Virginia Commit Emma Weyant Is the Latest Top Recruit to Take Gap Year in 2020

The 11th-ranked high school recruit in the women’s swimming class of 2020, Emma Weyant, will skip the 2020-2021 NCAA season to remain at home and train for the US Olympic Trials amid the uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic. Weyant is a member of the USA Swimming National Team.

She is at least the 4th top-20 recruit on the women’s side to announce the same: Stanford commits Regan Smith (#1), Lillie Nordmann (#6)), and Samantha Pearson (#18) have all made the same decision.

According to University of Virginia head coach Todd DeSorbo, Weyant is currently the team’s only anticipated redshirt or gap year swimmer, male or female, for this season.

“With all the uncertainty surrounding the season she felt the opportunity at home would provide more consistency,” DeSorbo told SwimSwam. “We fully support Emma and Brent, she’s been successful with SYS, and we’re looking forward to her success this year and having her in C’ville next year.”

In Florida, Weyant’s team has been back in the water training for longer than most, and have already had several meets post-quarantine.

Best Times: 400 IM – 4:07.63, 500 free – 4:40.85, 200 IM – 1:58.07, 1650 free – 16:30.02, 1000 free – 9:39.41, 200 free – 1:47.34

With better long course times than short course to this point of her career, Weyant, who should be an NCAA points scorer immediately as a freshman, is a front-runner for a spot on the US Olympic Team.

In the 400 IM over the last 2 years, her 4:35.47 in long course ranks 2nd among American swimmers. She ranks 5th among Americans since the 2016 Olympic Games.

Top American Women, 400 LCM IM, Since Rio Olympics:

  1. Melanie Margalis – 4:32.53
  2. Leah Smith – 4:33.86
  3. Ally McHugh – 4:34.80
  4. Brooke Forde – 4:35.09
  5. Emma Weyant – 4:35.47
  6. Elizabeth Beisel – 4:36.18 (retired)
  7. Ella Eastin – 4:37.18
  8. Madisyn Cox – 4:37.23

Weyant’s absence was notable at Virginia’s recent intrasquad kickoff meet. Their other top-20 recruits, including Alex Walsh (#2), Anna Keating (#10), Abby Harter (#13), and Quinn Schaedler (BOTR) all participated in that meet. Walsh had the best performance of the group, winning the 100 breast (59.85) and 100 fly (52.19) in Friday’s yards session.

Weyant currently trains with the Sarasota Sharks in Sarasota, Florida under coach Brent Arckey. Arckey has a track-record of success with at least 15 Olympic Trials Qualifiers, YMCA National Champions, World Junior Championships medalists, and National Age Group Record breakers on his resume. He was also on staff at the University of Florida during the leadup to the 2008 Olympic Games, where he worked with some of the post-grads there.

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1 year ago

It paid off.

2 years ago

class of 2021 will be intense with her

2 years ago

4:35 LC vs 4:07 SC isn’t just turns. also, she brings her 400 IM long course home in 1:02-1:03, which is pretty elite…but her 500 free is a 4:40…….i think she simply hasn’t had a serious SC meet in a while

2 years ago

has she not swam short course lately or something? her LC times are like so uncannily better than her SC times

C. Mo
Reply to  swimfast
2 years ago

She swims for a team with priorities! Good luck to Emma and the Sharks

Reply to  C. Mo
2 years ago

lol i agree. i wasn’t knocking her times, just saying that i think she’s super talented, thus my assumption that she just simply will probably drop tons as soon as she tapers for a SC meet (since, indeed, college is SC) 🙂

Reply to  swimfast
2 years ago

Nah there are just swimmers who are better at lc. Better stroke, not as good underwaters/turns.

2 years ago

Best of luck!

Terry Watts
2 years ago


2 years ago

Best of luck Emma!!

2 years ago

Smart choice

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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