Dagny Knutson, the top recruit in the class of 2010, has decommitted from Auburn, according to an article on SwimmingWorld. The reports are that her decision was made based on the announcement last week that Paul Yetter was leaving Auburn after only 1 season to become the head coach and co-owner at the newly formed T2 Aquatics in Florida.
Yetter made his mark coaching female swimmers at NBAC, including such standouts as Katie Hoff and Liz Pelton and is believed to be the main factor that drew Knutson to Auburn. The sources over at SwimmingWorld indicate that she is likely headed to Fullerton, California to train with FAST. FAST is the current club team of Hoff, as well as swimming superstars Tyler Clary, Ariana Kukors, and Margaret Hoelzer. There has been no indication as to whether Knutson would go pro or try and explore options at other universities.
It is interesting that, despite Yetter being the reason for Knutson to go to Auburn, she is (reportedly) choosing not to follow him to T2 Aquatics. The much more established FAST program, as well as the opportunity to train with Hoff and others, was a lure, whereas a new program like T2 wouldn’t have the swimmers to provide her a challenge every day in practice. If Knutson does decide to go pro, she will probably also receive better exposure at a more visible program like FAST.
The Auburn women’s swim program, though still among the top teams in the nation, saw a bit of a decline in its super-elite status last season, when it finished in 8th place. After having won 5 national championships during the 2000’s, new coach Brett Hawke referred to it as a “transition year“. They were hoping to rebuild around Knutson next year, who immediately would’ve been an impact swimmer as a freshman at the NCAA level, and would have contended for NCAA Championships her first year. Knutson’s top times as a high school senior include a 1:53.82 in the 200 IM, 1:42.61 in the 200 free, and 4:31.18 in the 500 free would have put her at or near the top of those events at the 2010 NCAA Championships.
Despite the loss, the Auburn women are still bringing in a strong recruiting class, including Emily Bos, Haley Krakowski, and Olivia Scott, who are all likely to score at next year’s NCAA Championships.