I’m not sure how many people caught this, but in an interview last week with Florida swimmer Brett Fraser on the Morning Swim Show, Peter Busch deftly pulled out the information that USA Swimming National Teamer Dagny Knutson would be moving to Gainesville to continue her training for the 2012 London Olympics at the Gator Swim Club. The move makes a lot of sense for her, as she will now be in a training group made up of some of the best middle distance swimmers in the country (including Ryan Lochte, Peter Vanderkaay, Rex Tullius, fellow Elizabeth Beisel, and the aforementioned Fraser, among others).
Gator Swim Club (and University of Florida) head coach Gregg Troy is also the head coach for the 2012 U.S. Men’s Olympic Team. He announced earlier this year that he would be temporarily transitioning many of his duties on the NCAA side of the program to his assistants so that he could better focus on training those athletes preparing for the Olympics. That extra focus is probably what tipped the scales for Knutson on this decision.
This past year, Knutson decommitted from Auburn and turned pro after the departure of their assistant Paul Yetter, and FAST seemed to be a way to buy herself some time (not that Jon Urbanchek isn’t a great coach), as it was fairly easy for her to jump right into the program with it being a USA Swimming Center of Excellence. This move doesn’t particularly surprise me, even without the Sean Hutchison situation (though that fiasco might have made the decision easier for her).
Now, with a little bit of time to weigh her options, Florida is a great choice for her. There was obviously something about that SEC feel that drew her commitment in 2009, and she will have a very similar cultural experience at Florida as she would have at Auburn. My assumption is that she’ll also be working towards a degree at UF.
Among her many accomplishments, Knutson is a former 400 yard IM American Record Holder and holds 4 Public High School Records (100, 200, 500 free & 400 IM).