Winter Juniors Qualifier Sydney Starnes Sends Verbal To

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High school senior Sydney Starnes has announced her verbal commitment to Virginia Tech for the 2023-2024 season. Starnes is from Georgia, where she trains and competes for Swim Atlanta and Walton High School out of Marietta, Georgia.

“I am so excited to announce my verbal commitment to continue my academic and athletic career at Virginia Tech!! Thank you to my amazing family, teammates, and friends for supporting me over the years. Also, a big thank you to Coach Rick, Pat, and Tyler for encouraging me and getting me to where I am today!! Thank you to Coach Sergio and Jacy for giving me this wonderful opportunity! GO HOKIES”

The Winter Juniors qualifier specializes primarily in distance freestyle, but is also strong in breaststroke and IM events.

Best Times – SCY:

  • 200 free – 1:53.11
  • 500 free – 4:53.88
  • 1000 free – 10:05.12
  • 1650 free – 17:21.93
  • 200 breast – 2:20.07
  • 200 IM – 2:05.74
  • 400 IM – 4:23.44

Starnes most recently competed at the Georgia LC Senior State Championship where she won the 400 IM (5:01.89) and claimed third place in the 200 IM (2:21.99), 400 free (4:21.81), and 800 free (9:13.21). In June, Starnes set a lifetime best in the 800 free by 5 seconds, clocking a 9:01.28.

At the Cary Speedo Sectionals in March, Starnes dropped 10 seconds in the 1000 free for a 10:05.12, and shaved off 0.10 for a lifetime best in the 200 free (1:53.11). She also competed at the GHSA 6-7A State Championship in February, where she claimed second place in the 500 free (4:57.22) and second place in the 200 IM (2:05.74).

Virginia Tech competes in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). At the 2022 ACC Championships, the Hokies finished 7th out of 12 teams. They also sent 9 athletes to the Division I NCAA Championships, where their highest finisher was Chase Travis who finished 14th in the 1650 with a 16:05.09.

While Starnes’ current best times would not immediately contribute to the team at conference, she still has another year to continue to improve before arriving in Blacksburg. Her best time in the 1000 would have been the 2nd fastest on the team behind Travis last season, meaning she will most likely fit in best with the Hokie distance group. Starnes will have a year overlap to train with Travis, who shares similar events as Starnes.

Starnes joins Florida native Kate Anderson in Virginia Tech’s class of 2027.

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