Colorado HS 5A A-Finalist Sydney Bales Verbals to Mizzou (2022)

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Sydney Bales of the Front Range Barracudas in Colorado has verbally committed to Mizzou for fall 2022. Bales was given the Swiss Army Knife Award by Legacy High School’s swim program in 2020 after she qualified for the Colorado 5A high school state championships in every HS event.

I had a feeling the moment I stepped onto campus that Mizzou was the place for me. Throughout the process I fell in love with the family culture of the team and support staff, and I connected with the coaches and athletes on the team immediately. The energy that Mizzou has is unmatchable and I can’t wait to spend the next four years with such an amazing group of people who share the same passion for swimming and in life with me. GO TIGERS!!!!!


  • 100 back – 54.03
  • 200 back – 1:59.91 (1:58.71 altitude-adjusted)
  • 100 fly – 54.29
  • 200 IM – 2:06.83 (2:05.63 altitude-adjusted)
  • 100 free – 52.13

At the 2020 Colorado HS 5A State Championships, Bales finished third in the 100 back (55.41) and sixth in the 100 fly (56.92). She was also 25.05 swimming fly on Legacy’s 200 medley relay and 52.08 on the third leg of their 400 free relay, which both finished top-six.

Bales recently dropped time in several events, becoming a much stronger recruit. In December, she raced at a meet hosted by Fort Collins Area Swim Team (FAST), hitting lifetime bests in all of the above events. She dropped almost 3 seconds in the 200 back, 2.5 seconds in the 100 fly, 2 in the 200 IM, about 1.5 seconds in the 100 back and a half-second in the 100 free.

Senior Sarah Thompson (51.0/1:52.8 back, 52.5 fly) and sophomore Meredith Rees (52.0/1:54.4 back, 53.1 fly) lead the Tigers in fly and back currently. Thompson is also the team’s best sprint freestyler.

Bales is already close to SEC Championships scoring speed in the 100 back, where it took a 53.63 to make it the C-final last season.

Bales will join Paige Striley and Grace Hanson in Mizzou’s class of 2026.

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About Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon studied sociology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, graduating in May of 2018. He began swimming on a club team in first grade and swam four years for Wesleyan.

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