Madison Kennedy

View Current photo via Courtesy of Mike Lewis

Madison Kennedy

Madison Kennedy is an American swimmer who has been an active member of the US National team for nearly a decade.

Madison competed collegiately at Rutgers University for 2 years before transferring to Cal Berkeley and finishing her NCAA eligibility there, where she graduated with a degree in Psychology in 2010. She then moved to Charlotte, NC to train, teach Barre classes, and work for Lulu Lemon.

Personal Life

Madison was born to Jordana and James Kennedy in Avon, Connecticut. She has 2 sisters, Hannah and Jessica. Madison started swimming when she was 4 years old, and although she played a myriad of other sports through middle and high school (including lacrosse, soccer, and horse riding), something stuck as she went on to compete collegiately at the Division 1 level.

In 2014, Madison surfaced at SwimMAC Carolina, where she was training with David Marsh. She became infamous for her rope climbing abilities, as seen below.

College Swimming

Rutgers University


Madison attended Rutgers University for her Freshman and Sophomore years, where she made an immediate impact. Her freshman season, she set a school record in the 50 yard freestyle as well as garnered All America honorable mention in 5 events at the 2006 NCAA Championships: 50 and 100 freestyle, and 4×50, 4×100, and 4×200 yard freestyle relays.


Her sophomore year she would go on to set new school records in both the 50 and 100 yard freestyle. She still holds school records in the 50, 100, and 4×50 yard freestyle relay.

Cal Berkeley

After 2 years at Rutgers, Kennedy decided to transfer to Cal Berkeley, where she again made an immediate impact.


To cap off her junior season, and first at Cal, Madison became a 6-time All American (50 free, 4×50, 4×100, 4×200 free relay, 4×50, 4×100 medley relay) at the 2008 NCAA Championships. She also broke a school record in the 50 freestyle, going 21.87 in prelims of the same NCAA’s.


Her last year of college eligibility, Madison added 3 more All American titles (50 free, 4×50 free relay, 4×50 medley relay) to her resume, and helped the Bears claim their first national team title.

International Swimming

2008 Olympic Trials (Omaha, Nebraska)

Madison competed at the 2008 Olympic Trials, where she placed 9th in semis in the 50m free (25.39), 13th in semis in the 100m free (55.28), and also swam a best time of 2:01.53 in the 200m free.

2009 World University Games (Belgrade, Serbia)

Competing at the 2009 World University Games in Belgrade, Serbia, Madison Kennedy won 3 medals: gold in the 4x100m free and medley relays, and tied for bronze in the individual 100m free (54.96).

2012 Olympic Trials (Omaha, Nebraska)

This time around at the Olympic trials, Kennedy placed even higher in her events, cutting her schedule down to just the 50m and 100m free and advancing to the finals in both. In the 50m free she placed 5th in the finals, while in the 100m free she ended up 8th.

2014 World Short Course Championships (Doha, Qatar)

Madison came away from the 2014 SC Worlds with 2 silvers, both from relays (4x50m and 4x100m freestyle). She also competed in the 50m free individually, where she was just outside medaling, placing 4th (23.86) in the final heat.

2016 Olympic Trials (Omaha, Nebraska)

At the 2016 Olympic Trials, Kennedy earned her highest finish at a trials to date. She again swam the 50m and 100m freestyle.

In the 100, she placed 9th again in the semis, going a lifetime best 54.18 to just miss out on the final heat.

In the 50m, Kennedy came into the meet as the top seed. In semis, she went a lifetime best of 24.39 to garner the top seed going into finals. In finals, she went 24.48 to finish 3rd, just missing out on an Olympic birth.

2018 Winter National Championships (Greensboro, North Carolina)

Right before she left for Hangzhou, Kennedy competed at the 2018 Winter Nationals in Greensboro, North Carolina.

She only swam the 50, and only got in the pool for her prelims and finals swims, logging only 100 meters of swimming in total (forgoing a normal in-pool warm up and warm down routine). She touched in her finals swim at 24.87.

2018 Short Course World Championships (Hangzhou, China)

In Hangzhou, Kennedy was voted a team captain for team USA. She helped the US to golds in the 4×50 free and mixed free relays, as well as placed 8th individually in the 50 free.

ISL – DC Trident

On June 11, 2019, Madison Kennedy was announced as a member of the DC Trident ISL team, headed by GM Kaitlin Sandeno.

2019 Pan American Games (Lima, Peru)

In Lima, Kennedy won a bronze medal in the 50 free (25.14), her first individual LC international medal of her career. She also won a gold by swimming prelims on the mixed 4×100 free relay.

International Medals

Place Event Year Meet
Gold 200 Mixed Free Relay 2014 Short Course World Championships
Silver 200 Freestyle Relay 2014 Short Course World Championships
Silver 400 Freestyle Relay 2014 Short Course World Championships
Gold 400 Freestyle Relay 2016 Short Course World Championships
Bronze 50 Free 2016 Short Course World Championships
Gold 200 Freestyle Relay 2018 Short Course World Championships
Gold 200 Mixed Free Relay 2018 Short Course World Championships
Silver 400 Freestyle Relay 2015 Pan American Championships
Gold 400 Mixed Free Relay 2019 Pan American Championships
Bronze 50 Free 2019 Pan American Championships

Best Times

Course Event Time Date Meet
scy 50 Free 21.68 12/19/15 2015 Oklahoma Elite Pro-Am
scy 100 Free 47.87 12/20/15 2015 Oklahoma Elite Pro-Am
scy 200 Free 1:45.74 03/19/09 2009 Women's NCAA Championships
College Station, Texas
lcm 50 Free 24.39 07/02/16 2016 US Olympic Trials
Omaha, NE
lcm 100 Free 54.18 06/30/16 2016 US Olympic Trials
Omaha, NE
scm 50 Free 23.86 12/07/14 2014 Short Course World Championships
Doha, Qatar
Madison Kennedy takes the win in the 50 free at the Orlando Pro Swim Series (photo: Mike Lewis) Madison Kennedy - SwimMAC, Geneva International Challenge David Marsh and Madison Kennedy, SwimMAC (2015 Arena Pro Swim Series Charlotte. Photo Courtesy of Rafael Domeyko) Madison Kennedy, 2011, Tim Binning, The Swim Pictures