There must be something in the water in Tucson. The Arizona Wildcats have been just about the most popular destination for transfers since Eric Hansen took over as the head coach in 2011, and they picked up their latest this Memorial Day when Lauren Neidigh verbally committed to transfer after two years at the University of Florida.
“What stuck out to me the most while visiting Arizona was the understood sense of pride in putting the team first. I believe that I will improve because the coaches are not only brilliant at what they do but they also make me feel like I will be genuinely happy to come to practice everyday,” Neidigh said of her decision. “I have learned that for me to be able to swim at my best, it is important to enjoy each day at practice no matter how hard and understand its purpose.
“One of the most important factors in my decision was that the coaches are invested in improving every member of the team and I know what I have to offer as a person will be valuable to them. I’m happy to be a Wildcat and ready to help Arizona compete for a championship.”
Neidigh did make improvements at Florida; in the 500 free she went from a 4:51 to a 4:48 in two years. In the 400 IM, she dropped from a 4:22 to a 4:16.
The 200 fly, which coming out of high school was expected to be where she did her biggest damage, stalled somewhat. She dropped right around a second over two seasons, with the best time coming in a dual meet in 2013. Her best 200 free was in high school in a 1:51.1, and she’s also gone 2:01 in the 200 yard IM.
The former Bolles High School star says that her plan for this summer is likely to focus on the U.S. Open at the end of summer and do a short rest, but to mostly focus on getting back in shape for the college season. She’s currently training with Sergio Lopez’s group back at Bolles.
Neidigh joins an incoming recruiting class that includes Florida State transfer Elizabeth Pepper, who has a very similar event specialty. The two will be in the training group under whoever Arizona hires to fill out their staff this off-season, and both will have two years of eligibility left.
Hansen’s men’s team also picked up a big transfer in the form of Michigan’s Reid Elliott.