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 has since moved to Charlotte, NC where she currently trains, teaches Barre classes, and works for Lulu Lemon.
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.
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.
After 2 years at Rutgers, Kennedy decided to transfer to the sunny haven of 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.
2008 Olympic Trials
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
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
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 Championships (25m)
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
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.