Lauren Richards (2023) Commits to University of Chicago With Title-Worthy Times Already

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Scottsdale, Arizona native Lauren Richards has committed to swim and study at the University of Chicago beginning in the fall of 2023.

“I am super excited to announce my commitment to further my academics and athletics at the University of Chicago! Thank you to my family, friends, and coaches for their unconditional support. I am beyond grateful to become a part of this incredible team, and I can’t wait for the next four years! GO MAROONS!!

Richards is finishing up her senior year at Chaparral High School and competes year-round for Scottsdale Aquatic Club. As a distance freestyle specialist, Richards has Winter Junior National Qualifying times in the 1000 and 1650-yard freestyles. 

Richards hit best times in pretty much all of her freestyle events in 2022, starting her season out well at 2022 Speedo Sectionals – Austin. She hit bests in her 100/200/1000-yard freestyles, placing 70th in the 100 (53.13), 26th in the 200 (1:51.75), and then runner-up in the 1000 (10:06.39). In December at 2022 Speedo Winter Junior National Championships West, Richards rounded out her freestyle events by swimming bests in her 500 (4:56.63, 42nd) and 1650 (17:08.71, 29th). 

Best Times SCY:

  • 50 free — 25.01
  • 100 free — 53.13
  • 200 free — 1:51.75
  • 500 free — 4:56.63
  • 1000 free — 10:06.39
  • 1650 free — 17:08.71

The University of Chicago competes in the DIII University Athletic Association Conference, and at the 2022 UAA Conference Championships they were runner up to Emory University, 1,559-2,128. Richards’ best times would make her very competitive at a number of DI conference championships, therefore putting her in a position to be in at least the top three, if not win some freestyle events at the UAA Conference Championships.  

Chicago’s current sophomore class has a very high performing distance freestyle group, with some of the Maroons’ highest Conference places being in those events. At the 2022 UAA Conference Championships, Richards would have been 4th in the 500-yard free, 10 seconds faster than Chicago’s highest scorer, sophomore Samantha Bertschi who placed 6th. She would have been 3rd in the mile with sophomore Suzanne Sokolowski winning the event in 16:58.07. Her highest place would have been 2nd in the 200-yard free behind yet another Chicago sophomore, Karen Zhao

Richards’ times would also already have her scoring at NCAA DIII Championships in the 500, 200, and 1650-yard freestyles, placing in the top 16 for each event. The Chicago women placed 6th at 2022 NCAA DIII Championships with 19 team members competing and a team score of 219 points. 

Richards will be joined by breaststroker/IMer Bridget Ye, English breaststroker Ella McEver, freestyler/backstroker Victoria Liu, sprinter Matti Turini,  and Singapore butterflyer NouNou Chang for the class of 2027.

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1 month ago

So excited!!! Welcome to Chicago!!! #RollRoons

1 month ago

Roll ‘Roons!

Ice Golem
1 month ago

Eric Ji