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High school junior Tyler Bardak from Naperville, Illinois, has opted to swim and study at North Carolina State University beginning in the fall of 2025. He wrote on social media:
“I am excited to announce my intention to continue my academics and athletics at NC State University! Thank you to my family, friends and coaches who have gotten me to where I am today. Go Pack!”
Bardak attends Waubonsie Valley High School and swims year-round with the Fox Valley Swim Team. We named him to the “Best of the Rest” section on our Way Too Early list of top recruits from the high school class of 2025 for his strength in IM and 200 strokes. As a sophomore last season, he competed in the 100 fly and 100 back at the Illinois High School Boys’ State Championships, placing 11th in the 100 back and earning lifetime bests in the backstroke and in the 50/100 free leading off relays.
In March, he had an outstanding showing at NCSA Spring Championships, going lifetime bests in the 200 back, 200 breast, 200 fly, and 200/400 IM. He finaled in all five events, with his highest finishes in the 400 IM (10th) and 200 breast (13th). Similarly, he earned LCM personal bests in the 200 breast (2:21.79), 200 fly (2:04.46), 200 IM (2:07.39) and 400 IM (4:26.43) at Summer Junior Nationals, finaling in the 400 IM (21st place).
Best SCY times:
- 400 IM – 3:52.73
- 200 IM – 1:50.61
- 200 breast – 2:00.80
- 200 back – 1:47.65
- 200 fly – 1:49.88
Bardak’s polyvalence will allow him to have an impact in a number of areas when he arrives in Raleigh two years from now. The Wolfpack finished 5th at NCAAs last season after winning the ACC conference championship by over 600 points. He’ll just miss conference champion Arsenio Bustos, but he’ll overlap with Kyle Ponsler, an A finalist in the 400 IM.
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