Evan Swenson Sprint Freestyle
Born November 23, 1994 to parents Todd and Pam Swenson in Chicago, Evan Swenson established herself as a sprinter early in her swimming career at Loyola Academy in Wilmette, Illinois. As only a freshman, she finished 6th in the 50 yard freestyle at the 2010 Illinois (IHSA) State Championships, and contributed to the 12th place 400 yard freestyle relay and 5th place 200 freestyle relay.
Her sophomore year, Swenson was runner-up in the 50 free (23.46) to Olivia Smoliga, and swam all three relays to help the 200 medley and 200 free relay finish 3rd and the 400 free relay finish 2nd.
Swenson lowered her 50 time to 23.29 in her junior year season, however Smoliga seemed untouchable, taking the title again in 22.55. Once again, Swenson gave up a second individual event to swim all three relays, however none of them were strong enough to take state titles.
Lowering her 50 further (23.19), Swenson placed 3rd after downstate freshman Avery Braunecker edged her for 2nd (23.09) and Smoliga, who had nearly made the 2012 Olympic team at trials, blew away the country in a 21.99 to take the national record and state title. Swenson took the 400 relay out of the program to add the 100 yard breaststroke. She also split an impressive 27.88 as breaststroke leg on Loyola’s medley relay in prelims. After years of state titles eluding Swenson individually as well as on relays, she proved her versatility to take down a very strong field to win the 100 breaststroke (1:02.42). She edged out New Trier High School’s Riley Hayward by less than a tenth for the title, and the two happened to find their way to the University of Southern California to continue their swimming careers.
Swenson contributed to an elite USC squad as a freshman. Her biggest meet was the 2013 Texas Invite. Individually, she took her 50 free to another level after breaking the 23-second barrier in prelims as well as in finals to finish 10th overall (22.83) and earn her an NCAA Consideration ‘B’ cut. She improved her 100 yard freestyle time to 50.57, and her 50.60 in finals was good for a 22nd place finish. Swenson’s biggest swim of the meet, however, came in the 200 freestyle. Teaming up with Trojan stars Kasey Carlson, Kasia Wilk, and Kendyl Stewart, the relay dominated the field in a convincing 1:28.05 to take the win and the then-top time in the country (although Stanford and Texas A&M have since topped that at the 2013 Art Adamson Invitational). Swenson’s split of 22.29 was her fastest relay split ever. At her first Pac-12 Championships, Swenson clocked a 1:04.55 in the 100 breast for 27th, touched under 50 seconds for the first time in the 100 free (49.94) for 22nd, and grabbed 12th in the 50 free (22.79/22.54p). While the 200 free relay was the only relay in which she swam for USC’s A team, her anchor split of 21.90 was her best split ever and propelled USC to a 2nd place finish behind only Arizona. This was the same relay in which she would compete on at her first NCAA meet, where she anchored USC to an 8th place finish overall. Despite this being her only swim of the meet, she earned All-American acclaim.
Her sophomore year, Swenson saw an elevated role in the ranks of Trojan sprinting in USC’s first season without their 50 and 100 freestyle record holder Kasey Carlson. At the Pac-12 Champs, she finished 10th in the 50 free (22.54) and found herself in the A final of the 100 free, her first A final in an individual event ever at the conference championship level. Racing against the likes of Simone Manuel and Lia Neal, Swenson finished in 8th (49.27) after her impressive 48.45 from the prelim session. Swenson also was a member of the 3rd place 400 free relay and 4th place 200 free relay, posting the fastest split on the latter relay. At the 2015 NCAA Championships, Swenson registered the Trojans’ second-fastest split in the 200 free relay finals, helping them to a 10th place finish. She tied for 37th in the 50 free (22.57) and was 18th in the 100 free (48.63). She was just four hundredths of a second off of 16th place in the 100 free. She finished the season second on USC’s annual top times list in the 50 and 100 freestyle behind Kasia Wilk, and was a part of four of the five fastest USC 400 free relay swims and all five of the fastest Trojan 200 free relay swims in the 2014-15 season.
2011 U.S. Junior Nationals
Swenson took a huge leap in long course between the summer of 2010 and the summer of 2011, as she improved her 50 meter freestyle from 27.49, an AAAA cut, to a time of 26.10, which would qualify her for the 2012 Olympic Trials. This time was swam at the prelims of the 50 free at the 2011 US Junior Nationals. She touched at 26.13 in finals to tie for second with fellow IHSA stand-out Mimi Schneider, who took her talents to the University of Texas after high school. She was also 58.22 in the 100 meter free, but it was not fast enough to advance to finals.
2012: Olympic Trials, U.S. Open, NCSA Junior Nationals
There were no time drops for Swenson in the sprint freestyle in the 2012 long course season, although she did drop her 100 meter backstroke time to 1:06.83 and her 100 breast to 1:15.43. She swam at the 2012 Olympic Trials, as well as other big meets like the 2012 US Open and 2012 NCSA Junior Nationals. Swenson’s best sprint free times on the year were 26.72 in the 50 from NCSA Juniors and 59.03 from the US Open.
Swenson did not compete at the national level during the summer of 2013. Her bests from that year were 26.90 and 59.26 from the 2013 IL Senior Championships.
2014 U.S. Summer Nationals
Returning to the national stage in 2014 at US Nationals, Swenson nearly hit her 50 free best, finishing in 40th with a time of 26.18. In the 100 free, however, she hit a new best time of 57.58 in a time trial of the event.
–Originally developed by Karl Ortegon