Canadian Breaststroker Faith Knelson Signs NLI With Arizona Wildcats

Faith Knelson of Island Swimming and Team Canada has signed a national letter of intent (NLI) with the Arizona Wildcats in the Pac-12.

I cannot stop smiling!🤗 I am so excited to announce my official commitment to swim at the University of Arizona. Thank you to my parents, the Wildcat Swimming Family and all my friends for supporting me to my decision❤️ Bear down🐻⬇️



  • 50 breast – 30.91/26.94
  • 100 breast – 1:07.30/58.82
  • 200 breast – 2:27.70/2:09.45
  • 100 free – 57.00/49.90
  • 200 IM – 2:17.17/2:00.69

Knelson swam to a 4th place finish in the 100 breast at the 2018 Commonwealth Games this spring, and she’s emerged as not only one of Canada’s top junior breaststrokers right now, but as one of their top breaststrokers, period. She ranks 4th in Canadian history in the 100 breast, 5th in the 50 breast, and 10th in the 200 breast, and she’s #2 in Canadian junior history in the 50 and 100 breast (but #1 if you only include times done in textile suits).

This summer, Knelson had intended to compete at the 2018 Jr Pan Pac Champs, but wound up pulling out due to an injury.

Knelson figures to be a lights-out breaststroker for the Wildcats, and her converted times would’ve put her at 4th in the 100 breast prelims at the 2018 NCAA Champs and just outside of B final range in the 200 breast. Her converted time in the 50 breast, meanwhile, is over a full second quicker than Arizona’s breast leg was at the 2018 NCAA Champs in the medley relay.

Arizona has had five women break a minute in the 100 breast in their history, and two (Annie Grevers in 2010 and Ellyn Baumgardner in 2012) break 59.0, accentuating how much impact Knelson could end up having with a smooth transition to yards swimming.

Knelson is also a strong sprint freestyler and IM’er, giving her options to branch out while at Arizona. She joins fellow Canadian Axana Merckx and Oregon breaststroker Ellie Jew in their incoming class of 2023.

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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Foreign Embassy
3 years ago

Glad to see arizona pulling some high impact recruits.

Bob hedley
3 years ago

Good to see her reaching her goals

About Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon studied sociology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, graduating in May of 2018. He began swimming on a club team in first grade and swam four years for Wesleyan.

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