Swimming

Pitt Adds to Class of 2027 with Commitment from CIF Medalist Parker Del Balso

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After finishing as a finalist in the 100 back at the Winter Junior Championships – West last week, Parker Del Balso of Foster City, California has announced her decision to travel to Pennsylvania next fall, committing to swim at the University of Pittsburgh. Del Balso is currently in her senior season at San Mateo High School and does her club swimming with Burlingame Aquatic Club.

“I am so thrilled to announce my verbal commitment to continue my academic and athletic career at the University of Pittsburgh! A huge thanks to my family, coaches, and teammates, my passion for this sport is founded on my love for the community I have with you all, and your support has helped get me to where I am now! I can’t wait to be a Panther! H2P!!”

Earlier this winter, Del Balso competed in a trio of events at the Winter Junior Championships – West meet in Austin, Texas, earning a second swim in the 100 back. In that event, she finished in 15th during prelims with a time of 54.55 before dropping three-tenths of a second during finals to take 16th in 54.23. She also contested the 500 free (4:58.31) and 200 back (2:01.30).

Her lifetime best in the 100 back comes from last spring when she raced at the CIF (California High School) Swimming and Diving State Championships. There, she swam to a personal best of 54.15 on her way to taking third overall in the event. She also narrowly missed her lifetime best in the 200 free at the meet, finishing 19th in 1:51.93.

Top SCY Times

100 back – 54.15
200 back – 1:59.82
100 free – 51.22
200 free – 1:50.94
500 free – 4:55.78

Pitt is currently in the midst of its first season under head coach Chase Kreitler, who took over the program following four years as an assistant with Cal. Del Balso will be a part of Kreitler’s first batch of recruits since taking over the Panthers program. The women’s team has already seen success under his tutelage, with Sophie Yendell re-breaking two of her own school records at the Minnesota Invite earlier this year. She was recognized as the ACC Swimmer of the week for her performance along with teammate Cooper Van der Laan.

Next fall, Del Balso’s biggest impact will likely come in the backstroke events, where she has the potential to be among the program’s best from her first day on campus. Last season the team’s only finalist in the backstroke events at the ACC Championships was Daisy Anderson, who finished 19th in the 200 back. Anderson has since transferred to the University of Arizona.

So far this season, the Panther’s backstroke group has been led by freshman Claire Jansen. Jansen hit lifetime bests in both races at the Minnesota Invite earlier this year (53.28/1:57.28) and currently ranks in the top-24 of both races within the ACC. Del Balso and Jansen will have three years of overlap at Pitt.

Del Balso will also have a potential impact on the program’s freestyle relays. Last season, she would have been the team’s third-fastest performer in the 200 free. Pitt took 11th in the 800 free relay at the ACC Championships last season, finishing ahead of only Boston College, so they are looking for some new talent there.

Currently committed to join Del Balso in the class of 2027 are Avery Kudlac, Sydney Gring and Maggie Foley. While none of those swimmers specialize in the backstroke events, they both boast impressive times in sprint freestyles. Gring has been as fast as 49.65/1:47.59 in the 100/200 freestyle, while Kudlac boasts lifetime bests of 51.03/1:49.01.

The trio of freshmen has the potential to make up a majority of Pitt’s relays after arriving on campus next fall.

Kudlac and Foley committed before Kreitler was announced as the program’s new head coach, while Gring and Del Balso are Kreitler recruits.

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