College Station Sectionals Champion Clare Vetkoetter Commits to Vanderbilt

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Rising high school senior Clare Vetkoetter, who in April was one of the class of 2021’s top uncommitted swimmers, has verbally committed to Vanderbilt. Primarily a distance freestyler, Vetkoetter already has times that will challenge Vanderbilt school records the moment she steps on campus.

Vetkoetter’s Best Times in Yards:

  • 50 free – 24.72
  • 100 free – 53.30
  • 200 free – 1:51.99
  • 500 free – 4:54.39
  • 1000 free – 10:01.38
  • 1650 free – 16:45.00
  • 200 fly – 2:02.76
  • 200 IM – 2:08.25
  • 400 IM – 4:25.33

The school record in the 500 free is a 4:54.28 set by Saleh Peacock in 2017, while the school record in the 1000 free is a 10:03.68 done by Erika Deardorf in 2011.

At last season’s SEC Championship meet, Vanderbilt finished 12th out of 12 teams, scoring 150 points from only relay scoring. That left then 267 points behind 11th place LSU. Vetkoetter isn’t quite at SEC scoring level in the 500 and 1650 free yet, but she is easily better than Vanderbilt’s best swimmers last season in those events, and would have been their 2nd-best in the 200 free as well (by .06 seconds).

Vetkoetter trains with Texas Ford Aquatics and attends Wakeland High School in Frisco, Texas. In February, she won the women’s 1500 meter free at the College Station Sectionals meet. In the summer of 2018, she was the Rochester Futures Championships runner-up in the same event.

After placing 6th in the 500 free at the Texas 5A (smaller schools) state championship meet as a freshman in 2018, she didn’t participate in either 2019 or 2020 championships.

Vetkoetter has 2019 Winter Juniors cuts in the 1000 and 1650 yard frees, a 2019 Summer Juniors cut in the 800 free (8:56.10), and a 2019 Winter US Open cut in the 1500 free (16:58.86). Those times leave her about 8 seconds and almost 10 seconds away from qualifying for the 2021 US Olympic Trials.

She joins a Vanderbilt recruiting class that includes Mercedes Traba from Florida, Canadian Gray Almsai, and Californian Kailia Utley.

Of that group, next to Vetkoetter, Utley has the best credentials. She has been 53.6 in the 100 yard fly and 2:00.0 in the 200 yard fly. That time in the 100 fly would have scored individual points at last year’s SEC Championship meet.

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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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