Born May 21, 1993 to John and LeAnne Benjamin, Kelli Benjamin is a freestyle and backstroke swimmer at Texas A&M. The 5’10” Benjamin finished her NCAA eligibility in 2015, after swimming in her last NCAA Championships. Born in Mesa, Ariz., Benjamin attended high school at Gilbert, where she was an All-American in the 50 and 100 freestyle – she also trained with Gold Medal Swim Club, coached by Mike Walker and Mike Troy. With a 4.2 cumulative GPA in high school, Benjamin was a Scholastic All-American as well. She’s studying Education, and has two younger siblings, Mark and Kyle. After making a big impact at the conference level her freshman year, Benajmin has made the NCAA Championships, either on a relay or as an individual, every year since. Although she is an excellent backstroke swimmer, Benjamin claims that her favorite aspect of training is sprint freestyle. Aside from swimming Benjamin is a second-degree black belt.
At her first Big 12 Championships Benjamin finished in the top 10 in all three individual events – she finished 10th in the 50 freestyle, seventh in the 200 freestyle and she also finished sixth in the 100 freestyle. Benjamin was also a member of the team’s 200 freestyle and 800 freestyle relays.
Benjamin earned her first NCAA All-America honors as a member of the fifth-place 800 freestyle relay and the 400 freestyle relay, which placed eighth nationally. At the conference championships Benjamin scored huge individual points, in her first SEC competition.
As a junior Benjamin was a member of the 800 freestyle relay that broke a school record at the SEC Championships. For the first time in her career Benjamin qualified for the NCAA meet as an individual – she competed in the 100 backstroke, 100 freestyle and 200 freestyle. She swam on multiple relays – the 800 freestyle relay, the 200 medley relay and the 400 freestyle relay.
Benjamin is currently in her senior year as an Aggie. She finished 20th in the 200 freestyle, 18th in the 100 backstroke and 20th in the 100 freestyle.
Benjamin was a Junior National and Senior National qualifier. She was a high school All-American in the 50 and 100 freestyle, and a three-time team MVP – for four consecutive years, she was the region champion in those same events. She finished 69th in the 100m freestyle at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials.