No. 15 Recruit Elise Clift Flips Commitment From Florida to Virginia for 2024

by Riley Overend 12

September 11th, 2023 ACC, College, College Recruiting, News

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Elise Clift, the No. 15 recruit in the girls’ high school class of 2024, has flipped her commitment from Florida to Virginia for next year.

Clift is a distance freestyle specialist who has added the 400 IM to her arsenal over the past year. According to her SwimCloud profile, she recently switched Texas training bases from Mansfield Aquatic Club to Lakeside Aquatic Club, the home of World Junior Championship standouts Maximus Williamson and Cooper Lucas.

Best SCY Times:

  • 1650 free – 16:13.10
  • 1000 free – 9:45.77
  • 500 free – 4:44.95
  • 200 free – 1:47.70
  • 400 IM – 4:18.49
  • 200 back – 1:58.99
  • 100 back – 56.17

Clift is a gem of a find for head coach Todd DeSorbo’s three-time defending national champion Cavaliers among a 2024 class that specializes in sprinting. She’s one of just two swimmers in her class under the 2023 NCAA cutline in the 1650 free along with Sandpipers of Nevada phenom Katie Grimes.

Clift clocked 16:13.10 in March of 2022 before following up with efforts of 16:23 and 16:24 this past season. She also shaved more than a second off her lifetime best in the 500 free to get down to 4:43.7. Although she initially looked like a classic 200/500/1650 freestyler when she was 13th in our way-too-early rankings last year, she went 4:16 in the 400 IM at Winter Juniors in December, making that another option for a third NCAA event.

Clift’s best 1650 free time would have ranked third on Virginia’s team last season behind returning fifth year Maddie Donohoe (15:56.83) and sophomore Sophia Knapp (16:12.11).

Clift joins a loaded Cavaliers class of 2024 featuring Leah Hayes, Anna Moesch, Katie Christopherson, Bailey Hartman, Kayleigh Duffy, Aspen Gersper, Charlotte Wilson, and Emma Redman. The Florida-to-Virginia flip should be an interesting storyline to keep an eye on over the next few years with the up-and-coming Gators expected to challenge the Cavaliers’ stranglehold on NCAA women’s swimming as long as superstar Bella Sims remains on campus in Gainesville.

By the time Clift arrived at Virginia, the ACC will have expanded to include Cal, Stanford, and SMU, making the conference championship meet even more competitive along with NC State and Louisville.

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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Mr. Saucy Pants
2 months ago

She wants a ring. Go Cavaliers!

2 months ago

They’re about to be like Texas men where people get left off the NCAA champs roster.

Reply to  RMS
2 months ago

Florida, too. Huge incoming class.

2 months ago

Gormsen (4:36), Hartman (4:33), and Clift (4:43) should be a really solid 500 free crew — and shore up a weak spot on UVa’s team from the past few years.

Old Guy in Speedos
2 months ago


2 months ago

The last big flip they had was Tomas Navikonis and they got Josh Liendo soon after. Who is Florida getting in her place? Who are they freeing up money for? Is Katie Grimes about to announce her arrival in Gainesville?

Reply to  Aquajosh
2 months ago

I could be wrong, but I don’t think they are freeing up money for anyone necessarily. I imagine it is binding for the school once they make an offer, but the athletes have the flexibility to continue looking.

Reply to  RealSlimThomas
2 months ago

Nothing is binding until an athlete signs an NLI. Theoretically, a school could rescind an offer… but the PR for that would look terrible for the coach.

Reply to  RealSlimThomas
2 months ago

Their 2023 and 2024 classes are so loaded I doubt this frees up real money. Plenty of families in the swimming world are well enough off that they can deal with small partial scholarships to no aid for kids that would get full rides at less successful programs. Even if Virginia had money left for 2024 for her, which they likely didn’t. It wouldn’t make up for the tuition difference.

Fukuoka Gold
2 months ago

Good decision

HOO love
2 months ago


2 months ago

The better Orange and Blue!! Go Hoos! 💙🧡

About Riley Overend

Riley is an associate editor interested in the stories taking place outside of the pool just as much as the drama between the lane lines. A 2019 graduate of Boston College, he arrived at SwimSwam in April of 2022 after three years as a sports reporter and sports editor at newspapers …

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