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Santiago Gutierrez from Mexico City, Mexico, has announced his verbal commitment to the application process* at Princeton University and will join the Tigers in the fall of 2024.
“I am proud and excited to announce my verbal commitment to the admissions process at Princeton University as part of their Class of 2028. I want to thank my family, as well as all my teammates and coaches who believed in me and helped me get to where I am today. I am looking forward to being part of the PUCSDT family and to contribute to the team to help the program reach new heights. Finally, I want to thank coach Matt and coach Abby for the opportunity. GO TIGERS”
Gutierrez may have the most circuitous route to swimming in college of any member of the future class of 2028. He began as a triathlete in 2017. “I was pretty bad at first and the swim was my weakest leg but I quickly improved, becoming one of the top junior athletes in Mexico” he told SwimSwam. Within four years, he had obtained his Elite category license and was representing Mexico at international competitions, including three 3 European Junior cups, a continental cup, and the PanAmerican Junior Triathlon Championships.
At the end of the 2021 triathlon season, he swam at the state meet as a backup swimmer. Exceeding all expectations, he achieved two cuts for the Mexican Open SCM National Championships. He decided to focus solely on swimming for the month leading up to the meet. Once there, he surprised himself again, dropping 5 seconds and making the B final in the 200 free.
At this point, he put triathlon aside to dedicate himself to swimming.
Gutierrez had another breakthrough at Mexican Team Trials in April, where he made his first A final at the national level, placing 7th in the 400 free (4:07.04). He had a disappointing performance at Open Water trials and missed making the Mexican team for Junior OW Championships at Seychelles.
He then decided to take a gap year and move to the U.S. on his own in order to continue his development in swimming. He moved to Las Vegas to train with the Sandpipers of Nevada in the National 2 group under Michael Kinross. He made rapid progress, as seen in his times:
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Since then, he shifted focus to try to make the Mexican Open Water team for World Championships. He succeeded, placing third in the 10K at Mexican OW trials in April, earning a spot to represent Mexico at the World Aquatics Championships – Fukuoka 2023 this summer.
As of now, Gutierrez has been swimming year-round for a year and a half, and has competed in 13 meets. He represents the Sandpipers of Nevada and Acuatica Nelson Vargas (when competing in Mexico). He told SwimSwam, “I look forward to keeping improving and pushing my limits and am very proud and excited to become a tiger.”
Best SCY times:
- 500 free – 4:24.79
- 1000 free – 9:06.83
- 1650 free – 15:06.53
*Note: A verbal commitment between an Ivy League coach and a prospective student-athlete is not an offer of admission, as only the Admission Office has that authority. The coach can only commit his or her support in the admission process. Ivy League Admission Offices do not issue “Likely Letters” before October 1 of the prospective student-athlete’s senior year of high school. The Likely Letter, while issued after an initial read of the student’s application, is not an offer of admission to the university.
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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