Teagan O’Dell Announces Verbal Commitment to Cal, Joins Loaded 2025 Class for Golden Bears

Teagan O'Dell -- Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Teagan O’Dell Announces Verbal Commitment to Cal, Joins Loaded 2025 Class for Golden Bears

After an incredible year in which she earned National High School Swimmer of the Year honors and then won gold in the 200 backstroke at the World Junior Championships, Teagan O’Dell has announced the setting for the next phase of her career. O’Dell announced Monday evening that she is verbally committing to swim for the California Golden Bears beginning in the fall of 2025.

O’Dell trains with the Mission Viejo Nadadores and represents Santa Margarita Catholic High School in interscholastic competition. She is the third elite prospect to announce plans to head to Berkeley in 2025, joining World Championship team members Alex Shackell and Claire Weinstein.

O’Dell wrote in an Instagram post, “I am so grateful for the opportunity to pursue my academic and athletic career at the University of California, Berkeley. I want to thank my family, teammates at MVN, coaches, and friends for supporting me throughout this process. A special thank you to the coaching staff and team at CAL! Go Bears! 💛”

In California high school competition this spring, O’Dell set a national record in the 200 IM with a time of 1:53.38. That mark was two-and-a-half seconds quicker than the next-best in high school racing in the country this season, and it would have been good enough for fifth at this year’s NCAA Championships. Additionally, O’Dell ranked second in the country in the 100 back at 50.96, which would have placed sixth at NCAAs. O’Dell’s best time in the 200 back (1:51.00) would have placed her seventh at the national meet, and she also owns a mark that would have made the A-final in the 500 freestyle (4:39.29).

In long course, O’Dell’s backstroke has made her an impact player on the national and junior-level international scene. She placed ninth in both the 100 and 200-meter back at U.S. Nationals this summer, and at the World Junior Championships in September, she swam times of 59.51 in the 100 and 2:08.09 in the 200.

When she arrives in college swimming, O’Dell will instantly contend for national titles in all her individual events while contributing to four Golden Bear relays. As she teams up with Weinstein and Shackell, Cal could be positioned for significant rebound in the collegiate team standings.

The past two years have been a relatively rough stretch for Cal, falling from third nationally in 2021 to eighth in 2022 and 11th last season amid former head coach Teri McKeever’s departure from the program. But now, with longtime men’s coach Dave Durden now leading the combined program and veteran college and professional coach David Marsh on staff as a lead lieutenant, Cal has a stable and promising coaching situation, and the pending arrival of this talented trio could instantly vault Cal back into national-title contention.

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