Maxine Parker is an American sprint freestyler. She is a World Juniors champion for the U.S. and an NCAA champion for the University of Virginia.
Junior/High School Swimming
At the 2017 Winter Juniors, Parker, 15, first made a name for herself. She was 4th in the 50 free (22.46), 14th in the 100 free (49.97), and 22nd in the 200 free with a 1:49.60 in prelims. All were personal best times. She kept things rolling at the Pleasant Prarie Sectionals in March 2018. While just off her best time of 25.83 from January which ranked 42nd in the 15-16 NAG rankings, Parker put up a 25.95 for the win. There, she also put up a 56.48 100 free best time. Parker had previously wrapped up her SC season at Illinois Senior Championships where she put up a solid 22.63/49.24/1:48.07 50/100/200 free combo.
Now 16, Parker competed at the 2018 Summer National Championships which also served as U.S. International Team Trials. She had an excellent 50 free showing. In prelims, she went a PB of 25.61 to qualify 20th, in finals, she dropped that to 25.29 for 17th, a time which would have gotten 12th if she had qualified for the B final. In the 100 free, Parker was 51st in 56.22. It turns out that Parker tied for 51st and that the other swimmer was also an 18-and-under-swimmer. Removing senior swimmers, the two had tied for the last finals spot. What was even more remarkable was that the two both went best times of 55.82 in the 1st swim-off. Parker lost the 2nd swim-off. She still ended up qualifying for the 2018 Junior Pan Pacific Championships.
The first night of the 2018 Winter Juniors featured Parker swinging a 22.08 anchor on Chelsea Piers’ 2nd place 200 medley relay. In the 50 free, Parker went a PB 22.44 in prelims and was 8th in finals with a 22.50. She led the 200 free prelims with a 1:46.38. She dropped that to a 1:46.21 for 3rd in the finals. Parker was part of the CPAC 200 free relay that took down the meet, 17-18 NAG, and 15-18 NAG records. For her part, Parker split 21.86. Parker was 48.99 in the 100 free prelims for 3rd. In finals, she was 49.23 for 6th.
In March 2019 at the Ithaca Sectionals, Parker put up a personal best in the 50 free with a 22.20. She also had a solid 1:47.61 200 free.
At the Charlotte Ultraswim, Parker put up a 25.28 50 free, a new best time. In the 100 free, she was just off her best time with a 55.84. Parker was selected for the 2019 World Junior Championships.
Just before World Juniors, Parker put up best times in both the 50 and 100 free at the 2019 Summer Nationals. She was 25.21 for 7th in the 50 free and 55.23 for 25th in the 100 free
In early 2019, Parker announced her verbal commitment to the University of Georgia.
Parker won the 100 free (50.29) and was 3rd in the 50 (23.18) in her very first college meet against South Carolina. Against Florida, she topped the sprint events with a 22.80 50 and a 49.86 100 free. She had opened that meet with a 22.32 anchor on the victorious 200 medley relay.
At the Georgia Invite, she led off the ‘A’ relay with a 22.37. She was 2nd in the 50 free with a season-best 22.24, just behind her teammate Gabi Fa’Amausili. In the 200 free, she had a solid 1:47.59 while in the 100 free, she went a PB with a solid 48.74. Parker also had a good 48.11 100 free split and a 21.96 50 free split on the UGA medley relays.
Against South Carolina again, Parker put up a solid 22.00 anchor on the 200 medley relay. Parker also snagged victories in the 50 free (22.58) and 200 free (1:48.64). At Tennessee, she was 22.61 in the 50 free and 49.13 in the 100 free.
Her first SEC Championships was a big one for Parker. In the 50 free prelims, she went a best time of 22.07. In finals, she dropped that further to 21.93, her first-ever sub-22 second 50 free, good for 4th. She wrapped that session with a 21.65 50 free split on the UGA 200 free relay. The next day, she put up another PB in the 200 free prelims with a 1:45.99; she slashed a further 1.22 seconds off in finals with an excellent 1:44.71 for 7th. She wrapped up that night with a 47.55 anchor on the winning 400 medley relay. In the last prelims of the meet, Parker kept her pattern with a 48.13 PB in prelims. In finals, she dropped that further to a 47.75 for runner-up. She led off the 400 free relay in 48.42.
At NCAAs, Parker was shifted out of the 200 free individually so she could be utilized on all 5 relays. At the meet, she was 12th in both the 50 free (21.96) and 100 free (48.30). She just missed the ‘A’ final in the 100 free prelims with a 48.09, just .03 off of 8th. She also had solid relay splits. She led off the 11th place 200 free relay with a 22.01 and the 7th place 400 free relay with a 48.37. From the swing, she anchored the 14th place 200 medley with a 21.61, the 11th place 400 medley with a 47.81, and was 1:45.11 on the 800 free relay that earned 5th.
Against Auburn, Parker was 22.99 and 49.95 in the 50/100 free.
At the GT Invite, Parker was in decent form. She was 22.70 in the 50 free, 49.73 in the 100 free, and 1:45.64 in the 200 free. She also had 21.92 and 48.40 anchors on the medley relays.
Against Tennessee, Parker went a season-best 22.42 for the win in the 50 free. She put up another season best of 49.24 in the 100 free for another win. She was runner-up in the 200 free with a 1: 47.94.
After what seemed like a down regular season, Parker returned to form at SEC Championships. There, she was 21.95 in the 50 free, just off her lifetime best. In the 100 free, she was 48.66, a season-best. She had her 3rd season best with a 1:45.27 in the 200 free. She also had an impressive 47.68 anchor on the 400 medley relay.
