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Canadian National Runner-Up Swimmer Kesa Taivassalo Joins University of South Carolina

Swimming team celebration party

Canadian National Runner-Up Kesa Taivassalo Commits to South Carolina

The swimming fraternity in South Carolina has a new reason to be elated following the announcement of the Canadian National Runner-Up Kesa Taivassalo’s decision to join the University of South Carolina. Taivassalo ranked second in the 200 breast in the Canadian 15-16 age group in 2023 and her arrival promises to fortify the breaststroke group at South Carolina.

Taivassalo’s onboarding announcement was released on Facebook and garnered enthusiastic reactions from fans and fellow athletes alike. She plans to commence her training at the university beginning fall 2025. Currently training with the Markham Aquatic Club and attending Bill Crothers Secondary School in Markham, Ontario, Taivassalo’s commitment to South Carolina signifies a new phase in her swim career.

Taivassalo on Joining South Carolina

Speaking on her decision, Taivassalo said, “I am super proud and excited to announce my verbal commitment to further both my athletic and academic career at the University of South Carolina! The moment I stepped on campus for my official, the team made me feel so welcome, and the coaches were nothing but helpful. Coach Jeff’s vision for the future of the program is something I want to be a part of, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds. This is only the beginning!!”

Her Career Highlights

Taivassalo, who impressed at the Speedo Canadian Championships last year, clocking her best time of LCM 2:35.17 in the 200 breast and placing second, earned a total of 15 personal bests between SCM and LCM in 2023. She continued her upward trajectory this year with ten personal bests, including a winning performance at the Winter Ontario Championships (LCM) where she conquered the 200 breaststroke event with a notable time of 2:33.16.

A Boon to South Carolina

Taivassalo’s winning streak and evident hard work promise to strengthen South Carolina’s breaststroke group. Laura Goettler, a senior at the university, recorded a 200 breast time of 2:10.29 this season, making her the fifth-best performer in the program’s history. Freshman Delaney Franklin and sophomore Meaghan Harnish, stand out as other promising contributors. Franklin secured the second spot in the 200 breast for the University of South Carolina clocking a time of 2:12.31, closely followed by Harnish, who came in at 2:13.57.

While Taivassalo’s SCY times date back to 2022, her LCM times stand competitive once converted, making her a perfect addition to the university’s leading breaststroke swimmers.

A Family Tradition

Swimming runs in Taivassalo’s family, her brother, Brayden Taivassalo, swam for the University of Texas as a freshman this season. He garnered gold in the 200 breast (1:53.28) at the Big 12 Championships and won a silver medal in the LCM 200 breast (2:10.89) at the 2023 Pan American Games in Santiago. Brayden also ranked first in Canada for the 17-18 age group in the LCM 50 breast, 100 breast, and 200 breast.

As we look forward to watching Taivassalo’s progress and contributions to the team, we wish her the very best in this new endeavor.


Canadian National Runner-Up Swimmer Kesa Taivassalo Joins University of South Carolina

HERE Irmo
Author: HERE Irmo

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