Summer Juniors Finalist Emily Kitayama Sends Verbal To Notre Dame (2024)

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Emily Kitayama has announced her verbal commitment to the University of Notre Dame, beginning in the fall of 2024. Kitayama is from San Antonio, Texas, and is currently a junior at TMI Episcopal. She is a two-time USA Swimming Scholastic All-American, and trains and competes year-round with the Alamo Area Aquatics Association. 

She shared her commitment on Instagram:

Kitayama most recently competed at Speedo Sectionals in College Station last month. She earned her highest finish of the meet in the 200 fly, where she took 3rd in a personal best time of 1:58.98. She added another top-8 finish in the 200 freestyle, where she clocked a final time of 1:50.54 to take 8th overall. 

Prior to Sectionals, she raced at the TAPPS (Texas private schools) Division 2 State Championship, where she won individual state titles in the 100 fly and 200 free. She won the 100 fly by over four seconds in a best time of 54.26, and dominated the 200 free to win in 1:50.32. 

Late last summer Kitayama competed at Junior Nationals, where she again posted her best finish of the meet in the 200m fly. She swam a best time of 2:15.71 in finals, putting her 1st in the C-final and 17th overall. 

Top SCY Times:

  • 100 free – 51.18
  • 200 free – 1:50.09
  • 100 fly – 54.26
  • 200 fly – 1:58.98
  • 200 IM – 2:04.31

Notre Dame has wrapped up their first season under first-year head coach Chris Lindauer, where the women finished 8th out of 12 teams at the ACC Championships. The 200 fly was one of the strongest events for Notre Dame this season at ACCs, as they put up 42 points in that event alone. Kitayama’s personal best time would have landed her just inside in the B-final at this season’s conference meet, meaning she is projected to be an immediate scorer when she arrives on campus in 2024. 

 Freshman Renee Gillilan, senior Coleen Gillilan, and junior Megan Deuel all competed in the B-final of the 200 fly this year. R. Gillilan finished highest of the group at 10th (1:57.33), while C. Gillilan and Deuel took 14th (1:58.39) and 15th (1:59.26). Of that group, only the younger Gillilan will overlap with Kitayama, making her arrival key as they look to maintain their depth in the 200 fly.

With her commitment, Kitayama joins Carli Cronk and Alyssa Street in Notre Dame’s class of 2028. Cronk, who is Kitayama’s club teammate in San Antonio, specializes in distance freestyle and fly. Street is an Indiana native, and swims mainly IM.

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