Canadian breaststroker and Pan American Games participant Faith Knelson, a former Arizona Wildcat, has committed to Vanderbilt University. Knelson indicated she will be starting in spring 2022.
“I am thrilled to announce I will be continuing my academic and athletic career at Vanderbilt University this spring,” Knelson wrote on Instagram. “Nashville, let’s go. Anchor down!
Knelson entered the NCAA transfer portal after one season with the University of Arizona program during the 2020-21 school year. Knelson declined to comment to SwimSwam on why she chose Vanderbilt.
TOP TIMES (Short Course Yards)
- 100 breast – 1:00.60
- 200 breast – 2:16.55
Knelson competed at one meet with the Wildcats during the 2020-21 season. She joined the team in fall 2020 after deferring the 2019-20 season to focus on making the 2020 Olympics before they were postponed. The 20-year old should have four years of eligibility remaining if she chooses, including the extra year of eligibility granted by the NCAA to all athletes who competed in the 2020-2021 season amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Knelson hit her breaststroke SCY bests at a meet in December 2020. In January, she took to Instagram to announce that she would be taking a medical redshirt for the remainder of the season due to a spinal injury, and that she’d also be missing the Canadian Olympic Trials.
For Team Canada, Knelson competed at high-profile meets like the 2017 World Junior Championships and the 2019 Pan American Games. She took silver medals in the 50m breast (30.91) and 100m breast (1:07.47) at World Juniors, and she followed that with a bronze at Pan Ams in the 100m breast (1:07.42).
Vanderbilt, which has only a women’s swimming program, competes in the SEC and finished 12th out of 12 teams at the 2021 SEC Championships — and the eight seasons prior. Knelson’s best time in the 100 breast is under the school record of 1:01.37, set by Lizzy Colwell in 2020. It took a 1:00.10 to make the A-final at the 2021 conference championships.
Vanderbilt’s head coach Jeremy Organ, who’s been with the school since 2006, is a native of Cranbrook, British Columbia. Knelson is also from British Columbia, though she hails from Nanaimo on Vancouver Island — about a 12 hour drive from Organ’s hometown.