Freestyler Sam Huggins Sends Verbal To UNC (2025)

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Sam Huggins of State College, Pennsylvania, has announced his verbal commitment to swim and study at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Huggins, a USA Swimming Scholastic All-American, is currently a junior at State College Area High School and trains year-round with the Nittany Lion Aquatic Club.

“I am incredibly excited to announce my verbal commitment to continue my athletic and academic career at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill! Thank you to my family, friends, coaches and teammates for supporting me and helping me achieve this. I would also like to thank the coaches at Carolina for this amazing opportunity! Go Heels!”

Huggins is primarily a freestyle specialist, and owns Winter U.S. Open cuts in the 200 and 500 free. He’s also a Winter Juniors qualifier in the 1650, 1500m, and 800m, as well as a Summer Juniors qualifier in the 400m free. 

Huggins recently represented his high school at the Pennsylvania High School State Championships (3A), where he was the runner-up in the 200 and 500. In the 500 he stopped the clock at 4:23.95, which marked a new personal best by just over a second. He posted a 1:38.05 in the 200 free, which is about seven tenths of his best from Winter Juniors in December.

This spring Huggins also raced at the TYR Pro Swim Series stop in Knoxville, where he recorded his highest finish in the 800m free at 23rd (8:32.48). He was also 43rd in the 400m free (4:12.16) and 39th in the 200m free (1:54.83), with his 200 establishing a new season best. He also time trialed the 100m free and clocked a new personal best time of 53.07.

Top SCY Times

  • 100 free – 45.76
  • 200 free – 1:37.31
  • 500 free – 4:23.95
  • 1650 free – 15:35.67

Led by head coach Mark Gangloff, the Tar Heel men finished 8th at the 2024 Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Championships. The team’s top individual finisher was freshman Sebastian Lunak, who finished 3rd in the 200 fly. 

With his current best times, Huggins’ best shot at scoring is in the 500 and 1650. Patrick Sleater led the team in the 1650 at 20th (15:40.62), while Keith Williams was UNC’s lone finalist in the 500 at 24th (4:31.69). Williams and Sleater are both underclassmen this year and will overlap with Huggins for at least one season.

With his commitment, Huggins joins Granger Bartee and Benton Grutter in UNC’s class of 2029. Grutter is a sprint free & fly swimmer, while Bartee focuses on mid-distance free & back.

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Hmm
1 month ago

So much for academics

Anonymous
Reply to  Hmm
1 month ago

UNC is a super competitive school academically, what are you talking about? Unless you’re saying that to be in the swim program athletes are limited to what classes/majors they can be in, your comment makes no sense.

Rocket Sled
1 month ago

Boom! Somewhere Brad Kline and Warren Perry are celebrating over a wine cooler.

TarHeelSwam
1 month ago

UNC men got some sneaky good recruits coming in the next year/two! Congrats!

Eagles Mere
1 month ago

That Pennsylvania Pipeline is strong! Reminiscent of a young Michael Chorba!

Ranch
Reply to  Eagles Mere
1 month ago

Chorba! What a legend. I’ll never forget how he took Spaz and Kline under his wings and turned them into men. You need a PA guy around your program. FRC knew this intuitively.