Oakland Adds Butterflier Ava McNamara To Class of 2027

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Ava McNamara of Hastings, Minnesota, has announced that she has signed with Oakland University to continue her athletic and academic career this fall. McNamara is wrapping up her final year at Hastings High School.

She shared with SwimSwam why she chose Oakland: “I chose Oakland University for their amazing engineering program and amazing team environment.”

McNamara, who trains with the Hastings Area Swim Team, recently wrapped up her short course season at the Minnesota Senior State Championship. Highlighting her meet was the 200 fly, where she dropped over three seconds to post a 2:05.35 in finals to take 5th. She also finished as the runner-up in the 100 fly (55.98), but was a few tenths short of her best set at the high school sectional meet.

This past fall, McNamara ended her high school career with two top-eight finishes at the Minnesota High School State Championship. She took 6th in the 100 breast (1:05.56) and 3rd in the 100 fly (55.54), as well as contributed to her team’s 200 freestyle relay (24.06 split) and 200 medley relay (29.96 breaststroke split). Her efforts this season earned her the 2023 Athena Award at her high school, which celebrates athletic accomplishments.

Top SCY Times:

  • 50 free – 24.06
  • 100 free – 54.52
  • 100 fly – 55.54
  • 200 fly – 2:05.35
  • 100 breast – 1:05.39

Oakland University is a Division I mid-major program located in Rochester Hills, Michigan. The Golden Grizzlies compete in the Horizon League, and are coming off of their 10th-straight Horizon League title. Susan LaGrand led the team as the only swimmer to go on and compete at the NCAA Division I Championships this year, making it her third year in a row qualifying for the meet. 

McNamara’s best time would have made her the team’s third-fastest 100 butterflier this season. Jordyn Shipps came in as the top performer with a 53.63 at the CSCAA National Invite Championships, while Mia Keranen was about a second behind with a season best of 54.72. Both will be on campus for at least another year, meaning McNamara will be joining a strong fly group. 

Joining McNamara in the incoming class of 2027 is Casey Sanders, Delaney Buckner, Clarissa Bezuidenhout, and Ariana Rice. The program recently named Mitch Alters as the new head coach, replacing Pete Hovland who retired this spring

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