NC State’s Kyle Ponsler Joins Team USA At 2023 World University Games

The U.S. team at the 2023 World University Games (WUGs) grew by one on Monday as NC State’s Kyle Ponsler joins the squad.

Ponsler, a rising sophomore with the Wolfpack, brings the U.S. roster up to 33 swimmers, with 15 men and 18 women having committed thus far.

The initial roster of 32 swimmers was announced last week. The maximum roster size is 25 men and 25 women.

Ponsler joins the team coming off a successful freshman year in Raleigh that included placing fifth in the men’s 400 IM (3:42.72), 13th in the 200 back (1:43.02) and 16th in the 200 IM (1:45.40) at the 2023 ACC Championships, resetting his lifetime bests in all three.

In long course, Ponsler comes in with strong personal bests of 2:00.91 in the 200 back, 2:02.99 in the 200 IM and 4:18.44 in the 400 IM, all set at the 2022 NCSA Summer Swimming Championships last July.

Ponsler takes over as the fastest long course 400 IMer on the squad, while he now ranks second to Jared Daigle in the 200 IM (2:01.06) and third to Keaton Jones (1:57.97) and Jack Dahlgren (2:00.67) in the 200 back.

Ponsler is the first NC State swimmer to commit, giving the American team athletes from 21 different collegiate institutions.



  • Eliza Brown, Princeton
  • Eva Carlson, UCLA
  • Delaney Carlton, UNC Asheville
  • Abby Daniel, Akron
  • Callie Dickinson, Georgia
  • Noelle Harvey, Washington State
  • Macky Hodges, USC
  • Sabrina Johnston, Princeton
  • Anna Kalandadze, UPenn
  • Susan LaGrand, Oakland
  • Emily Lundgren, Washington State
  • Paige MacEachern, UCLA
  • Lily Mead, Loyola (MD)
  • Madyson Morse, Illinois State
  • Anya Mostek, Harvard
  • Heidi Smithwick, Princeton
  • Caroline Theil, Texas A&M
  • Megan Van Berkom, Minnesota

Roster updates can be made up to June 8.

The World University Games in Chengdu were initially scheduled to run in August 2021, but have been postponed multiple times due to the pandemic and will now run from July 28 – August 8, 2023.

USA Swimming opted not to field a team to the event, which opened up the opportunity for current collegiate swimmers to compete for their country, though it also meant the trip would need to be self-funded.

You can donate to support the swimmers here.

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Dubs only!
4 months ago

China is not ready for ponzzarelli

go team usa
4 months ago

Even swimmers who have committed to swim at a university but haven’t actually swum a season with them are eligible to be named to this roster? Just seems weird to be named to a roster comprised of collegiate athletes when you haven’t competed as a college swimmer yet. Still, rooting for everyone!!

Reply to  go team usa
4 months ago

You can still complete the summer after you graduate too. It’s all a little goofy, but so is an American team going to a European U23 meet

4 months ago

Great kid, great addition.

4 months ago

Attaboy Kyle. Well deserved!

Popovici 1:39.99
Reply to  GrantJ
4 months ago

You mean well paid? He’ll have a good time competing overseas but let’s not pretend that anyone on this roster has actually earned their spot. If anything is earned it’s on the parents’ behalves for making enough money to afford it!

Old Swim Coach
Reply to  Popovici 1:39.99
4 months ago

While their is some truth to the financial aspect of committing to this team, Let’s give credit where credit is due. He’s 4:18 in the LC 4IM. He’s a beast!

Reply to  Popovici 1:39.99
4 months ago

Many universities find the trip for the athletes. No reason to diminish this accomplishment by the swimmer. You still have to be very good at swimming to swim at this meet. Maybe you’re compensating for some insecurities?

Last edited 4 months ago by Yeah
Cousin Eddie
Reply to  Popovici 1:39.99
4 months ago

Well paid but also earned. Not just any one can “buy” a spot in the team you have to have a little speed too. He swam in Berlin and Budapest legs of the World Cup a few yrs ago too so maybe there’s more to it than just $….but yes money is a part of it to be on this team. Not these kids fault if their family can find a way to pay….probably shouldn’t have to but that’s another argument.

Reply to  Cousin Eddie
4 months ago

Let’s be honest. This is not earned. Many swimmers who are going didn’t even make NCAAs.

Picheal Mhelps
Reply to  Elleswims
4 months ago

I think it may be a balance of both. Was it earned in a normal sense with qualification, no. However, a junior teamer who qualified for ncaa and goes a 4:18 has a shot to make another team and probably earns a chance to compete internationally regardless of circumstance.

Reply to  Popovici 1:39.99
4 months ago

It’s hilarious how mad people are about this.

Reply to  ReneDescartes
4 months ago

I think a lot of college swimmers see this as a meet they work hard to make. Therefore, the fact that someone who is no where close to the top 2 would be able to travel to compete in this meet makes some feel it diminishes all of the hard work of athletes coming before.

That being said, I get how athletes who are traveling who wouldn’t have made it so think it is worth paying for it. But it’s a pay for play not an earned spot. Maybe one or two athletes on the whole squad might have made it on a regular year where you have to be top 2 to travel. Not to mention that the… Read more »

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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