Mackenzie Padington, who attends Claremont Secondary School in Victoria, British Columbia, has given her verbal accord to join the University of Minnesota’s women’s swimming and diving team in the fall of 2017.
“Over the past 6 months I have enjoyed my conversations with [head coach] Kelly [Kremer] and liked how he found out more about me as both a swimmer and student and how he was very excited to help me reach my swimming goals. The staff at Minnesota pays so much attention to every athlete and has the best intentions for everyone. They did not just want me for one stroke; they still want me to stay a versatile swimmer. This was very appealing to me. I also liked how Kelly and the Minnesota staff worked with other Canadians (Kierra Smith, Jillian Tyler) and helped them swim at an international level.
“Throughout my college search what really made me love Minnesota is how I could see a future there not just as an athlete but as a student. I am really excited about their education program.
“My oldest sister Taylor Padington (who just finished her senior year at Boise State) and current Golden Gopher Kierra Smith helped me find the best fit for my future. I am very excited to become a Golden Gopher, and excited to move forward with my swimming career as a Gopher!”
Padington is a member of Island Swimming, where she is an accomplished freestyler, breaststroker, and IMer. She would have made U.S. Olympic Trials in the 200 free, 100 breast, and both IMs. She participated in Canada’s Olympic Trials last April, where she was entered in the 50/100/200/400 free, 100 breast, and 200/400 IM, and made finals in the 200 free, 400 free, and 200 IM. Her top LCM times (with their SCY conversions) are as follows:
*conversions use the formulae set forth by the NCAA.
Padington will bring versatility to the Golden Gophers’ lineup, with times (when converted) that would already have scored at 2016 B1G Championships in the top 16 (400 IM) and top 24 (50/100/200/500 free, 100 breast, 200 IM), allowing her the possibility to step in to fill any number of roster holes. And while they will have lost Smith to graduation by the time Padington arrives, Minnesota is still loaded with young breaststroke and IM talent, so Padington’s mid-distance free is a nice pick-up.
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