Norfolk Academy’s Kayla Wilson caps impressive year with spot on swimming World Cup roster, commitment to Stanford

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Norfolk Academy’s Kayla Wilson has had a summer to remember.

Wilson, who competed at the USA Swimming Olympic Team Trials earlier this summer, was named to the junior team for the FINA World Cup after her performance at the trials.

The rising senior earned a semifinal berth in the women’s 200-meter freestyle by finishing 16th in the first round. And although she didn’t advance to the finals, she earned the opportunity to swim on the international stage at multiple sites later this year.

“I’ve never been that excited about something in swimming,” she said. “I’ve never been to Europe, so I’m super-excited to be able to represent the USA in an international competition. I can’t really describe the emotions, but it’s really cool.”

After the cancellation of the World Junior Championships in 2021, which would have provided young swimmers like Wilson an opportunity to compete on the international level, USA Swimming put together a squad of 22 girls and 21 boys between the ages of 14-18 to compete at the World Cup.

“We chose to move forward with an international opportunity for our young U.S. swimmers to provide them with valuable training and racing experiences which we feel are critical to success on the international stage,” USA Swimming Managing Director of the National Team Lindsay Mintenko said in a release. “Our junior athletes are an important conduit to our Olympic team and, as an organization, we have been focused on pursuing and developing additional competitive racing opportunities for these (young) swimmers.”

The competition, which will take place in six legs from August to October, will feature a roster of 43 swimmers for Legs 3 and 4 in Berlin, Germany, and Budapest, Hungary.

To cap an exciting summer, Wilson also announced her commitment to Stanford, where she will check off another item on her bucket list by swimming for a major college program.

Stanford’s women’s team has finished among the top 10 at the NCAA Championships a record 39 consecutive years, and the Cardinal boasted 28 first- or second-team All-America honors last season.

“I’m looking forward to something new,” she said. “I haven’t really been other places. Kind of my whole life, I’ve just grown up in Virginia Beach and gone to the same school since first grade. And so I think I need an adventure and something different. I love what I have right now, but I think it’s time for me to branch out and see the other side of the country.”

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