MD Breaststroke State Champ Samantha Ai Verbally Commits to South Carolina

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Samantha Ai from Pasadena, Maryland has announced her verbal commitment to the University of South Carolina. She will join the class of 2024 with Emma Sullivan, Gabi Reed, Georgia Johnson, Megan Armstrong, and Riley Parker in the fall of 2020.

“I’m beyond excited to announce my verbal commitment to swim & study at The University of South Carolina! Thank you to all my friends, family, and coaches that helped me along the way. #gococks 🐔❤️🖤”

Ai is homeschooled and swims year-round with North Baltimore Aquatic Club. She recently won the state title in the 200 breast (2:12.76) at the Maryland Swimming LSC Senior Short Course Championships. In addition to winning the 200 breast, she was runner-up in the 100 breast and 200 IM, 4th in the 200 free, 5th in the 100 free, 12th in the 50 free and 100 back, and 15th in the 100 fly. She updated her PBs in the 50 free, 100/200 breast, and 100 fly at the meet.

Ai is a versatile talent with U.S. Open cuts in the 100/200 breast and Winter Juniors standards in the 200 free and 200/400 IM. She kicked off 2019 long course season with a new PB in the 200 IM (2:21.50). Last summer she competed at Speedo Junior Nationals in the 200 free, 100/200 breast and 200 IM and took home new times in the 200 free and 100 breast.

Top SCY times:

  • 100 breast – 1:02.23
  • 200 breast – 2:12.76
  • 200 IM – 2:02.17
  • 400 IM – 4:21.94
  • 100 back – 56.42
  • 100 fly – 56.74
  • 100 free – 51.28
  • 200 free – 1:50.46

South Carolina will have graduated their star breaststrokers by the time Ai arrives on campus. Albury Higgs is currently a junior; Emma Barksdale, a senior. Ai would have ranked third behind them on the Gamecocks’ roster this season.

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Patti Poole
5 years ago


Anne Pelton
5 years ago

Congratulations Sammie!!

Dan Langan
5 years ago

Another great swimmer from the state of Maryland leaving the state. Is there any discussions at University of Maryland about bringing the swim team back? Sad that the UofMd does not have a team with such an amazing facility and incredible talent in the state. No disrespect to Towson, UMBC (great coach in Chad Cradock)and the other state school programs.

About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

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