Double Illinois High School State sprint champion Daria Pyshnenko has verbally committed to the defending Big Ten champions from the University of Michigan.
Pyshnenko is the daughter of Vladimir Pyshnenko, who is the head senior coach of the CATS Aquatic Team in suburban Chicago. Her dad is a four-time Olympic medalist representing the Unified Team in 1992 and Russia in 1996 – with 1 gold and 3 silvers, all coming from relays. In total, he has 10 major international medals- all earned as a relay participant.
Daria took the 2015 Illinois State Championships in both the 50 (22.52) and 100 (49.77) yard freestyles. The former remains her lifetime best, but she was able to improve to a 49.14 by the end of her junior year in the latter.
“I chose to commit to University of Michigan because I felt at home there,” Pyshnenko said. “On my first unofficial visit, I knew right away that this was the perfect school for both my academic and swimming growth. I have only heard good things about this school and I can easily say that I have made the right decision. I was drawn by the amazing swimmers and coaches and cannot wait to become of the Wolverine family! Go Blue!”
She’s very locked-in to the sprint freestyle events, with secondary times of 1:50.36 in the 200 free and 56.82 in the 100 fly.
In spite of what she describes as a “pretty serious shoulder injury” during her sophomore season, Pyshnenko’s shown steady improvement throughout her high school career. That included a second-place finish in the 50 free at the state meet as a sophomore- a feat she completed after a year of kicking and three weeks of full swim training.
Pyshnenko’s progression in the 50/100 free
- Freshman season – 23.18/51.12
- Sophomore season – 23.09/50.01
- Junior season – 22.52/49.14
After helping lead her team, Lake Forest High School, to a second-place overall finish at last year’s State Championship meet, she will sit out the 2016 high school season.
Michigan graduated their top sprinter, Ali DeLoof, at the end of last season. They return Siobhan Haughey this fall (22.41/47.71) with three more years of eligibility as the foundation of the sprint group moving forward.