Kendyl Stewart was born to Jason and Shelly Stewart Aug. 17, 1994. Born in Newton, Mass. Stewart was raised a California girl who loved the water. Starting her swimming career at age 7, Stewart grew up training and racing on North Coast Aquatics in San Diego, Calif.
Personal and Youth Swimming
During her high school years, Stewart competed representing her high school, La Costa Canyon High School in Carlsbad, California. In 2011, Stewart broke the 15-16 National Age Group Record in the 100-yard butterfly, originally held by Katie Hoff, with a time of 52.43. Stewart currently holds the girl’s 13-14 100-yard butterfly National Age Group Record as well.
One of top recruits coming out of high school, Stewart committed to the University of Southern California under the head coach, Dave Salo. At USC, Stewart is earning her undergraduate degree in Biological Sciences with a minor in Spanish.
As a freshman Stewart was a three-time All-American. At the 2013 Women’s NCAA Championships, Stewart finished fourth in the 200-yard backstroke with a USC school record of 1:51.28. She was also a member of two sixth-place USC relays, the 200-yard freestyle relay and the 200-yard medley relay. At the 2013 Pac-12 Championships, Stewart set another school record with her first-place swim in the 100-yard butterfly. Stewart swam a 51.32. At Pac-12’s, Stewart also swam on the school-record setting 200-yard freestyle relay (1:28.50) that took second place, and the 200-yard medley relay that took second place (1:36.41).
Stewart started her sophomore year holding the team’s top times in the 100-yard butterfly, the 100-yard backstroke, and the 200-yard backstroke. At the 2014 Pac-12 Championships, Stewart finished second in the 100-yard butterfly (51.36), sixth in the 100-yard backstroke (53.09), and ninth in the 200-yard backstroke (1:54.93). Stewart was a major contributor for the team on relays as well, helping the 200-yard medley relay to a third place finish (1:36.54), the 200-yard freestyle relay to a second place finish (1:28.03), and the 400-yard medley relay to a fourth place finish (3:33.02).
In her junior year as a USC Trojan, and as the Trojan school record holder in the 100-yard fly and 200-yard backstroke, she picked up a third-place finish in the 100-yard fly at the NCAA Championships. In Dec. 2014 Stewart was featured as one of six athletes featured in ESPN The Magazine’s Big Money Issue.
National and International Swimming
Going into college, Stewart already has a lot of experience at the national and international level. Stewart is a two-time Olympic Trials qualifier. In 2008, Stewart qualified in the 100-meter backstroke and the 100-meter butterfly. Four years later at the 2012 Olympic Trials, Stewart qualified in the 100-meter backstroke (37th), the 200-meter backstroke (29th), and the 100-meter butterfly (25th).
2011 FINA World Junior Championships
In 2011, Stewart competed at the FINA World Junior Championships where she finished second in the 50-meter butterfly. Stewart had two other top-eight finishes with a fifth-place 100-meter butterfly and a sixth-place 200-meter backstroke.
2013 Duel in the Pool
In 2013, Stewart was named to her fifth national team as a 200 backstroker for the 2013-2014 US National Team. As a national team member, Stewart won a bronze medal for the US at the 2013 Duel in the Pool in Glasglow, Scotland in the 100-meter butterfly (57.63).
2014 US Nationals/Pan Pacs
After her first place 50-meter butterfly (25.99) and her first place 100-meter butterfly (57.98) at the 2014 Phillips 66 National Championships, Stewart was selected for her sixth US National Team roster. Several weeks later, Stewart competed at the 2014 Pan Pacific Championships in Gold Coast, Australia. She walked away from Pan-Pacs with a bronze medal in the 100-meter butterfly (57.82) as well as a silver medal for her part in the 400 medley relay.
2015 World Championships
Stewart represented the U.S. at the 2015 World Championships in Kazan. She qualified in the 50 and 100-meter fly, and swam the butterfly leg on the 400 medley relay. In the 50-meter fly Stewart finished 9th, failing to advance to the championship final by just .03 seconds — she was the top finisher for the U.S. Stewart also swam the 100-meter fly, this time picking up a 10th-place finish, and once again just narrowly missed out on the championship final by about .1 seconds. Aside from her individual performances, Stewart swam the butterfly leg on the 4×100-meter medley relay, which finished 4th overall.
2016 Olympic Trials
At the 2016 Olympic Trials, Stewart just missed the US Olympic team, finishing 3rd in her signature 100 fly (58.22), 1.01 seconds back from 2nd place finisher Dana Vollmer. Stewart also tied for 19th in the 50 free (25.59) and placed 18th in the 100 free (55.38).
-Originally developed by Elle Meinholz