Winter US Open Qualifer Lily Archibald Commits to Swim for Rice University in the Fall of 2025

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Swapping out the cold New England winters for those of the Texas heat is Connecticut native Lily Archibald. Archibald, who hails from Ridgefield, has committed to swim for Rice University in Fall 2025. Rice competes in the DI Mid-Major American Athletic Conference. She competes year-round for the Ridgefield Aquatic Club, a program that Olympian and National Record Holder Kieran Smith called home. A versatile swimmer, Archibald set multiple personal bests at the Connecticut Senior Championships, held this past March. She topped the podium in both the 50 and 100 free, hitting the wall in new best times of 23.14 and 50.08.

She was denied the freestyle sweep by less than half a second as her 1:49.52, while a new p was not enough to catch Kate Murray’s 1:49.09; Murray is one year older and has committed to swim for Auburn University this upcoming season. Not to be deterred, Archibald also topped the podium in both the 100 back and 100 fly. Her winning time of 55.10 in the 100 back was a  massive personal best (it was previously 56.96), but later in the session, she destroyed it yet again, chopping off another half a second to record a time of 54.63 as she led out her teammates to victory in the 4×100 medley relay.

Archibald kept her run of good form into the long course season as she headed west to compete at the Buffalo Sectionals meet. She finished first in the 100 free, topping the field in a new PB of 57.39. In addition to that gold, she added a silver medal from her 1:00.99 new PB in the 100 fly and a new PB of 26.35 in the 50, which was swift enough to earn the bronze. Archibald also stepped away from the comfort of the sprint events and took on the 400 free, placing 5th in a time of 4:34.43, just off her PB of 4:31.49 from 2022.

Archibald earned two 2024 Winter US Open (SCY) cuts from the meet by virtue of her times from the 50 free and 100 free. She technically also earned the cut in the 100 fly, but her 53.93 from the Winter Junior Championships – East is of higher value.

Best SCY Times:

  • 50 Free – 23.14
  • 100 Free – 50.08
  • 200 Free – 1:49.52
  • 100 Back – 54.63
  • 100 Fly – 53.93
  • 200 Fly – 2:01.81

Rice University, which only fields a women’s team, is under the helm of head coach Seth Huston. The Owls, who compete in the AAC, finished 3rd out of seven teams at their Conference championships this past February with 593 points.

Rice swimmers Arielle Hayon (Jr.) and Imogen Meers (Sr.) collected much of those points, with Meers sweeping her individual events, winning the 50 free (22.23), the 100 free (48.80), and the 100 back (53.33). Hayon claimed victory in the 100 fly, recording a time of 51.38, and earned silver in the 200 IM (1:58.55) and the 200 fly (1:56.97). Both were members of the silver medal-winning 400 Medley and 400 Free relays and part of the disqualified 200 medley and free relays. Hayon would go on to swim individually at NCAAs, placing as high as 34th in the 100 fly (52.06), while her teammate Ella Dyson finished as high as 36th in the 1650.

While just a junior, Archibald enters with conference scoring times already. Her 50 free best of 23.14 would have made her the top seed in the B-final, while her 100 free best of 50.08 would have slotted her in as the 6th seed in the A-final. Her day three schedule for the conference will be a difficult choice, as her times in the 100 back, 100 fly, and 200 free all would have safely made it into the A-finals of the AAC Champs. She may eschew the 50 in favor of the 100 fly/bk double, but that decision will be made well down the road.

When Archibald joins the program in the fall of 2025, she will bring more than just her swimming prowess. Archibald is a 2022-2023 Scholastic All-America and is involved as an Athlete-At-Large Board of Directors Member for Connecticut Swimming.

Archibald appears to be the only commit so far in the class of 2029 but will join a strong group of swimmers in the 2028 class that includes Ava Portello, Reese Cole, Ava Casperson, and Jessica Lawton.  Portello is a 1:48 200 freestyler, and Cole and Caperson are both around 1:50, so Archibald will have a strong training group to work with.

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Emmanuel Lanzo
1 month ago


Rick Paine
1 month ago

Rice and Lily will be a great conbination

Hook ‘em
1 month ago

this girls a beast!!!