Distance Swimmer Sophia Balow Commits to Michigan State

Distance swimmer Sophia Balow has verbally committed to Michigan State University, where she’ll join the Spartans officially next fall.

Balow, from the Plymouth-Canton Cruisers and Canton High School in suburban Detroit, has 2019 Futures cuts in both the 1650 free (17:11.33) and the 500 free (5:02.71). She placed 16th in the 500 free at the 2018 Michigan D1 (big school) state championship meet, though she was 10th with a lifetime best in prelims.

Best times in Yards:

  • 50 free – 26.51
  • 100 free – 55.39
  • 200 free – 1:54.91
  • 500 free – 5:02.71
  • 1000 free – 10:21.06
  • 1650 free – 17:11.33

Balow has made huge leaps in her distance swimming in the last two years: she had never raced an official mile prior to February of 2017, and after swimming an 18:13 then, she dropped over a minute to 17:11 in the ensuing 13 months. Other events tell a similar story for her progress.

Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
15-16 16-17 17-18 17-18
1:02.74 57.89 55.39 NA
200 free 2:02.48 2:01.04 1:56.68 1:54.91
500 free 5:26.39 5:18.56 5:02.71
1650 free NA 18:13.81 17:11.33

Her best time in the mile would rank her 9th in school history in the event, and her 1:54.91 in the 200 free would put her 6th among current Spartans this season. She’ll follow a big middle-to-distance recruiting class for Michigan State last fall: all 4 of their swimmers who have recorded times in the 1650 free this year are freshmen, as are 4 of their 5 1000 freestylers and 5 of their top 6 500 freestylers.

Sophia Balow’s younger sister Elena, a sophomore at Canton High, is more of a sprinter, having already split 24.6 on a relay anchor at this season’s Michigan State Championship meet.

If you have a commitment to report, please send an email with a photo (landscape, or horizontal, looks best) and a quote to [email protected].

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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. 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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