Claire Dafoe Decommits from Pitt; Sends Verbal to South Carolina

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Claire Dafoe, who had verbaled to Pitt last December, has changed her verbal commitment to the University of South Carolina’s class of 2026. As such, Dafoe becomes new head coach Jeff Poppell’s first public recruit.

“I am extremely excited to announce my verbal commitment to continue my athletic and academic career at the University of South Carolina! I would like to thank all of my coaches, family, and friends who have supported me through everything. #spursup GO GAMECOCKS❤️🖤🤍@gamecockswim thank you for the AMAZING pictures!”

Dafoe hails from Midlothian, Virginia and attends Cosby High School. She swims year-round with NOVA of Virginia Aquatics and specializes in distance free, fly, and IM. She is a 2021 Olympic Trials qualifier (Wave 1) in the 800 free, a Summer Nationals qualifier in the 1000/1650 free, and a Summer Juniors qualifier in the 500 free and 400 IM.

Already a strong prospect when she announced her verbal commitment to Pitt in December, Dafoe has dropped tons of time in her top events since the beginning of the year. She had back-to-back LCM successes in January at Pro Swim Series Richmond and at the NOVA Long Course Winter Invitational. In Richmond, she went 4:18.86/8:46.94/16:54.66 in the 400/800/1500, placing 6th in all three events. At the NOVA meet she went best times in the LCM 50/200 free, 200 back, and 200/400 IM.

Most recently, Dafoe had a particularly strong showing at the NCSA Spring Championship. She was 15th in the 200 free, 3rd in the 500, 2nd in the 1000, 2nd in the 1650, 16th in the 200 fly, and 8th in the 400 IM. She left the meet with PBs in the 200/500/1650 free, 200 back, 200 fly, and 400 IM.

Her time progression in SCY over the last three months has been:

  December 2020 March 2021
1650 free 16:43.60 16:15.53
1000 free 9:56.20 9:42.50
500 free 4:50.84 4:43.97
200 free 1:51.83 1:50.54
400 IM 4:25.45 4:18.60
200 IM 2:05.54 2:04.35
200 fly 2:03.84 2:01.69

Dafoe’s times are now fast enough to score in the top-16 at the SEC Championships in the 1650 free and 500 free.

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1 year ago

Cocks on the rise!

Dawg Talk
Reply to  SwimFani
1 year ago


Swim fan
1 year ago

Bummer for Pitt. Great pick up for South Carolina

Dale Porter
1 year ago

Go Claire!

dressy dressel
1 year ago


Older brother
1 year ago

Love to see it! Great community being built at South Carolina! Excited to see what little sis can do!

1 year ago

Poppell said “YOINK!”

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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