UCLA Record Holder, Pac-12 Runner Up Sam Baron Transferring to Virginia

Rising junior Sam Baron has announced she is transferring to the University of Virginia for the 2022-2023 season via her Instagram. Baron recently completed her sophomore season at UCLA, wherein she took 8th in both the 100 fly and 200 fly at the 2022 Pac-12 Championships.

I’m excited to announce that I will be continuing my academic and athletic career at UVA! Thank you to everyone who’s helped me along the way. Go Hoos!! ⚔️

Baron entered UCLA in the fall of 2020 as a high-profile recruit, already having posted times of 1:57 in the 200 fly and 1:58 in the 200 before beginning her NCAA career. She had a noisy freshman season with the Bruins, placing 2nd at the Pac-12 Championships in the 100 fly, swimming a UCLA School Record of 51.65. She also swam a personal best of 1:55.66 in the 200 fly, and finished 4th at Pac-12s in the event with a 1:56.77. Baron would qualify for NCAAs in both fly events, though she would be off her season bests at the 2021 NCAAs.

After her highly successful freshman season, Baron’s sophomore campaign didn’t quite reach the same heights. She swim a personal best of 1:58.21 in the 200 IM at Pac-12s, taking 12th, but she took 8th in both the 100 fly (52.83) and 200 fly (1:57.63) at Pac-12s. Although Baron didn’t qualify for NCAAs this past season, she did also swim a personal best of 1:49.77 in the 200 free.

Baron, of course, will be joining a stacked fly and IM group at UVA. Even so, Baron’s personal best 51.65 in the 100 fly would have made her the 3rd fastest Cavalier in the event last season, behind only Kate Douglass (49.04) and Lexi Cuomo (51.22). She would have been 4th in the 200 fly, and her PB in the 200 IM would have put her 5th on the roster last year.

While UVA’s relays are currently dominated by the Walsh sisters, Kate Douglass, and Lexi Cuomo for the most part, Baron is set to provide even more depth to the team in her individual events. If she’s able to get back to lifetime best form in the fly events this upcoming season, there’s a good chance she’ll score individual points at NCAAs, which would be a huge help as the Cavaliers aim for the 3-peat.

Personal Best Times (Yards)

  • 50 free – 23.16
  • 100 free – 50.34
  • 200 free – 1:49.77
  • 100 back – 55.04
  • 100 fly – 51.65
  • 200 fly – 1:55.66
  • 200 IM – 1:58.21
  • 400 IM – 4:18.21


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1 month ago

Word on the street is Aquaman is transitioning to female so she can swim on Virginia.

1 month ago

Good luck Sam! Excited to see what she can accomplish in that environment. Cavs are getting an athlete with great range and an even better teammate!

1 month ago

Good for her. She deserves it. I don’t know anything about what’s going on at UCLA, but I am wondering why this site isn’t covering the articles that came out today about the culture at Cal under McKeevers.

Foreign Embassy
Reply to  SoCalSwimDad
1 month ago

Which articles about Teri?

Reply to  Foreign Embassy
1 month ago

They are now. Probably needed time to write something “neutral.” Hope that more facts emerge and that other programs are also held accountable, as Cal isn’t the only place these things are taking place.

Bing Dong
1 month ago

Hard to believe that the culture at UCLA could get worse than it was before the new coach arrived, but …

1 month ago

GREAT decision – Best wishes for success!

1 month ago

The rich get richer. Between UVA and Stanford, it’s starting to feel like the early 2010s when Georgia and Cal got most of the top swimmers.

Reply to  oxyswim
1 month ago

Have you seen Florida’s incoming class? I think under Nesty florida is a still a couple of years away from competiting at this level but I think they are closing the gap as the several of the top swimmers on UVA graduate.

Reply to  SwimGuy123
1 month ago

Texas has been recruiting particularly well too, lately.

Reply to  SwimGuy123
1 month ago

They don’t even have the best class in the SEC

Reply to  SwimGuy123
1 month ago

That’s fair. During that stretch I don’t think there were random years where the top recruit chose another school like Sims did with Florida for 2023, and their class this year is stacked.

There’s some incredible international talent going to other schools as well. Couple of freshmen distance swimmers that could challenge for NCAA titles if Sullivan don’t get back on track.

1 month ago

Todd collecting transfers like Thanos’ and infinity stones

1 month ago

Congratulations! best of luck on your academic and athletic journey!