South Dakota Earns Set of Verbals from Distance Freestylers Jessica Coakley, Sophia Vitela

jessica coakley sophia vitela south dakota
Photo Courtesy: Jessica Coakley / Sophia Vitela

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NEW COMMITS: The University of South Dakota has received two verbal commitments for the Class of 2025 from Katy, Texas native Jessica Coakley and Sophia Vitela of Woodbury, Minn.

Both talented swimmers will arrive on campus at the start of the 2021-22 season.


jessica coakley south dakota

Photo Courtesy: Jessica Coakley

Regarding her commitment, she said:

“I’m so excited to announce my verbal commitment to swim and study at the University of South Dakota! I’d like to thank my family, coaches, and teammates for helping me get to where I am today. Go Yotes!”

Coakley does her club swimming with Katy Aquatics and placed third in the 1000 free, fifth in the mile, sixth in the 200 free, seventh in the 500 free, and eighth in the 100 free at the Gulf Short Course Championships in February. She also competed at Southern Zone Seniors in Summer 2019, finishing 13th in the 1500m free.

Her best times include:

  • 200 free – 1:53.01
  • 500 free – 5:03.51
  • 1000 free – 10:31.38
  • 1650 free – 17:43.97

Also competing for Seven Lakes High School, Coakley is a five-time TAPPS Eastern Region Championship finalist. She placed fourth in the 200 free and ninth in the 500 free as a junior while taking seven in the latter during her sophomore season.


sophia vitela south akota

Photo Courtesy: Sophia Vitela

Regarding her commitment, she said:

“I am beyond excited to announce my verbal commitment to continue my academic and athletic careers at the University of South Dakota! I would like to give the biggest thanks to my family, friends, coaches and teammates that have supported me on my journey. I can’t wait to be a part of this incredible team! Go Yotes!”

Vitela trains yer-round with the South East Metro Sharks and finished 13th in the mile and 16th in the 1000 free at Minnesota Seniors in March. She placed sixth in the 1000 free at at the FOXJ Winter Classic in January and posted five top-25 finishes at Minnesota LCM Seniors last long course season.

Her best times include:

  • 500 free – 5:14.13
  • 1000 free – 10:38.34
  • 1650 free – 17:54.81
  • 400 IM – 4:40.83

Currently a senior at Woodbury High School, Vitela raced to 10th place in both the 200 free and 500 free as a freshman at the Minnesota 3AA Sectional Championships.

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