2022 Pac-12 1650 Free Champion Caroline Pennington To Transfer To Florida

Caroline Pennington, the 2022 Pac-12 champion in the 1650 free, has announced her transfer to the University of Florida. She made this announcement by putting Florida’s swimming and diving team account in her Instagram bio. A few weeks ago, she entered the transfer portal.

Pennington spent the second semester of her freshman year at the University of Southern California, first competing for them in January 2022. She had a successful season, setting personal bests in the 500 free (4:43.05) and the 1650 free (15:48.69). Both of those times were clocked at the 2022 Pac-12 Championships, where she finished sixth in the 500 free and won the 1650 free. She scored 56 individual points at that meet, which made her the sixth-highest individual scorer on her team.

Although Pennington was slightly slower at NCAAs, she still scored six points by placing 11th in the 1650 free (16:03.16) and also finished 45th in the 500 free (4:46.11).

Prior to her time at USC, Pennington was originally set to compete for the University of Virginia in the fall of 2021. Although she briefly trained at UVA and attended classes there for three days, she never made a meet appearance for their team.

As one of the nation’s top milers, Pennington will add to the growing mid-distance and distance strength of the Florida women. In addition to her, Emma Weyant, the nation’s top returning 500 freestyler, also recently transferred to the school this summer. In addition, Gainesville is also home to World Championship and Olympic mid-distance/distance free qualifiers such as Katie Ledecky, Bobby Finke, Kieran Smith, Trey Freeman, and Jake Mitchell.

Pennington’s 500 free time would have been the third-fastest on the Gators team for the 2021-22 season, whereas her 1650 free time would have topped the team rankings. In addition, had she competed at the 2022 SEC Championships, she would have been second in the 1650 free and tenth in the 500 free, scoring 45 individual points. That total would have tied her with Elise Bauer as the sixth-highest scorer for the Gators at that meet.

Since Weyant and Pennington both entered the transfer portal after the May 1 deadline for all winter sports, they will need to apply for waivers in order to compete in fall 2022. If they are both eligible to swim next season, here’s what the Florida women’s distance depth chart could look like:

Florida Women’s 500 Free Depth Chart, 2022-23 Season (2021-22 season bests):

  1. Emma Weyant — 4:34.99
  2. Tylor Mathieu — 4;38.62
  3. Hayden Miller — 4:40.66
  4. Elise Bauer — 4:40.82
  5. Caroline Pennington — 4:43.05

Florida Women’s 1650 Free Depth Chart, 2022-23 Season (2021-22 season bests):

  1. Caroline Pennington — 15:48.69
  2. Hayden Miller — 16:02.22
  3. Emma Weyant — 16:02.51
  4. Tylor Mathieu — 16:03.73
  5. Elise Bauer — 16:06.48

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9 months ago

De Sorbo’s chances of a threepeat getting smaller by the day.

Reply to  Yanyan Li
9 months ago

Didn’t UVA land the #2 and #3 recruits in the 2023 Class?

Inclusive Parent
Reply to  Really?
9 months ago

Va #3 & 6 and one HM. No BOR.
Florida got 1, 10, 12, 15, 1HM, and 3 BORs.
5, 7, 9, 14, 1HM and 1BOR.

Swim mom
9 months ago

There should be a cap to the number of transfers to a team.

9 months ago

I wonder where she’ll transfer next year

9 months ago

Best of luck to Carolina.

With regards to the culture change that’s being touted at USC, my best guess is that Lea’s idea of “culture” is having no life outside the pool. In her own words, there’s swimming, academics and everything else…and you can only pick two. As an Olympian she likely assumes her swimmers should also aspire to be future Olympians (regardless of the fact that with few exceptions, USC doesn’t have the level of talent on their roster to even aspire to make a US Olympic team). More realistic goals are likely making NCAAs and being a difference maker and point scorer for your team. These are STUDENT-athletes and at a time when mental health should be a… Read more »

9 months ago

USC may eventually be better, but things don’t look great right now. Lea seems really cool, but the transfers just keep coming. Would love to better understand what’s going on – appreciate the comments from Braden at the bottom of this section. Question for recruits to figure out – is this the bottom and they are now getting better after the culture change? Or is this still part of the getting better process?

Reply to  Hereforthecrazyshow
9 months ago

The “culture” problems are largely being caused by the one person touting “culture”…Lea Mauer. Arbitrarily plays “favorites” and erratic. The men and women on the team are hardworking and conscientious, and it’s unclear what she is trying to “fix.”

9 months ago

i hope all these people find what they are looking for in Florida or it is spectacular ish-show….

Math Magician
Reply to  sam
9 months ago

Ish???? Best distance training core in the world right now.

Human Ambition
Reply to  Math Magician
9 months ago

I would say Berkhans’ and Antonelli’s groups edges Florida closely but clearly.

9 months ago

They also have Hayden Miller coming in this year who goes 4:40/16:02

9 months ago

Anotha one
– DJ Khaled

About Yanyan Li

Yanyan Li

Although Yanyan wasn't the greatest competitive swimmer, she learned more about the sport of swimming by being her high school swim team's manager for four years. She eventually ventured into the realm of writing and joined SwimSwam in January 2022, where she hopes to contribute to and learn more about …

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