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The defending NCAA Champion Virginia Cavaliers have broken the ice on the recruiting class of 2024 with the announcement of a commitment by Katie Cristopherson.
Christopherson, who trains with SwimAtlanta and Westminster Prep School in Atlanta, Georgia, is the 12th-ranked recruit in the high school class of 2024. She is also the first commitment in the class of 2024 for the two-time defending NCAA Champions in women’s swimming & diving.
Christopherson is the defending US Junior National Champion in the 200 meter breaststroke (2:28.76) and the defending Georgia High School State Champion in the 100 yard breaststroke (1:00.81) and 200 yard IM (1:56.72).
While the 1A-5A championships are for Georgia’s smaller high schools, Christopherson had easily the fastest time in either of the state’s two championship meets. Her time in the 200 IM broke the high school state record that was held by 2-time US Olympian Kathleen Hersey for more than a decade.
As just a sophomore last season, she ranked 10th among high school swims in the 100 yard breaststroke, and 7th in the 200 IM.
Christopherson also split 22.99 on a 200 free relay and 50.17 on a 400 free relay at last year’s Georgia High School State Championship meet.
While Christopherson has had speed throughout most of her age group career, the 2021-0222 season saw massive leaps for her in the 200 yard races. In the 200 IM, she improved her best time from 2:03.59 to 1:56.72, almost a seven second drop.
Even with no 200 yard breaststroke at her high school championship last year, where she swam most of her season-best times, she still managed to knocked 10 seconds off her best time in that race. That matches a summer improvement of 10 seconds in long course that led her to a Junior National title in that event – and a 2:28 long course time that indicates she has an even bigger swim in the 200 yard breaststroker in her.
At Virginia, she’ll come in to help replace the defending NCAA and World Champion in the 200 IM Alex Walsh and the defending NCAA Champion and American Record holder in the 200 yard breaststroke Kate Douglass, both of whom are scheduled to exhaust their eligibility before fall 2024 (barring redshirts).
That means 2024 and 2025 will see a need for depth in both the Cavaliers’ breaststroke and IM groups. Among announced commitments so far, incoming freshmen Emma Weber (59.03/2:09.04) and Zoe Skirboll (1:00.19/2:11.12) are breaststrokers, with nobody in the Cavaliers’ class of 2023 specializing in the stroke.
With two full seasons of development remaining before swimming her first college practice. Christopherson’s best times would have already put her in B-Finals at last year’s ACC Championship meet and be worth about 40 points individually.
Christopherson is the first girls commitment in the class of 2024 from among those ranked in SwimSwam’s top 20.
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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