Class of 2014 backstroker Jacquelyn “Jax” Shoults of the Mission Viejo Nadadores has verbally committed to UCLA, she announced via her Twitter account late Monday.
Shoults, after her senior year, joins a UCLA backstroke group that is one of the program’s better specialty groups headed into the 2013-2014 season. That includes sophomore Katie Kinnear, who was a 54.3 in her first year as a Bruin, and freshman Madison White, who is a former Jr. Pan Pacs backstroke medalist.
Many of Shoults’ best times came as a freshman or a sophomore, including a 53.0 in the 100 yard free at just 14 years old. Don’t mistake that for any sort of burnout, though: early in the season, she got a severe case of E. coli, fought liver failure, and had to have three blood transfusions, according to her official bio at Santa Margarita High School.
Now back to full health, expect Shoults to have a strong finish to her senior season before traveling an hour up the coast to Los Angeles.