Iowa women’s swimming record-holder Millie Sansome transferred. Then, Iowa reinstated its program

Sansome will remain at the University of Georgia, despite the University of Iowa’s decision to reinstate the Hawkeye women’s swimming and diving program.


Chris Werner, Sports Reporter

As Millie Sansome walked out of practice on Feb. 15, the newest member of the Georgia Bulldogs’ women’s swimming and diving team looked down at her phone, and a text from her mom brought a smile to her face.

That’s how Sansome found out the University of Iowa had decided to reinstate its women’s swimming and diving program.

The news came less than a month after Sansome had transferred from Iowa to Georgia, as she assumed Iowa’s discontinuation of women’s swimming and diving was permanent.

Sansome, who holds the UI record in the women’s 100- and 200-yard backstroke, said she is excited for her former teammates that will have an opportunity compete in the Black and Gold again. She was also adamant that she would not return to Iowa City to compete as a Hawkeye.

“I have settled in really well [at Georgia,]” Sansome said. “I don’t think another big change would be good. I would not come back at this point, but it does not stop the fact that [the program] got reinstated because it didn’t deserve to be cut at all.”

The Marlow, England, native, who verbally committed to Georgia in September, also said even if the reinstatement of Iowa’s program had come during the fall semester and she hadn’t made the trip to Athens yet, she still would’ve honored her commitment to the Bulldogs.

“I probably would’ve still transferred due to the disrespect that [Iowa athletics director Gary Barta] showed toward our team,” Sansome said. “To me, it was a team that never should’ve been cut, and it was handled so poorly. I felt I had to leave.”

RELATED: University of Iowa Athletics reinstates women’s swimming and diving program

When Sansome stepped onto Georgia’s campus in January, she joined a national powerhouse. The Bulldogs’ women’s swimming and diving team is currently ranked sixth in the nation, per the College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of America’s latest poll. Georgia was No. 1 in the CSCAA’s preseason poll.

“I was excited when I first came, but I was definitely nervous,” Sansome said. “Coming to Iowa not knowing anyone and then sort of finding my friends, my people there, and then having to go somewhere else, it’s like starting completely over again. But the people here are so lovely, it’s nice to finally feel secure.”

In the pool, Sansome has fit in nicely with Georgia this semester so far. She finished fourth in the 200-backstroke and fifth in the 100-backstroke in each of her first two duals with the Bulldogs, scoring points for Georgia in a pair of victories over South Carolina and Tennessee.

In mid-February, Sansome posted a season-best time of 53.41 in the 100-backstroke, finishing 15th at the SEC Championships.

Although Sansome might be wearing Georgia’s black and red for the remainder of her collegiate career, Iowa will always have a special place in her heart.

“I will always be watching and seeing how the team does because my love for Iowa is never going to go away,” Sansome said. “I’m always going to be a Hawkeye.”