Former Junior College champion Billy Cruz has entered the NCAA Transfer Portal after swimming a season-and-a-half at USC.
Cruz, who was raised in Canada but swims for Mexico internationally, began his collegiate career at Iowa Central Community College, which competes in the NJCAA. He swam there for one season, where he turned heads with a 19.10 in the 50 yard freestyle in November 2019. That swim was done at a tri meet against Augustana and Sioux Falls. He swam 19.5 at that year’s NJCAA Championships to win the Junior College national title. He also won titles in the 100 fly (47.44), 100 free (43.71), and was runner-up in the 100 breast (54.97). His personal bests, which include a 54.44 in the 100 breast from the same tri-meet as his breakout 50 free, all remain from that freshman season at Iowa Central.
In January 2021, during the peak of the COVID-collegiate swimming season, he emerged at USC. In spite of his accolades at the Junior College level, he was unable to recapture the same peaks of success for the Trojans. His best time in the 50 free at USC was 19.87 at the 2021 Pac-12 Championships.
His last college meet for them came at the UCSB Invite on January 28, 2022.
Billy Cruz Time Progression, Junior College to NCAA
|Best at Iowa Central||Best at USC|
Cruz should have two seasons of NCAA eligibility remaining: one regular season, plus the waiver year for athletes who competed in the NCAA during the 2020-2021 season.
Cruz declined to comment on his transfer, his plans, or what he hopes to study at his new school.
Entering the NCAA Transfer Portal does not require a student-athlete to transfer; rather, it gives them more flexibility to discuss the possibility of transfer with other programs.