oxyswim
1 year ago

Agree… the fifth year should only have applied to seniors in 2020. It’s ridiculous that we have 2 more years of this.

Old Swimmer
1 year ago

Hook Em!!! 🤘

About Riley Overend

Riley is an associate editor interested in the stories taking place outside of the pool just as much as the drama between the lane lines. A 2019 graduate of Boston College, he arrived at SwimSwam in April of 2022 after three years as a sports reporter and sports editor at newspapers …

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