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High school junior Zach Ward from Delaware, Ohio has announced his verbal commitment to the University of Wisconsin’s class of 2026.
“I am excited to announce my verbal commitment to the University of Wisconsin–Madison for 2022. Thank you to my coach and parents for helping me make this important decision. I have loved talking to Coach Yuri and his coaching staff and hearing their enthusiasm, experience, and passion for the sport of swimming. From the first time I talked to them, I really felt like they had the resources, knowledge, and willingness to help me accomplish my goals and dreams in swimming and academics. Can’t wait to become a Badger!”
Ward is a USA Swimming Scholastic All-American from Rutherford B. Hayes High School. He trains year-round with Buckeye Swim Club and is an Olympic Trials Wave I qualifier in the 200m fly (2:00.98), a Summer Nationals qualifier in the 200/400 IM, and a Summer Juniors qualifier in the 200/500/1650 free. He has had an excellent junior year season, improving his personal bests in all his top events.
Ward competed in the 200 fly and 400 IM at U.S. Open in November, earning PBs in both (2:03.93/4:30.46). Four months later at Indy Sectionals, he whittled those times down to 2:00.98 and 4:26.31. He also picked up PBs in the 100m free (52.91), 200m free (1:52.05), and 400m free (3:58.97). Also in March, he swam at the Ohio LSC Virtual Championships and notched PBs in the SCY 200 free, 1650 free, 200 fly, and 200 IM. At the 18&U Winter Championships in Oxford, he won the 400 IM, was runner-up in the 200 fly, and placed 3rd in the 200 IM, 4th in the 200 free, 5th in the 100 free, and 9th in the 100 fly. His 100 free, 100 fly, and 400 IM times were lifetime bests.
Best SCY times:
- 400 IM – 3:51.61
- 200 IM – 1:48.82
- 200 fly – 1:47.75
- 100 fly – 49.70
- 1650 free – 15:32.65
- 500 free – 4:27.87
- 200 free – 1:38.37
- 100 free – 45.77
Ward will overlap with Drew Nixdorf, the Badgers’ top 200 flyer last season. He will also have ready training partners in Jake Newmark, Jude Williams, and Jack Leuthold. He will suit up with fellow verbal commits Michael Long and Taiko Torepe-Ormsby.
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