Norwegian Record-Holder Truls Wigdel Joins USC Trojans for 2019

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Norwegian national team member Truls Wigdel has committed to the USC class of 2023. He’ll join the Trojans this fall. He’s a mid-distance specialist with range from the 100 to the mile, and he helped set the Norwegian national record in the 4×200 free relay at the 2016 European Championships.

“I’ve dreamt of a place like USC since I started swimming. Great facilities, an amazing coaching staff, a highly motivated training group as ambitious as myself and a great university with high rated academics. It’s crazy that I’ll be able to live my dream for the next years and I can’t wait to be a part of USC’s great Olympic history.”

TOP TIMES (LCM/SCY converted)

  • 100 free – 50.92 / 43.80
  • 200 free – 1:48.85 / 1:33.62
  • 400 free – 3:53.24 / 4:16.04
  • 800 free – 8:11.79 / 9:11.02
  • 1500 free – 15:36.78 / 15:10.54

Wigdel certainly has range to the mile, but his 200/500 combo is his most lethal, and his 100 free certainly has potential to make him a Townley Haas-like (or Cristian Quintero-like) ((or Reed Malone-like)) freestyler: great in the mid-distance space with the ability to help on the longer two free relays.

When he went 1:48.85 in the 200 free in April of 2018, he broke Norwegian distance star Henrik Christiansen’s national junior record by about a quarter of a second. That time, still his best, is also only a quarter of a second shy of Gard Kvale’s senior national record of 1:48.57 from 2009. For some reference to American history, his 1:48.85 would tie for 14th in 17-18 age group history with eventual Olympic gold medalists David Walters and Blake Pieroni.

Wigdel looks to be a huge get for the Trojans. Last season, they were led by freshmen in Wigdel’s best events: Alexei Sancov in the 200 free (1:34.22) and 500 free Pac-12 Champ Victor Johansson in the 500 free (4:13.30) and mile (14:43.21). Sancov and Johansson were the only USC swimmers under 1:36.0 and 4:20.0, in the 200 free and 500 free, respectively, last season. They also had only two men break 44.0 in the 100 free, meaning he could hop on the 400 free relay right off the bat depending on how things shake out.

Wigdel joins the Trojan’s big class of 2023 with Jan Collazo, Andy LeeDavid MertzDominic MargarinoIvan PuskovitchJack KirbyMax SaundersPaul RettererRyan Peterson, and Trent Martinez as well as transfer Santi Corredor from Florida.

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2 years ago

Great get for Salo. Will he be there in fall or do the January thing like many Trojans have done? Big recruiting class at $60-70k per year for most of them!?!?!?

Reply to  Superfan
2 years ago

Remember most off the best recruits pay zero of the $60-$70K and actually get some spending cash! Given the COA scale.

Reply to  googoodoll
2 years ago

9.9 scholarships over 4 years (and includes diving) probably means 2 swimmers per year would be on full ride and i count 11 in that class alone so many are paying $60+k per year. Correct me if my math is wrong

Reply to  Superfan
2 years ago

Your math is suspect given the academic grants available to smarter than the average bear kids, payola, International Federations picking up the tab, tuition waivers, etc. However it is expensive to get an education at Stanford, Harvard and like institutions of highest learning.

Reply to  googoodoll
2 years ago

Nice try! I was assuming legal ways!

2 years ago

College Swimming shows Andy Lee going to Columbia.

2 years ago

Lefse for everybody!!!!

2 years ago

Andy Lee has in fact recommitted to Columbia according to his Instagram page and

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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