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.
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.
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