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Tyler Whitacre from Centreville, Virginia, has announced his verbal commitment to the University of South Carolina for the 2024-25 school year.
“I’m thrilled to announce I will be continuing my academic and athletic career at the University of South Carolina! I would like to thank Coach Poppell and the rest of the Carolina coaching staff for giving me this opportunity. Also a huge thank you to all of my coaches and teammates, past and present, at Machine aquatics for helping me reach my goals thus far. Lastly I want to thank my friends and family for supporting all my decisions throughout this process. Spurs up and go cocks!🤙🏼🐔”
A junior at Westfield High School, Whitacre swims year-round with Machine Aquatics and specializes in backstroke. He is a Summer Juniors qualifier in the 200 back and a Futures qualifier in the 500 free, 100 back, and 400 IM.
At the 2022 VHSL Class 6A State Championships, the then-sophomore Whitacre was runner-up in the 500, free with a PB of 4:33.67, and he placed sixth in the 100 back (51.52). A month later, he competed at NCSA Spring Championships and earned PBs in the 50/200 back and 200 IM, finaling in the 500 free (32nd), 200 back (13th), and 400 IM (24th). This summer, he competed in the LCM version of the NCSA meet, placing 34th in the 100 back and 21st in the 200 back. He notched PBs in the 50 back (27.85) and 100 back (59.37). His best LCM 200 free (2:02.13), 400 free (4:14.10), and 200 back (2:07.82) times came from the same meet in 2021.
His best SCY times include:
- 200 back – 1:47.56
- 100 back – 51.03
- 50 back – 23.67
- 400 IM – 3:59.62
- 500 free – 4:33.67
- 1000 free – 9:39.90
South Carolina men finished tenth out of ten teams at the 2022 SEC Championships, but with nearly double the points from their 2021 finish. It was head coach Jeff Poppell’s first year at the helm. This fall, he has his first recruiting class on campus, and 37% of the men’s team is comprised of first-years. There will have been a lot of turnover in the backstroke group by the time Whitacre suits up for the Gamecocks; Patrick Groters, Sam Hanke, and Jackson Davis – the top performers last season – will have graduated, but Whitacre could overlap with current sophomore Michael Laitarovsky, who led the group in the 100 back last year with 46.17.
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