NCAA Qualifier Mara Newman Transfers from UCLA to Wisconsin

Oregon native Mara Newman will continue her collegiate career next season at Wisconsin after spending one season with UCLA.

UCLA is currently looking for a new head coach after Cyndi Gallagher announced her retirement in May after over three decades with the Bruins. Newman was a top backstroker for the Bruins in her freshman year, qualifying for NCAAs in the 200 back and swimming both that and the 100 back at NCAAs.

I’m excited to announce i’ll be continuing my swimming and education at University of Wisconsin! I will forever have a place in my heart for the bruins but I’m looking forward to starting this new chapter in my life 🙂 Go badgers!❤️


  • 50y back – 25.95
  • 100y back – 53.77
  • 200y back – 1:53.73
  • 200y fly – 2:00.97
  • 50y free – 23.04

Newman’s best times in backstroke came from the 2019 Pac 12 Championships, where she raced to 6th place in the 200 back. She also scored in the 100 back, touching 13th, and the 50 free, grabbing 24th.

As Wisconsin continues to build under Yuri Suguiyama, the former Cal associate head coach who has already ramped up the recruiting efforts, Newman is a quality addition to keep the momentum going. The Badgers have the fastest 100y backstroker in history right now with rising senior Beata Nelson, who will defend NCAA titles in the 200 IM, 100 back, and 200 back next season, but she’s nearing the end of her collegiate career.

At the 2019 B1G Championships, Newman would’ve placed 5th in the 200 back, and made the 100 back B final and the 50 free C final, comparable to her finishes at 2019 Pac 12s. Wisconsin just graduated Kathleen Coughlin and Jess Unicomb, their next-best backstrokers after Nelson, so Newman’s addition will help make up for those losses.

Newman will start with the Badgers this fall alongside incoming freshmen Alivia Lindorfer, Mikayla Siegal, Carly Zlotnikoff, Ally Penrod, Maddie Aguirre, and Elizabeth Moore.

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3 years ago

Would someone be able to to educate me how the transfer process happens? Does the swimmer initiate the transfer? Are there either implied or actual rules for transferring, and the timing of the transfer?

Apologies for asking duh questions.

(G)olden Bear
3 years ago

Congrats, Mara! #buckybadger

About Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon studied sociology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, graduating in May of 2018. He began swimming on a club team in first grade and swam four years for Wesleyan.

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