Former U.S. National Team member and 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials finalist Cassidy Bayer is still working her way back to collegiate swimming – but not this season.
Bayer, who is still on Tennessee’s roster, told SwimSwam on Friday that she is planning to return to competition, if her body allows it, but not this season.
Bayer says that she was not cleared to swim this semester, so she has been training with the local Masters swim team in Knoxville. She is hoping to be back with the team in May of 2022.
Bayer began her college career at Cal in the 2018-2019 season. After a season-and-a-half with the Golden Bears, which included placing 15th at the 2019 NCAA Championships, Bayer announced that she was planning to take a break from swimming to focus on treating an eating disorder.
In October of 2020, she announced that she had plans to transfer, and eventually turned up in January 2021 to race two dual meets with the Tennessee Volunteers – although both were in exhibition competition only, and none where in her specialty butterfly events.
Bayer’s potential at a young age, making an Olympic Trials semifinal at just 16 years old, has left a lot of interest in her potential as a swimmer. She was the #5 recruit in the high school class of 2018 and a four-time state champion in the 200 IM in high school.
Bayer has used that platform to draw attention and awareness for eating disorders, which she says she has struggled with. She frequently posts on her Instagram channel about her own recovery.
Those two dual meets are Bayer’s only official competition results since December of 2019
Tennessee lists her as a redshirt junior, meaning she would have either one or two seasons of eligibility remaining if she rejoined the varsity squad at Tennessee.
Bayer is majoring in Communication Studies with a minor in Journalism and Electronic Media.