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A two-event finalist at the 2021 US Open last December, Caroline Chasser of of Maitland, Florida has announced her commitment to South Carolina for the fall of 2023. Chasser is currently in her senior year at Winter Park High School, which she helped to a runner-up finish at the 2021 FHSAA 4A Swimming and Diving State Championships last fall. She also competes for the Blue Dolfins out of Oviedo, Florida.
At the US Open, Chasser qualified for the finals of both backstroke events, with her top finish being 18th in the 200 back (out of 21 competitors). While she finished that event in 2:19.79, she’s been as fast as 2:17.55, which she went at the Futures Championships in Huntsville, Alabama last summer. That time was fast enough to qualify her for the Junior National Championships in that event.
In the short course pool, Chasser wrapped up her junior year of high school last November with a pair of lifetime bests at the FHSAA 4A Swimming and Diving State Championships. In the 100 back, she swam a personal best twice, touching in 56.78 during prelims before swimming to a time of 56.62 in finals. That finals performance was fast enough to tie for third place in the event. She also added a tenth-place finish in the 200 free, touching in a lifetime best of 1:52.76.
Top SCY Times
- 100 back – 56.62
- 200 back – 2:01.51
- 100 free – 52.09
- 200 free – 1:52.72
Chasser’s commitment cuts across SEC boundaries, but that’s maybe not a geographic surprise – the Gamecocks have been on the rise since Jeff Poppell left the University of Florida to take over the program last spring. His first two recruiting classes at South Carolina have gone across borders to Florida many times for both male and female recruits.
In his first season at the helm of his new team, South Carolina took 10th out of 12 teams at the 2022 SEC Swimming and Diving Championships. Backstroke was a strong point for the program last season, with senior Mariana Kraus qualifying for finals in both events. While Kraus has since graduated, sophomore Bella Pantano qualified for the C-final of both events last year. Chasser will have one year of overlap with Pantano when she arrives on campus next fall.
Chasser won’t be the only new Gamecock next fall that specializes in the backstroke races. Joining her as a member of South Carolina’s class of 2027 will be South Carolina native Kylie Larkin.
With a year of high school left to improve, Chasser will have time to improve upon her lifetime bests that are currently just outside scoring range at the SEC Championships. Last season it took 53.67/1:57.46 to earn second swims in the backstroke events.
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