Futures Qualifier Grace McCardle Commits To William & Mary For Fall 2024

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Grace McCardle, a junior swimmer from North Garden, Virginia, has announced her commitment to stay in-state and compete for William & Mary come fall 2024.

McCardle is a freestyle and backstroke specialist who swims for Battlefield Area Star Swimmers and attends Western Albemarle High School.

At the Virginia Commonwealth Cup in November of 2022, McCardle had an outstanding meet, posting several lifetime bests. McCardle led off the 400 freestyle relay for BASS with a best time of 52.39. She also earned top-10 finishes and best times in both backstroke events, placing 2nd in the 200 back (2:03.52) and 9th in the 100 back (56.56).

McCardle had another impressive weekend one month later at the 2022 Virginia East Coast WinterFest. McCardle dropped her 50 free down from 24.26 to 24.21 to earn he victory. She also improved her 200 free by about a second, posting a time of 1:52.50 and claiming 2nd place. McCardle also claimed victory in the 100 butterfly, where she swam a new personal best of 58.12.

Representing Western Albemarle High School at the 2023 Virginia Class 4 High School State Championships, McCardle was a two-time finalist, touching 4th in the 200 free (1:53.21) and 5th in the 100 free (53.23). The Western Albemarle women were runners-up at the championships.

Top Times (SCY):

  • 50 free – 24.21
  • 100 free – 52.39
  • 200 free – 1:52.50
  • 100 back – 56.56
  • 200 back – 2:03.52
  • 100 fly – 58.12

The William & Mary women finished 2nd at the 2023 CAA Championships, trailing conference champion UNC Wilmington.

Sprint freestyler Katie Stevenson, and butterfly/ IM specialist Sophia Heilen led the way for Tribe swimming. In addition to earning 3 NCAA ‘B’ times, Stevenson walked away from the weekend with one gold, one silver, and one bronze medal.

Stevenson placed 3rd in the 50 free (22.67), 2nd in the 200 free (1:46.40), and 1st in the 100 free (48.37).

Heilen swept the butterfly events for William & Mary, winning the 100 fly in 52.92 and the 200 fly with a time of 1:59.36. Heilen also finished 2nd in the 200 IM (1:59.30). Her 100 fly and 200 IM times both earned her NCAA ‘B’ cuts.

McCardle’s 200 backstroke time of 2:03.52 would have been 2nd on the William & Mary squad last season. Her 100 back and 200 free would have ranked her 3rd and 4th on the team, respectively.

McCardle adds to William & Mary’s existing 2024 women’s recruiting class which currently includes Tess Lankford, Healey Morgan, Claire Neilly, and Caroline Scharff.

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