Harvard Commit Kiley Wilhelm, SwimSwam’s #2 Class Of 2023 Recruit, Will Take Gap Year

Kiley Wilhelm, who was ranked #2 in SwimSwam’s May 2022 rendition of the top girls’ recruits in the class of 2023 list, will be taking a gap year with eyes set on making the 2024 German Olympic team, according to an Instagram post from her former school, the Charlotte Preparatory School. As a Harvard commit, she will arrive in Cambridge to begin competing on an NCAA level starting in the 2024-25 season.

Wilhelm is not the first top class of 2023 recruit to take a gap year, with USC commit and honorable mention recruit Diggory Dillingham and Tennessee commit Mackenzie Siroky both opting to do so as well. In addition, U.S. National team members Erin Gemmell and Bella Sims still remain undecided about taking gap years.

We are excited to announce that Charlotte Prep lifer, Kiley Wilhelm, will be our graduation speaker! Kiley is currently a senior at Myers Park High School and will attend Harvard University in the fall of 2024, after taking a gap year to train for the German Olympic team.

Kiley plans to concentrate on Economics/Finance and English while swimming for the Harvard Women’s Swim and Dive team. Kiley is a National Age Group record holder and 18-time Academic All-American. She is a dedicated and ambitious student-athlete who enjoys baking bread, reading Jane Austen, and walking her dog Winston on the weekends.

Currently, Wilhelm does not have any Olympic qualifying or consideration times. The closest she is to an Olympic automatic qualifying time is in the 100 back, where her best time of 1:00.97 is 0.97 seconds off the qualifying time of 59.99. That being said, her best times in the 100 back, 200 back, and 200 fly are quicker than the fastest German performances in each event in 2022—meaning that domestic competition will not be much as of an issue for her as qualification standards will be.

To read the qualification procedures for swimming at the Paris 2024 games, click here.

Wilhelm’s Best Long Course Times:

  • 100 back: 1:00.97 (OQT: 59.99)
  • 200 back: 2:12.02 (OQT: 2:10.39)
  • 100 fly: 59.19 (OQT: 57.92)
  • 200 fly: 2:11.02 (OQT: 2:08.43)
  • 200 IM: 2:15.84 (OQT: 2:11.47)

Top German Performers, 2022:

  • 100 back: Laura Riedemann, 1:01.32
  • 200 back: Sonnele Oezturek, 2:12.69
  • 100 fly: Angelina Koehler, 57.90
  • 200 fly: Kathrin Demler, 2:11.13
  • 200 IM: Zoe Vogelmann, 2:13.66

Wihelm set her best times in the 100 fly, 200 fly, and 200 IM at the 2022 U.S. International Team trials, finishing 11th, 17th, and 17th in those events respectively. Her PBs in the 100 and 200 back both came from spring 2021. SwimSwam has reached out to Wilhelm to confirm how she is eligible to compete for Germany, considering that she attends school in Charlotte, North Carolina and trains with the Life Time Swim Team in Cary, North Carolina. In order to represent a nation, World Aquatics requires a swimmer to either have citizenship to the nation by birth or to have resided in the nation for three years prior to their first international competition with the nation.

Although Wilhelm didn’t improve upon her best times in any of her primary yards events, she still remains one of the top short course swimmers in her high school class. Her best time of 51.07 in the 100 fly is still ranked #1 for the class of 2023, while her 200 fly (1:52.54) and 200 back (1:52.71) times rank #2 and #3 in the class respectively. She’s one of the biggest recruits that the Harvard women have ever gotten, as her best times in the 100 fly, 200 fly, 100 back (52.47), and 200 IM (1:55.78) are faster than the current Harvard team records.

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HOO love
16 days ago

Given the caption says she attends Myers Park High School, I don’t think she currently goes to charlotte preparatory. (It’s also a preK-8th grade school)

Reply to  HOO love
16 days ago

Charlotte Prep lifer and graduation speaker means she went K-8 at Charlotte Prep and they are bringing her back as graduation speaker. Seems clear enough to me.

About Yanyan Li

Yanyan Li

Although Yanyan wasn't the greatest competitive swimmer, she learned more about the sport of swimming by being her high school swim team's manager for four years. She eventually ventured into the realm of writing and joined SwimSwam in January 2022, where she hopes to contribute to and learn more about …

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