Breaststroker Karen Li Commits to MIT (2022)

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Karen Li, a high school senior from Missouri City, Texas, has committed to join the MIT Engineers this fall. Li attends The Kinkaid School in Houston and does her club swimming at Swim Houston Aquatics Center where she is primarily a breaststroker. 

Li told SwimSwam, “I’m so excited to announce my commitment to continue my academic and athletic career at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology! Thank you to my family, friends, and coaches who have supported me. #rolltech” 

At the 2022 Speedo Sectionals- College Station, Li posted a new lifetime best of 1:04.92 in the 100 breast to qualify for the D final. Li’s best event is arguably the 200 breast, where she holds a lifetime best of 2:18.90, which was set in February 2020 just before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Li’s lifetime bests include:

  • 100 breast: 1:04.92
  • 200 breast: 2:18.90
  • 200 fly: 2:06.15
  • 400 IM: 4:36.15

Li projects to make an immediate impact for the Engineers when she arrives on campus in the fall. Her 100 breast would have been the third-fastest at MIT this season, while her 200 breast would have been the second fastest on the team. 

The MIT breaststroke group is led by junior Edenna Chen, one of the top Division III breaststrokers. At the 2022 Division III Championships, Chen posted a 59.79 in the 100 breast finals to narrowly miss the DIII record and take home the NCAA title. 

Li joins Lauren Levy, Natalie Tang and Sonia Seliger in MIT’s class of 2026. 

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