Kansas Jayhawks Add Verbals from Elliott Howe, Karla Lessing to Class of 2025

team cheer kansas ku
Photo Courtesy: Kansas Swim & Dive (@KUSwimDive)

NEW COMMITS: The University of Kansas has officially begun their class of 2025 recruiting after receiving a pair of verbal commitments from West Bountiful, Utah native Elliott Howe and Karla Lessing of Boulder, Colo.

Under head coach Clark Campbell, the Jayhawks finished second at the 2020 Big 12 Championships.


elliott howe kansas

Photo Courtesy: Elliott Howe via College Swimming

Regarding her commitment, she said:

“I chose KU because it felt like it was the perfect fit for me. It was somewhere I could see myself growing individually while contributing to the team. I love how friendly the coaches and swimmers are. It is a beautiful campus and it gave me the feeling of a home away from home.I am so blessed to be an athlete in college and all the support and resources offered to me. I am beyond excited to see where this journey will take me!”

A talented backstroker, Howe owns the U.S. Open cut in the 100 back and swims year-round with South Davis Aquatics Team. She earned a pair of best times at Juniors West in December before going on to collect two silver medals at Utah Seniors. At Utah LCM Seniors last year, she raced to gold in the 100m back with four other top-12 finishes.

Her best times include:

  • 50 back – 25.69
  • 100 back – 54.69
  • 200 back – 1:58.57
  • 200 IM – 2:07.41

A rising senior at Bountiful High School, Howe is a six-time Utah 5A State Championship finalist. The two-time USA Swimming Scholastic All-American won the 100 back and was the 50 free runner-up as a junior and took first and third, respectively, in those events during her sophomore season.


karla lessing kansas

Photo Courtesy: Karla Lessing via College Swimming

Regarding her commitment, she said:

“Im really excited and blessed to announce my verbal commitment to continue my academic and swimming career at The University of Kansas. I feel like the school is a great fit for me, and I look forward to being teammates with my sister once again. :)”

Primarily a distance swimmer, Lessing does her club swimming with Flatiron Athletic Club and won the mile at the Pioneer Open in December. Last summer, she earned gold in the 1500m free and silver in the 400/800m free at Colorado LCM Seniors before going on to grab bronze in the mile at Far Westerns.

Her best times include:

  • 200 free – 1:56.43
  • 500 free – 5:05.03
  • 1000 free – 10:19.56
  • 1650 free – 17:14.93

Also competing for Fairview High School, Lessing is a three-time Colorado 5A State Championship finalist. She finished seventh in the 500 free as a junior while taking fifth in that event during her sophomore season. Her older sister, Amelie Lessing, is a rising sophomore for the Jayhawks.

If you have a commitment to share, please send a photo and quote via email to hs@swimmingworld.com.