At NCAAs, Parker missed finals in both the 50 and 100 free after she put up a 22.09 and 49.35 in the two events. She was a lot better on relays. She led off the 400 free relay in 48.31 as they got 16th and led off the 5th place 800 free relay in a personal best 1:44.24. She also split 21.73 on the 16th place 200 free relay and 47.76 on the 16th place 400 medley relay.
In late March 2022, Parker entered the NCAA transfer portal and in May, she announced she was transferring to the defending women’s NCAA champions: UVA, with two years, plus a bonus COVID 5th year, of eligibility remaining.
Parker opened her season with her best dual meet times ever. Against Florida, she was 22.21 in the 50 free and 48.49 in the 100 free, both good for 2nd. She also split 48.22 on the exhibition 400 free relay that would have won. And this was all in a training suit.
In another highly anticipated meet, UVA and Texas squared off. The women were unsuited and Parker impressed again. She anchored the 200 medley relay with a 21.76 alongside an all-star lineup of Gretchen Walsh (23.13), Alex Walsh (26.84), Kate Douglass (22.60) who combined for a 1:34.33. In the 50 free, she was 2nd to G. Walsh with a 22.06. She was 2nd in the 100 free with a 48.95. She also led off the ‘B’ 200 free relay with a 22.38 as they tied 1st with the UVA ‘A’.
At the Tennessee invite, Parker put up some solid times. She was 21.86 in the 50 free, 48.33 in the 100 free, and 1:45.49 in the 200 free. She anchored the 200 medley relay in 21.51 and split 21.59 on the 200 free relay. She also split 47.78 on the 400 medley relay.
Against in-state rival Virginia Tech, Parker posted a strong split of 48.21 to anchor a 400 medley relay.
Parker was just off her season bests at ACC Championships. There, she was 21.90/48.29/1:45.83 in the 50/10/200 free.
Parker nailed her taper at NCAAs. In the 50 free, she was 15th with 21.92 in prelims, she moved up to 14th in a slower finals swim of 22.01. She wrapped night 2 with a 21.58 anchor on UVA’s title-winning 200 free relay. Parker was a revelation on day 3. She was 6th in prelims with a 1:43.28 200 free. While she added a hair to a 1:43.48 in finals, she finished 5th overall. In the 100 free, she was excellent in prelims with a 47.42 personal best for 9th. In the finals, she was 47.72 for 10th. She wrapped her meet with a 47.04 split as Douglass (46.37), A. Walsh (46.58), Parker, and G. Walsh (45.85) punctuated their NCAA title with an NCAA record and an overall team victory.
2018 Junior Pan Pacific Championships (Suva, Fiji)
Parker swam the 50 and 100 free individually. In the 50, she was 2nd out of prelims by .01 with a 25.73. In finals, she came close to her best with a 25.39 but it was enough to win. In the 100 free, she was 55.66.
2019 World Junior Swimming Championships (Budapest, Hungary)
Parker was named a captain of the U.S. team before the start of World Juniors. On the American mixed 400 free relay, Parker anchored the team to gold with a 55.24. She teamed up with Jake Magahey (50.08), Carson Foster (50.21), and Grace Cooper (55.07) for the win. She sat back in the 50 free prelims with a 25.51 for 5th. Parker came alive in the semis with a huge 24.96 for the top seed, the #4 time in the 17-18 NAG rankings. It was her teammate Gretchen Walsh in the finals at the top of the podium but Parker took silver in another best time of 24.75, the #2 time in the 17-18 NAG rankings. She also had put up a 55.42 leading off the prelims 400 free relay. The finals squad took gold.
2021 Atlanta Classic (Atlanta, Georgia)
In preparation for Olympic Trials, Parker put up a solid 25.57 50 free and personal bests of 55.14 and 2:01.62 in the 100 and 200 free.
2020(1) Olympic Team Trials (Omaha, Nebraska)
Parker was off her season bests at trials with a 25.75 50 free for 29th, a 55.50 100 free for 20th, and a 2:05.71 200 free for 52nd. Her 100 best would have made semis in 16th while her 50 best time would have been 9th in semis.
2022 Summer National Championships (Irvine, California)
Parker put up some impressive times just a couple of months into her UVA foray. She threw down a 25.05 in the 50 free, the closest she has been to her 24.75 from World Juniors and good enough for 5th. In the 100 free she dipped under 55 seconds for the 1st time ever with a 54.97 for 12th.
2023 Atlanta Classic (Atlanta, Georgia)
Riding high off her best college season yet, Parker’s short course gains converted in her first long course meet of 2023. Parker won the consolation final in the 200 free with a 2:01.28, surpassing her 2:01.62 from back in May 2021. In the 50 free, dipped under 25 seconds for the first time since 2019 with a 24.94 for 2nd. In her final race of the meet, Parker threw down a 54.21 100 free. Over the day she dropped from her PB of 54.97 to 54.96 in prelims to 54.21 in finals.
2023 International Team Trials (Indianapolis, Indiana)
Parker carried her momentum through trials. On the first day, she put up a PB of 54.15 in prelims to sneak into the ‘A’ final 7th. She just needed to move up a spot to contend for a Worlds berth and that is exactly what she did. Parker threw down a big 53.51 for 6th. Her World spot was assured later in the meet when the needed multi-event qualifier numbers were reached. She also had a 24.87 50 free for 9th and a 2:01.22 200 free for 35th.
2023 World Aquatics Championships (Fukuoka, Japan)
In her first senior international meet, Parker struggled a bit with her double taper and produced a mere 54.34 on the prelims 400 free relay. The finals team took silver.
–This biography was originally developed by Lucas Caswell