Illinois State Gains Commitment From Freestyler Hope Westphal (2024)

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Hope Westphal has announced her commitment to swim and study at Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois. Westphal hails from Spokane, Washington, where she trains year-round with the Spokane Waves Aquatic Team. She’s set to arrive on campus next fall ahead of the 2024-2025 season.

“I’m super excited to commit to Illinois State University and be a part of this team where everyone is focused on swimming and academics, but are still super close with one another!”

Westphal is primarily a freestyle specialist, and owns a Futures cut in the 500 freestyle. She wrapped up her long course season this summer at the Western Zone Championships, where she recorded her highest finish in the 1500m free at 11th (18:09.37). She also placed in the top-16 in the 800m free and 400m IM, hitting best times of 9:28.23 and 5:14.94, respectively.

Many of her top short course times were established this past March at Speedo Sectionals in Federal Way. She dropped over 20 seconds in the 1650 to hit a 17:32.39 for 11th, while in the 1000 she knocked off five seconds to clock a 10:29.96 en route to 14th. Rounding out her top swims was the 500 free, where she dropped a total of four seconds on the day to post a 5:02.36 (21st).

Top SCY Times:

  • 200 free – 1:55.26
  • 500 free – 5:02.36
  • 1000 free – 10:29.96
  • 1650 free – 17:32.39

The Redbirds recorded a 3rd place finish at the 2023 Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) Championships with a total of 997 points. This season, the team has been under the direction of interim head coach Sean Sullivan, who took over after previous head coach Caitlin Hamilton made the move to Kentucky this fall.  

Westphal’s best time in the 1650 is just inside MVC scoring range, as it would have placed 18th at this year’s meet. The team’s top finisher in the event was Lauren Wisdom, who took 6th in 17:10.42. Wisdom, a current junior, also leads the way so far this season with a 17:24.71. 

Joining Westphal in Illinois State’s incoming class next fall is Amelia Murphy, Alexandra Davis, Hailey Fris, Payton Dorman, and Avery Watson.

If you have a commitment to report, please send an email with a photo (landscape, or horizontal, looks best) and a quote to [email protected].

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swimdad
6 months ago

Go you Redbirds!