FGCU Picks Up East Carolina Transfer and Slovak NR-Holder Sara Niepelova

After one season at the now-shuttered East Carolina University swimming & diving program, Slovakian national record-holder Sara Niepelova is transferring to Florida Gulf Coast University.

East Carolina announced on May 21 that they would cut their men’s and women’s swimming & diving programs. Besides Niepelova, Kristen Stege (Tennessee) and Adela Vavrinova (Arkansas) have publicly announced transfers for next season.

“I chose FGCU because of the academics, strong swimming team and the relationship I have built with the amazing coach Dave Rollins. I am very excited to get back in the pool with my new teammates and do my best in helping the team win the Championships.”


  • 200m IM – 2:21.52 (2:04.61 SCY conv.)
  • 400m IM – 4:55.43 (4:20.38 SCY conv.)
  • 200m fly – 2:20.15 (2:03.73 SCY conv.)


  • 500 free – 5:00.72 (2020 AAC Championships)
  • 200 fly – 2:04.78 (GT Invite)
  • 400 IM – 4:24.54 (2020 AAC Championships)

Niepelova is primarily an IM’er and 200 butterflier, though she helped establish the Slovak 4×200 free record in SCM with a 2:03.79 third leg at the 2018 FINA SC World Champs. Internationally, Niepelova has also represented Team Slovakia at the 2016 and 2017 Euro Junior Championships and the 2017 World Junior Champs.

At the 2020 AAC Championships, Niepelova scored in the 400 IM, placing 12th overall at ECU’s #2 400 IMer on the season.

With her lifetime bests in yards, which are from just SCY season, Niepelova would’ve made the 400 IM A-final at the 2020 CCSA Champs. She would’ve also been on the A/B-final bubble in both the 500 free and 200 fly.

Niepelova will join the program with incoming freshmen Emily Merton and Sophia Macaisa.

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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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