Carmel swimmer Bilquist commits to Cal

Carmel’s Amy Bilquist, one of the nation’s most-sought high school swimmers, announced Wednesday that she would enroll at the University of California.

Bilquist, a 17-year-old senior, recently visited four campuses, three of them in the Pac-12, before deciding on Berkeley. Her other finalists were Arizona, USC and Georgia.

Her family relocated to Indiana from Goodyear, Ariz., last year, so there was speculation she might return to Arizona. In a text, she said she did love Arizona but “clicked extremely well with the girls on Cal and my gut was telling me that’s where I need to be.”

Bilquist was the most decorated female swimmer of August’s Pan Pacific Championships at Kihei, Hawaii, where she won five medals, four of them gold. She was on two relay teams setting world junior records. Before that, she won three individual titles in the junior nationals at Irvine, Calif., leading Carmel Swim Club to the women’s team championship.

Carmel's Amy Bilquist showing off her Cal gear.

Carmel’s Amy Bilquist showing off her Cal gear.

She has also been selected to the U.S. team in the 50- and 100-meter backstrokes for the short course World Championships, set for Dec. 3-7 at Doha, Qatar.

Cal is coached by Teri McKeever, who was U.S. women’s coach at the 2012 London Olympics. The Bears won NCAA championships under her in 2012, 2011 and 2009 and were second in 2013.

Cal’s roster features four-time Olympic gold medalist Missy Franklin, who has stated she will go pro after her sophomore season in 2015. However, she would likely continue training in Berkeley in the build-up to the 2016 Olympics.

“It’s cool to think I could potentially train with such an amazing Olympian,” Bilquist said earlier.

Carmel High School and the Carmel Swim Club have never produced an Olympian, and Bilquist has a chance to be the first.

Call Star reporter David Woods at (317) 444-6195.

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