Open Water National Champ Becca Mann Turns Pro, Won’t Swim NCAA At USC

Two-time open water U.S. National champ Becca Mann has turned professional, forgoing her final two seasons of NCAA competition for USC.

Mann, who was in USC’s well-regarded screenwriting program, said she’s taking the year off from school to focus on the open water Olympic qualification process, which takes place in the summer of 2019. (Typically, the top finishers in the Open Water Worlds 10K the year before the Olympics qualify automatically a year early, with a secondary chance taking place for some nations in the Olympic year itself).

“I want to give 100% of my time and attention to whatever I do, and taking some time off school will allow me to do just that with swimming so I can get ready for open water Olympic Trials this year,” Mann said. She said she’s been prioritizing screenwriting while she’s been in USC’s program and has been pleased with the results, but said that focus has had an impact on her swimming. Mann will continue to write over the next year and plans to return to cinema school down the road.

Recently, in fact, a screenplay Mann wrote was listed among the semifinalists of the Los Angeles International Screenplay Awards. It’s titled Incidental Contact and has a distinctly swimming-centric focus. The logline, per Mann: After killing a competitor during a cutthroat open water race, a swimmer has to decide how far she’s willing to go for the gold.

Finalists will be named this weekend. You can check out the semifinalists here. Mann says she’s also waiting to hear back from a few more contests to which she’s submitted scripts.

In the pool, Mann was a freshman NCAA scorer during the 2016-2017 season, placing 15th in the 500 free. She made NCAAs but didn’t score for the Trojans last season, with a highest finish of 18th in the 1650 free.

Mann is also a U.S. National Teamer and two-time national champ in open water swimming, which has been her forte for most of her career. Mann won back-to-back U.S. National 10K titles in 2014 and 2015 and has represented Team USA at Worlds (2013, 2015, 2017) Pan Pacs (2014), Junior Worlds (2013) and Junior Pan Pacs (2012).

In This Story

Leave a Reply

Notify of

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
4 years ago

Do we know if she’s going to continue to train at USC? It looks like she’s been at ASU this summer.

Reply to  Swimmer
4 years ago

Not sure what open water training is available in Tempe. Obviously no ocean training, but maybe some training in rivers or lakes? Having dabbled in open water as a masters swimmer, I can’t imagine training exclusively in a pool for open water. It’s a completely different animal.

Sean Justice
Reply to  dmswim
4 years ago

You can walk a couple of blocks from ASU’s pool and swim in the same place that Open Water Nationals where this year.

Reply to  Sean Justice
4 years ago

Thanks for the info!

Human Ambition
Reply to  dmswim
4 years ago

Open Water for the World’s training is mainly racing. Even though it is different training in a pond than in a lane, the main thing for gaining experience and become better in races is to participate in 10K races. To make the right choices and sustain what it is like swimming in a top level pack of 40-50 swimmers. If this means Becca will swim more of the OW-world cups it gives her lots.

4 years ago

Ok–based on her screen play plot, I predict she wins an open water Olympic spot.

4 years ago

Hope she can get back to form! Rooting for Becca!

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

Read More »