U.S. Open Qualifier Leonel Cerda Verbally Commits to Cornell (2025)

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Leonel Cerda, a rising high school senior from Norwalk, California, has announced his verbal commitment to the application process* at Cornell University for 2025-26.

“I am excited and honored to announce my verbal commitment to the admissions process at Cornell University to further my academic and athletic career. I would like to thank God for guiding me every step of the way, leading me to where I am now. I want to give a huge thanks my coaches, family, and friends for supporting me on this journey, especially Coach Nathan who built me into the swimmer I am today. Lastly, I would like to thank Coach Wes and Coach Jake for believing in me and giving me this opportunity. Sko Big Red‼️🐻”

Cerda swims for Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana and Irvine Novaquatics. He specializes in butterfly and freestyle and is a U.S. Open qualifier in the 200 fly. At the 2024 CIF Southern Section Division 1 Championships at the end of April, he placed 8th in the 100 fly (49.41) and 12th in the 200 free (1:39.98). A week earlier, he had notched a PB in the 100 fly (49.00) at Trinity League Championships; he also dropped 1 second to hit a then-lifetime best of 1:40.29 in the 200 free. Cerda qualified for the California State Meet, where he came in 15th in the fly (49.61) and 26th in prelims of the free (1:40.50).

In December 2023, Cerda completed the 100 fly/200 free combination with best times in the 200 fly/100 free. First, at Winter Juniors West, he earned lifetime bests in the 500 free (4:35.14), 100 fly (49.09), and 200 fly (1:47.12, prelims), placing 7th in the 200 fly (1:48.00 final). Then, at CA/NV Sectionals, he went 46.12 to finish 21st in the 100 free.

Cerda kicked off the 2024 long course season last month with PBs in the 100 fly (57.10) at Mission Viejo’s SMOC (he placed 12th) and in the 400 free (4:16.81) at Irvine’s Grand Challenge. Last summer he clocked a 2:08.16 in the 200 fly at Sacramento Futures.

Best SCY times:

  • 200 fly – 1:47.12
  • 100 fly – 49.00
  • 200 free – 1:39.98
  • 100 free – 46.12

Cerda will arrive in Ithaca just as Big Red Ivy champion Joseph Gurski graduates. Gurski won the 100 fly (46.24) and placed 3rd in the 200 fly (1:43.64) as a junior at this year’s Ivy League Men’s Championships. Cerda’s best times would have scored in the B final of the 200 fly and C final of the 100 fly.

*Note: A verbal commitment between an Ivy League coach and a prospective student-athlete is not an offer of admission, as only the Admission Office has that authority. The coach can only commit his or her support in the admission process. Ivy League Admission Offices do not issue “Likely Letters” before October 1 of the prospective student-athlete’s senior year of high school. The Likely Letter, while issued after an initial read of the student’s application, is not an offer of admission to the university.

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1 month ago

Donde Esta bibliotecca??

1 month ago

Donde esta biblioteca??

1 month ago

Si Se Puede!!

About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

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