Born on April 17, 1999, Harnish was born in York, PA. She is the daughter of Natalie and Eric Harnish.
Harnish was ranked as the #1 recruit in the nation on SwimSwam’s Top 20 NCAA Recruits: Class of 2017. On October 2nd, 2016, Harnish announced her verbal commitment to the University of Georgia. Harnish graduated from West York High School, and won state titles for West York in both 2014 (200, 500 free) and 2017 (200 Free, 100 Back)
Harnish made an immediate impact for the dawgs, capturing the SEC title in the 1,650 (15:57.68) as a freshman. She also placed 2nd in the 500 free (4:38.21) and 11th in the 200 free (1:46.26). She was also on the 2nd place 800 free relay.
At her first NCAA Championships, Harnish began things by swimming on UGA’s 10th place 800 free relay. On day 2 in prelims of the 500 free, she tied for 16th place with Stanford’s Megan Byrnes (4:38.87), warranting an unprecedented 500 free swim-off. Harnish won the swim-off by just .05 (4:45.33), earning her a spot in the B-final. At night, in her 3rd 500 free of the day, Harnish touched 2nd in her heat out of lane 8, touching at 4:36.91 to place 10th overall.
She also placed 17th in the 1,650, just outside of scoring, and tied for 37th in the 200 free (1:46.35).
Harnish once again captured an SEC title, this time in the 500 free (4:35.52). She also placed 3rd in the 200 free (1:43.53) and 10th in the 1,650 (16:14.60). At the NCAA’s, Harnish made the A-final of the 500 free, avoiding the B-final or a swim-off altogether this year. She finished 8th in the event (4:37.61) as well as 13th in the 200 fly (1:55.07) and 25th in the 200 free (1:45.63).
2014 Junior Pan Pacific Championships
Harnish competed in the 2014 Junior Pan Pacific Championships, earning Gold in the 400m Free and Bronze in the 200m and 800m Free.
2016 US Olympic Trials
At her first Olympic Trials, at the age of 17, Harnish finished 13th in the 400m Free.