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The Cal women’s swim team will be getting a taste of Canadian talent in 2024.
17-year-old freestyle specialist Mia West committed to the Bears last October and has put up some impressive performances over the past couple months at the 2023 Canadian Trials and Mel Zajac Jr. International Meet.
“I am absolutely thrilled to announce my verbal commitment to continue my athletic and academic career at The University of California, Berkeley,” wrote West, who trains with Tommaso Panizza at Manta Swim Club. “I’d like to thank my past and present coaches, teachers, family, and friends who have helped me get to this point. I’d also like to thank the amazing coaching staff at Cal for giving me this incredible opportunity. I can’t wait to be a part of such a special team! GO BEARS!💙🐻💛”
West recently set six lifetime bests in long-course meters (LCM) at the 2023 Canadian Trials from late March to early April. She placed 8th in the A-final of the 200 free (2:00.48), won the junior final of the 100 free (55.95), and placed 3rd in the junior final of the 50 free (26.12). She added personal bests in the 100 back (1:03.00), 100 fly (1:00.28), and 200 IM (2:16.30).
At last weekend’s Mel Zajac Jr. International Meet, she picked up a victory in the 100 free (56.41) while placing 2nd in the 200 fly (2:15.48), 3rd in 200 free (2:02.46), 3rd in 50 fly (27.45), 1st place in 100 free (56.41), 4th in 400 free (4:23.29), and 8th in 100 fly (1:01.86).
It looks as if West has swam short-course yards (SCY) just once at the Phoenix Winter Invitational in February. She only competed in prelims of the 100 fly (54.19), 200 fly (1:59.13), and 200 IM (2:01.79).
Best LCM Times Converted to SCY
- 50 free – 22.81
- 100 free – 48.96
- 200 free – 1:45.65
- 100 back – 55.67
- 100 fly – 53.04
- 200 IM – 1:59.90
At last year’s Pac-12 Championships, West’s best converted times would have put her in the B-finals of the 100 free, 200 free, 100 fly, and 200 IM and the C-final of the 50 free.
The Bears ended up placing third behind Stanford and USC at this year’s Pac-12 Championships after dealing with the fallout from former head coach Teri McKeever’s firing in late January. Dave Durden, who has coached the Cal men’s team in Berkeley since 2007, now leads the women’s program as well.
Last season, the Bears’ top sprint freestyler was Emma Davidson (22.21 50 free, 48.27 100 free) and their best 200 freestyler was Mia Motekaitis (1:43.92). Both were seniors, however, so they’ll be gone by the time West arrives in Berkeley.
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