Sport: Women’s swimming (50 Free, 100 Free)
Birthday: December 3rd, 1996 (age 19)
Hometown: Saugus, CA
Cal affiliation: Incoming California Golden Bears freshman
Years at Cal: 2016 -
Olympic appearances: 2016 Rio is Abbey’s first Olympic games
Abbey Weitzeil committed to Cal Women’s Swimming in 2014 but ultimately decided to deferred enrollment until after the Rio 2016 Olympics. Like former Calympian Rachel Bootsma 4 years ago, she’s got some stories to tell about her summer at Welcome week.
Despite only being 19 years old, Abbey Weitzeil is the current American record holder for the 50 yard Free. After competing in the 2013 FINA World Junior Championships in Dubai where she earned a Bronze 4x100 free relay and a silver in mixed 4x100 free relay, Abbey’s 2014 U.S. National performance (5th in 50 Free, 4th in 100 Free) put her on the US National Team.
Abbey won a Bronze in the 4x100 Free relay at the 2015 FINA World Championships in Kazan. She also won a Gold in the 4x100 free relay and a Silver in 100 Free at the 2015 World University Games.
More on Abbey and her Rio outlook:
An accomplished sprinter at a very young age, Abbey Weitzeil managed to win two events (100 Free and 50 Free) in the 2016 Olympic Trials to become a first time Olympian in the 2016 Rio games. The 19 year old has matured a bit since her overwhelming first Olympic trials back in 2012.
A member of the Cal women’s swimming Fab Four recruiting class of 2014, Abbey Weitzeil joins Kathleen Baker (qualified in the 100 Back) on becoming 2016 Rio Calympians. Katie McLaughlin and Amy Bilquist both fell just short at the US Olympic Swimming Trials finals. The future Golden Bear was the only one of the four to defer her matriculation at Cal.
While the likes of Dara Torres who made an Olympic game in her 40’s and even the last couple of years of Natalie Coughlin have made the sprint an older athlete event, Abbey Weitzeil shows that youth is ready to dominate the women’s sprint. Winning both the 50 Free and the 100 Free at the Olympic Trials, Abbey matched the feat of Calympian Nathan Adrian who did the same thing on the men’s side.
Even if Abbey lacks the experience, she should be challenging for at least one medal in Rio. Abbey’s easiest path to a medal is in the relays (4x100 Free and likely 4x100 Medley). For the 100 Free, the Australian sisters of Cate and Bronte Campbell are probably the favorite. Abbey would need to drop below 53 seconds to have a realistic shot of medaling. She would also need to lower her time by 0.5 to 1 second in the 50 Free to beat out the Campbells or Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom. We shall see how much Abbey can taper her time in the past few weeks since the Trials.
Regardless of the results, Rio 2016 should be a great experience for the incoming freshman. Weitzeil has a chance to be a star and win as many as 4 medals.
Finally, we close Abbey’s profile with this Instagram post from her:
Abbey Weitzeil, Berkeley will be your home very soon. It certainly would be cool if she gets to pack a few shiny objects on move in weekend in a few weeks.
Good luck to Abbey in Rio and GO BEARS!