Illinois State Collects In-State Verbal from Freestyler Isabella Harder of Fox Valley Swim Team

Izzy Harder Illinois State
Photo Courtesy: Catherine Harder

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NEW COMMIT: Illinois State University has scored an in-state verbal commitment for the fall of 2020 from Naperville, Ill. native Isabella “Izzy” Harder. She will join Dee Dee Walker in the Red Birds’ class of 2024.

A rangy freestyler, Harder does her club swimming with Fox Valley Swim Team and most recently recorded a pair of best times at NCSAs after racing four events at Minneapolis Speedo Sectionals this past summer. Last winter, she placed 11th in the 1000 free and 12th in the 200 free at Illinois Seniors before going on to compete at NCSAs.

Also competing for Neuqua Valley, Harder has competed at the Illinois State Championships each of her three high school seasons thus far. During both her sophomore and junior seasons, she finished eighth in the 200 free and ninth in the 500 free at IHSA Sectionals.

She told Swimming World:

“I’m so excited to announce my verbal commitment to continue my athletic and academic career at Illinois State University. Special thanks to my family, friends, coaches, and teachers for helping me get to where I am now. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without you! #goredbirds”

Her best times include:

  • 50 free – 24.60
  • 100 free – 53.16
  • 200 free – 1:53.08
  • 500 free – 5:06.76
  • 1000 free – 10:29.33
  • 1650 free – 17:52.60

Harder will make an immediate impact when she suits up for the Red Birds at the start of the 2020-21 season as her best times already would rank near the top of their lineup, and she’ll find a good training partner in future classmate Walker. Even with a year to go before arriving on campus, Harder would’ve scored in the A-final of the 200 free as well as the B-final of the 500 free at the 2019 Missouri Valley Conference Championships where Illinois State took fifth overall in the team standings.

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