Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace is a sprint freestyle specialist from the Bahamas. She graduated from the sprint powerhouse, Auburn University, where she was a multi-time All-American and three-time NCAA Champion. Born March 4, 1990 to Vincent and Tietchka Vanderpool-Wallace, she has one brother named Aleksandr – her father is a politician in the Bahamas.
Vanderpool-Wallace spent her four years in college studying Hotel and Restaurant Management and competing at Auburn University. The university had ties to the Bahamas, having housed Bahamian swimmers, Alana Dillette and Jeremy Knowles. Prior to her senior year, Vanderpool-Wallace was an 18-time All-American the 2011 NCAA Champion in the 100m freestyle and the 50m freestyle. Vanderpool-Wallace graduated from the Bolles School in Jacksonville, Fla., where she was rated a five-star recruit by Swimming World Magazine.
During her freshman season she took 10th in the 100m freestyle and 13th in the 50m freestyle, but earned more All-American honors on relays. At the 2010 NCAA Championships she earned six total All-America honors, including a fifth-place finish in the 100m freestyle. During her junior year she was a double-winner in the 50m freestyle and 100m freestyle, and she was named the 2011 SEC Swimmer of the Year. At the SEC meet she broke the NCAA and U.S. Open Records in the 100 freestyle, taking the title from Cal’s Natalie Coughlin. In her senior year at Auburn, she led off the fifth-place 200 freestyle relay, anchored the fifth-place 200 medley and 400 medley relay and finished second on the 400 freestyle relay. Individually she came in third in the 50 freestyle, fifth in the 100 butterfly, and won the 100 freestyle.
Early international career
Vanderpool-Wallace competed at the Central American & Caribbean Games in 2006, and a year later she was apart of the bronze-medal winning 400m medley relay at the 2007 Pan Pacific Championships.
When she qualified for her first Olympic Games in 2008, Vanderpool-Wallace was only the second female swimmer to ever qualify for an Olympic Games. She competed in the sprint freestyle events – Vanderpool-Wallace finished 28th in the 100m freestyle and 24th in the 50m freestyle.
In 2009 she swam at the World Championships in Rome – Vanderpool-Wallace finished 21st in the 100m freestyle and 43rd in the 100m butterfly. She set new Bahamian records in both events. She represented the Bahamas at the 2010 Central American & Caribbean Games, taking away two gold medals in the 50m and 100m butterfly and two silver medals in the 50m and 100m freestyles – she set new meet records in both butterfly events.
Top eight at Shanghai World Championships
In her upperclassmen years at Auburn Vanderpool-Wallace competed at the 2011 FINA World Championships in Shanghai, where she finished seventh overall in the 50m freestyle.
At the 2012 London Olympics, Vanderpool-Wallace was apart of a small Bahamas team that was sent to the Olympics. She made it into the final of the 50m freestyle, finishing eighth, and ended up 10th in the 100m freestyle. When she finaled in the 50m distance, Vanderpool-Wallace made history as the first Bahamian woman to make the finals of a swim event at the Olympics.
2015 world rankings
As of May 5, 2015 she’s one of the world’s fastest swimmers in the 50m freestyle. Currently training with SwimMAC Elite, Vanderpool-Walllace was honored by receiving the Bahamas’ 2015 “Senior Swimmer of the Year.”
Retired June 7, 2018