Jake Foster Likely Not Taking Fifth Year, Will Retire If He Gets Into Med School

University of Texas senior and U.S. National team member Jake Foster will likely not be using his fifth year of eligibility, which was awarded to all NCAA athletes that competed during the COVID-afflicted 2020-21 season.

“At the moment, I will be finishing my degree in the spring, and with some degree of certainty, I can say that I will not be using my 5th year of eligibility,” Foster told SwimSwam. “I may still be swimming next year as a pro, but that situation is still in flux with whether I will be enrolling in med school next fall.”

Foster also confirmed that he would be retiring from competitive swimming if he enrolled in medical school, because “it won’t be possible for [him] to balance the demand of med school and competitive swimming while doing them at the level that [he] wants to.”

Additionally, Foster’s retirement was hinted at in his younger brother Carson Foster‘s recent Instagram post, where he says his “16th and final season swimming on the same team as [Jake] starts today.”

In February 2022, Foster’s teammates from Texas posted on social media about how he got a score of 519 on his MCAT test, which is an exam required for admission to the majority of medical schools in the United States. The highest possible MCAT score is a 528, so a 519 would put Foster in the 96th percentile of all medical school applicants, according to Association of American Medical Colleges.

Foster’s potential retirement comes despite the fact that he has a chance of making long course international teams in the future, including the 2023 U.S. World Championships team and the 2024 U.S. Olympic team. At the 2022 U.S. National Championships, he finished second in the 200 breast with a time of 2:09.00, which is ranked third in the United States and just 0.16 seconds off the 2:08.84 it took to make the 2022 World Championships team.

At the 2022 U.S. International Team Trials, Foster narrowly missed the World Championship team in the 200 breast by placing third to Nic Fink and Charlie Swanson in a time of 2:09.73. He was also fifth in the 400 IM in 4:13.76 and sixth in the 200 IM in 1:58.64.

Collegiately, Foster is a high-impact swimmer, having scored 30 individual points for Texas at the 2022 NCAA Championships. He set personal best times in all three of his primary events, finishing twelfth in the 200 breast (1:51.82), eighth in the 200 IM (1:40.63), and fifth in the 400 IM (3:38.24). His PBs of 1:51.40 and 3:37.33 in the 200 breast and 400 IM respectively both came in prelims.

Foster isn’t the only Texas swimmer to retire from competitive swimming due to med school, as 2017 World Championship medalist Madisyn Cox also recently hung up her goggles after not making the 2020 Olympic team to enroll in med school.

In This Story

Leave a Reply

Notify of

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Jake Foster for Prez
3 months ago

Swim till 2024 Jake – you are an all world talent and can definitely make the Olympic team in 2024 in the 2 breast. You have your whole life to be a Dr. We are all lucky to follow your career and will be even luckier to have you as a dr. when you take that path. 2 more years – you got this. Plus you can get the Olympic tattoo. Do it.

Harambe MD
3 months ago

519 is an absolutely insane score (just shy of the team record). Med schools and residencies love the student athlete story, and his experiences with Texas swimming will make him an amazing doctor

Last edited 3 months ago by Harambe MD
Reply to  Harambe MD
3 months ago

Okay necessary follow-up: who has the team record and what is it?

The most obvious parallel is Madisyn Cox, of course. She got into the Texas medical school (McGovern) and deferred a year while prepping for Trials. It’s not Harvard or NYU or Columbia, but if you do well there, it will get you a rockstar job in almost any specialty you want.

Harambe MD
Reply to  Braden Keith
3 months ago

PJ Dunne scored 520, the max is 528, so if that’s not the current record then I am not sure who has it. The current scoring system has only been around since 2015, so any old dogs would have a max of 45. Even if the record isn’t 520, Jake is very close.

Last edited 3 months ago by Harambe MD
3 months ago

Very wise. Fifth-year eligibility is one of the worst ideas in college sports. Bad things, like COVID, happen, and college students, particularly the upper classmen, should be mature enough to know to deal with the loss and move on. If you think you are good enough, go pro or train for the next Olympics or World’s; if not, go take on other challenges in life, like med school. Instead, the NCAA is teaching the older kids that life will always give you a do-over, at the cost of denying younger kids the experience of college sports.

3 months ago

There’s always the Dr. Jenny Thompson option down the road.

Reply to  Beachmouse
3 months ago

Jake is not the caliber swimmer Jenny Thompson was.

3 months ago

Jake’s dad has been filming his races since he was a kid. And posting them on YouTube

A final video of Jake competing at the 2024 Olympics would be a thrilling coda to his swimming career.

The 200 breaststroke may be his best chance.

Snowpipers of Alaska
3 months ago

Incoming new USMS National records in early 2024.

3 months ago

According to her IG, Cox only just “officially” retired yesterday. She was in the USADA testing pool for at least part of 2022.

3 months ago

Having 4 MD’s in my family circle, he can always request “delayed admission to program” if he’s accepted to med school. I can’t imagine ANY med school saying, “NO – come now, or don’t come at all!”

3 months ago

Medical schools get about 32,000 more applicants than they can accept. Of course they are going to say apply next year when you are ready we have plenty of applicants that want in now.

About Yanyan Li

Yanyan Li

Although Yanyan wasn't the greatest competitive swimmer, she learned more about the sport of swimming through scoring countless dual meets, being a timer, and keeping track of her teammates' best times for three years as a team manager. She eventually ventured into the realm of writing and joined SwimSwam in …

Read More »