National Team Member Summer Smith Enters the NCAA Transfer Portal

University of Tennessee swimmer Summer Smith, a member of the USA Swimming National Team, has entered the NCAA Transfer Portal.

Smith swam a single meet for the Volunteers, the team’s October dual against NC State, before returning home to Massachusetts to recover from persistent concussion syndrome with vestibular and ocular components.

Smith told SwimSwam on Thursday that her recovery is “going great” and that she was recently cleared from her concussion.

“I am grateful for my time at Tennessee, but I am looking forward to exploring new options,” she said.

Smith says she has three years of eligibility remaining, not losing a year of eligibility for her one meet with the Volunteers.

Smith, a member of the USA Swimming National Team in open water, says she’s undecided about whether she’ll compete at the Open Water National Championships that begin on April 21 in Sarasota, Florida.

Smith was a highly-touted recruit out of high school, and as a freshman last season, she finished 22nd in the mile, 26th in the 400 IM, and 27th in the 500 free at the 2022 NCAA Division I Swimming & Diving Championships.

She also finished 6th in the 400 IM and 8th in the 200 fly at the 2022 SEC Swimming & Diving Championships.

She swam in just one meet for the Volunteers this season, touching 7th in the 200 fly in the team’s dual meet against  NC State in October. Her only other pool meet since last year’s NCAA Championships was April’s Phillips 66 International Team Trials, where she was 13th in the 1500 free, 16th in the 200 back, and 19th in the 200 fly prelims.

Smith spent her summer focusing on open water, where she was a member of the US team for the 2022 World Aquatics Championships. She qualified via a 5th-place finish in the 10km race at the US National Championships and finished 12th in the 5km at the World Championships in Budapest, Hungary.

Smith is a native of Agawam, Massachusetts, where she previously trained with the Bluefish Swim Club.

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1 year ago

Dang. Hate to lose her! So versatile and fearless. The harder the event—the better she is. Wishing Summer all the best on her next stop! Someone’s getting a good one!

1 year ago

this is so surprising! from the outside it looked like she loved Tennessee!

Reply to  huh?
1 year ago

Just goes to show you never know, and perhaps she did, but is now looking for something different.

1 year ago

How does one get concussions from swimming? Or is not from swimming. First i’ve heard of this one.

Gen D
Reply to  kazoo
1 year ago

I know of a v. High level swimmer whose career ended after she sustained a concussion during practice. Collided head to head with another swimmer… also Oleksiak got one doing dryland (medicine ball to the head). Maybe her multiple concussions aren’t from swimming but the risk isn’t absent.

Sherry Smit
Reply to  kazoo
1 year ago

She’s an open water swimmer. I’d guess it’s from swimming in the ocean

Reply to  kazoo
1 year ago

My college swimmer sustained one from hitting the wall during warmup for a backstroke race due to improperly placed flags.

Reply to  Jennifer
1 year ago

At Cary futures last summer, the lifeguards took the flags down at the outdoor pool, and my teammate who was warming up for the 100 backstroke ran into the wall. He swam the rest of the meet with a concussion.

Popovici 1:39.99
Reply to  kazoo
1 year ago

I seriously don’t understand these comments that are so confused about swimming concussions… sure it isn’t as common as in other sports but there are still a multitude of ways swimmers can get them. Hitting their head on the wall, colliding with another swimmer, dryland mishaps, etc. Regardless what the cause of hers is I’m very happy to hear she’s recovering well.

Reply to  Popovici 1:39.99
1 year ago

Summer can’t weigh 100 pounds. Anything she collided with would probably cause an injury.

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Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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