Distance Specialist Kyler Heffner Flips Commitment From Georgia Tech to Georgia for 2024

by Riley Overend 15

September 16th, 2023 ACC, College, College Recruiting, News, SEC

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On Friday night, SwimAtlanta standout Kyler Heffner flipped his commitment from Georgia Tech to in-state rival University of Georgia beginning in the fall of 2024.

“I am very excited to announce my commitment to the University of Georgia to continue my swimming and academic career,” Heffner wrote on Instagram. “I would like to thank my parents, coach Chris, Chris Jr., Scot, Gayle, Willie, Rovie, and Callahan. I would also like to thank the UGA staff for this opportunity! Go DAWGS!!!”

Heffner is a distance freestyle and butterfly specialist who could overlap with Bulldogs distance star Jake Magahey if he decides to take a fifth year in 2024-25. At July’s Futures Championship in Ocala, Florida, Heffner picked up a pair of 2024 U.S. Olympic Trials cuts in the 800-meter free (8:09.26) and 1500 free (15:34.94).

Top SCY Times:

  • 200 free – 1:38.89
  • 500 free – 4:24.22
  • 1000 free – 9:05.00
  • 1650 free – 15:18.41
  • 100 fly – 48.78
  • 200 fly – 1:47.56

Heffner doesn’t possess SEC scoring times just yet, but his lifetime best in the 500 free (4:24.22) is only about four seconds outside of B-final range (4:19.25) based on last year’s conference championships.

The Georgia men ended up placing 12th at the 2023 NCAA Championships — four spots lower than the season prior — in their first year under Neil Versfeld, who took over last summer for longtime head coach Jack Bauerle.

Heffner joins butterfly/IM specialist Drew Hitchcock, British breaststroker Elliot Woodburn, and sprint freestyle specialist Will Gavin in Georgia’s class of 2028.

Earlier this year, Heffner earned a 2023 Summer Nationals time standard in the 1000 free, having swum a best time of 9:05.00 at a local club meet in March. At the same meet, he dropped over six seconds in the 200 fly to log a best time of 1:47.56.

Heffner also had a highly successful showing at Winter Juniors – East, where he earned his highest finish in the 1650 at 11th (15:18.41). He also advanced to finals in the 500 freestyle, clocking a 4:27.03 in finals to grab 15th overall. Additionally, he contributed to Swim Atlanta’s 3rd-place 800 freestyle relay, swimming a 1:40.68 on the anchor leg.

Following Winter Juniors, Heffner competed at the Georgia High School 7A State Championships, where he took runner-up in the 500 free with a best time and Brookwood High School record of 4:24.22. He also swam a 1:39.81 in the 200 free, good for 4th. He served as the fly leg of his school’s runner-up 200 medley relay (22.71), as well as the 2nd leg of their runner-up 400 freestyle relay (46.81).

The SEC is expected to get even tougher when Heffner arrives in 2024 with Texas joining the conference from the Big 12 that same year.

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I miss the ISL
5 days ago

Go dawgs! Cant believe people say switching from GT to UGA is a horrible choice academically. Maybe he’s not majoring in something like engineering or tech like GT is known for? Maybe it’s something that is a better of a program at UGA? Plus, a UGA degree is nothing to bat your eyes at. Yes, GT is great, but UGA isn’t that bad in comparison.

6 days ago


Bro just threw his entire academic career and future job options down the toilet for slightly faster swimming. Never before have I seen someone switch from one of the top public universities in the US to a giant frat party of a college with an average IQ of about 4. Truly mind-blowing move, he better make the next 5 Olympics and win about 30 golds to make this worth it.

Former Big10
Reply to  saltie
6 days ago

Lol… bit off the mark, bud

Reply to  Anonymous
5 days ago

I always have a chuckle at the wealth of top tier colleges and universities that exist in the US.

There are only 43 total universities in Australia, and in the US, being top 100 is considered really good.

Reply to  Braden Keith
4 days ago

The population of Australia is 25 million and it is all concentrated in like 5 cities

Reply to  chazoozle
4 days ago

The US per capita has more colleges and universities than Australia. About 5-6x more.

Reply to  saltie
4 days ago

Yeah, no one has ever been successful by going to Georgia.

Lap Counter
6 days ago

Swim Atlanta distance guys train to UGA

6 days ago

That’s…quite the switch. Certainly not one I recall seeing over the years.

Reply to  SWIMGUY12345
6 days ago

yuhhh good switch tho😈

Reply to  Tyson
6 days ago


Reply to  SWIMGUY12345
6 days ago

Well Georgia techs swim program is a joke so it makes sense

Reply to  Guy
6 days ago

No disputing that. I’d rather swim in my bathtub than for Courtney.

Reply to  SWIMGUY12345
3 days ago

Will see about that, surprise surprise !!!! lack of imformation….

About Riley Overend

Riley is an associate editor interested in the stories taking place outside of the pool just as much as the drama between the lane lines. A 2019 graduate of Boston College, he arrived at SwimSwam in April of 2022 after three years as a sports reporter and sports editor at newspapers …

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