Canadian Junior Pan Pacs Finalist Brayden Taivassalo (2023) Commits to Texas

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Brayden Taivassalo from Newmarket, Ontario, has announced his intention to swim and study at the University of Texas beginning in the fall of 2023.

“From student life to the best swim program in the nation, The University of Texas has everything I was looking for to further my academics, swimming career, and find a home away from home.  I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to swim under the sport’s greatest legend, Eddie Reese and be a part of the Longhorn family.”

Taivassalo swam with Gator Swim Club and represented FW Buchholz High School at the Florida Class 4A State Championships last year. He was runner-up in the 100 breast (56.29) and placed fifth in the 200 IM (1:51.52) at the state meet in November 2021. This year, he’s back in Canada, attending Bill Crothers Secondary School and training with Markham Aquatic Club and the Swimming Canada High Performance Centre–Ontario.

Taivassalo placed 7th in the 50 breast, 17th in the 200 breast, 17th in the 200 breast, and 18th in the 200 IM (PB of 2:07.47) at Canadian Trials in April. He represented Canada at the 2022 Junior Pan Pacific Championships, coming in 6th in the 100 breast and 5th in the 200 breast (with PBs of 1:03.01 and 2:15.52), and splitting a 1:02.35 breaststroke leg on the Canadian medley relay. Also, last summer, he clocked PBs in the LCM 50 free (24.89) and 50 breast (29.27) while competing with Gator Swim Club at the ISCA Summer Senior Blast.

Best LCM times (converted to SCY):

  • 100 breast – 1:03.01 (54.96)
  • 200 breast – 2:15.52 (1:58.48)
  • 200 IM – 2:07.47 (1:51.95)
  • 400 IM – 4:45.43 (4:11.37)

Best SCY times:

  • 100 breast – 56.29
  • 200 breast – 2:03.35
  • 200 IM – 1:51.52
  • 400 IM – 4:07.25

Texas has also secured commitments from #4 Will Modglin, #5 Nate Germonprez, Will Scholtz (honorable mention), Logan Walker (best of the rest), and George Flanders for the class of 2027. Taivassalo will join a Longhorns breaststroker group that will be in need of replenishment, as seniors Caspar Corbeau and Jake Foster (unless they stay for a fifth year) and grad students Will Chan and Braden Vines will all have graduated by the time Taivassalo shows up in Austin.

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Mark
2 months ago

Just wondering how a Canadian kid who never attended Buchholz High School in Florida swam in FHSAA??

Brayden
Reply to  Mark
2 months ago
Mark
Reply to  Brayden
2 months ago

I am aware he did swim. But I am under the impression you need to be enrolled in a Florida school to swim FHSAA. And in order to enroll you have to have an immigrant visa of some sort. He seems to have swam in Florida only for the fall season – seems fishy. – like was under the 6 month Canadian snowbird rule.
Maybe Texas likes immigrants that come to swim vs immigrants that come by swimming.

Anon
Reply to  Mark
2 months ago

Thanks to all the clubs coaches and families in the USA who during Covid accommodated Canadian swimmers who came down south when pools were closed for extended periods of time in Canada.

Last edited 2 months ago by Anon
John
Reply to  Mark
2 months ago

Doesn’t seem all that unbelievable considering the lockdowns we Canadians went through and the number of foreign athletes that went down to the US to continue training. I imagine they respected all rules while doing so as well.

Admin
Reply to  John
2 months ago

I think as Canadians, it might be hard for people to conceptualize the rigor of rules evaluations in American high school athletics.

While certainly anything is possible, the odds of a swimmer that good sneaking into a high school championship without following the rules for eligibility, and nobody appealing that participation, are very, very, VERY low. Especially in a state like Florida, where football has created a ton of infrastructure around such things.

Happy to hear evidence to the contrary (my email is braden.com), but it doesn’t make sense to me.

Mark
Reply to  Braden Keith
2 months ago

In Florida swimming is a far cry from football in terms of people caring and as a team Buchholz was well outside the top 10. Things just smell fishy. Here are some facts and thoughts as observed by an outsider:
1) Same guy coaches the Gator Swim Club as Buchholz High School.
2) The BHS athletic director is no longer at BHS.
3) News reports have him as a high school senior at BHS last year, (Grade 12),(https://www.gainesville.com/story/sports/2021/11/13/fhsaa-class-4-a-swimming-brayden-taivassalo-leads-buchholz/8602741002/) yet the article above has him attending high school again this year.
4) He swam in Florida for only 6 months – max time for a tourist stay. A student… Read more »

Admin
Reply to  Mark
2 months ago

In Florida, swimming is a far cry from football in terms of the number of people caring, but all of the same rules apply, and the procedure is the same. A great example of this is in Texas, another football state, where Maximus Williamson had to jump through a ton of hoops to be able to transfer out of Southlake Carroll this season. So long as there are enough people caring (and there are dozens of other coaches, and parents, who would care and cry bloody murder), it would be incredibly difficult to sneak a non-student in to a state championship meet. No administrator is going to risk that over a swimmer. There’s a whole eligibility system they have to… Read more »

Floridaswimfan
Reply to  Mark
2 months ago

He attended classes on the campus of BHS for quite some time actually.

Pseudo-Conscious Meatsack
2 months ago

Surprised Braden Keith hasn’t come in to correct “best swim program in the nation” with the recent texas hate

Admin
Reply to  Pseudo-Conscious Meatsack
2 months ago

BrAdEn KeItH iS sUcH a HaTeR

Pseudo-Conscious Meatsack
Reply to  Braden Keith
2 months ago

Hate all you want, times will speak for themselves. Just stop pumping out fake news about Texas. Gives both the university and swim swam a bad wrap

Demarrit Steenbergen
Reply to  Pseudo-Conscious Meatsack
2 months ago

Nothing fake

John
Reply to  Pseudo-Conscious Meatsack
2 months ago

Receipts or you’re just salty

MIKE IN DALLAS
2 months ago

Apparently the “avalanche” of departures from the UT program has been more than halted with the recent commitments of the past 2 months alone. It’s still THE powerhouse swimming program in the D1 category, and, I suspect, will do brilliantly at NCAA’s this season. Welcome to Austin, Brayden!

Did not Cali UT
Reply to  MIKE IN DALLAS
2 months ago

Here, here!

Demarrit Steenbergen
Reply to  MIKE IN DALLAS
2 months ago

It is not THE, it is one of two

chinnychenchen
Reply to  MIKE IN DALLAS
2 months ago

THE powerhouse swimming program in the D1 category got beat pretty handily by Cal this year at NCAAs

About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

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