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Giving the Gamecocks a strong in-state addition to their 2023 freshman class, Kylie Larkin has announced her decision to join the University of South Carolina next fall. Larkin is one of the top swimmers in the state of South Carolina, having been a two event finalist at the 2021 SCHSL 3A Swimming and Diving State Championships last fall.
In October of 2021, Larkin swam to a pair of top-8 finishes high school state championship meeting, making it into the top-3 of one race. Her top finish of the meet came in the 100 back, where she took 2nd behind Georgia Tech commit Kendal Chunn in a time of 58.98. She also added a fourth place finish in the 50 free, stopping the clock at 25.08.
This summer, Larkin posted lifetime bests in nearly all of her races while competing at the NCSA Swimming Championships in Indianapolis. Her top finishes at the meet came in the backstroke events, earning second swims in both the 50 and 100 backstroke. In the 50, she ended up in 5th with a time of 29.97. Her biggest performance of the meet came in the 100 back, where she dropped over a second from her prelims time to take tenth in 1:04.01. That time was also fast enough to qualify her for the Winter Junior Championships, her first cut for the meet.
Top SCY Times
- 50 free – 24.37
- 100 free – 54.01
- 100 back – 56.65
- 200 back – 2:06.13
Outside of the team’s divers, backstroke was one of South Carolina’s top scoring events at the 2022 SEC Swimming and Diving Championships. The team was led by senior Mariana Kraus, who qualified for finals in both the 100 and 200 backstrokes. Kraus, who graduated in the spring, was one of South Carolina’s top swimmers in program history, ranking in the team’s top-10 all time in eight different events. While Kraus has already left the program, Larkin will have a year of overlap with another one of South Carolina’s top backstroke performers, Bella Pantano. Pantano was a C-finalist in both backstroke events at the 2022 SEC Championships last year as a sophomore.
Larkin’s commitment is a part of a continuing trend for the Gamecocks, with third year head coach Jeff Poppell turning to in-state talent to bolster his roster. During the 2022 school year, only eight of the forty three girls on the roster were from South Carolina. South Carolina has already recieved three in-state commitments for the class of 2023, with Delaney Franklin and Jane Koch also committing to the program.
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