One of the top age group swimmers in the country has joined the best high school team of 2023.
Kayla Han, the reigning U.S. Junior National champion in two events and the owner of seven National Age Group Records, is set to attend Carmel High School this season and has already joined Carmel Swim Club to train.
Han, who is entering her sophomore year of high school, has trained and competed with La Mirada Armada, a club located in the Southern California city of the same name, since the beginning of 2020. Prior to that, she raced for Brea Aquatics, also based in SoCal.
The 15-year-old is coming off winning the girls’ 1500 freestyle (16:16.94) and 400 IM (4:42.32) at the U.S. Junior National Championships in early August, setting new lifetime bests in both.
One month prior, she finished seventh in the 400 IM at U.S Nationals in Indianapolis while also earning top 16 finishes in the 1500 free (12th), 800 free (14th) and 400 free (16th).
She also won silver in the girls’ 400 IM at the 2022 Junior Pan Pacific Championships in Honolulu.
A bonafide standout thus far in her young career, Han is set to join a Carmel High School team that’s coming off a dominant 2023 season, as the squad headed up by Alex Shackell, Molly Sweeney and Lynsey Bowen won the team’s record 37th straight Indiana state title in February.
As a result of the dominant performance, the Carmel girls were named “Team Of The Year” by USA Today on August 1.
Han currently owns seven U.S. NAG records, including the 13-14 mark in the SCY 400 IM at 4:06.95. She also holds a trio of 10 & under records and three more marks in the 11-12 age group.
Despite only turning 15 in the last couple of months, Han already ranks 19th all-time in the 15-16 age group with her 400 IM performance at Junior Nationals.
Han will join Carmel’s elite training program, led by coach Chris Plumb, which includes the aforementioned Shackell, Sweeney and Bowen, who all just finished their sophomore years of high school, along with Ellie Clarke, who has a similar skillset to Han and recently won the U.S. Junior National title in the 200 back at 13.
Another one of Carmel’s top swimmers last year, Berit Berglund, is set to join the University of Texas for her freshman year this fall.