If recent Penn State commit Shane Ryan was the tough-luck victim of David Nolan’s incredible at the Pennsylvania State Championships last year, then Caroline Finkbeiner played his opposite. Last year, she was the runner-up in both the 200 and 500 freestyles to USA Swimming National Champion Gillian Ryan at the PIAA State meet.
Now, with (Gillian) Ryan off to train out-of-state in Baltimore, it’s Finkbeiner’s turn to step into the spotlight during her senior season before heading off to the University of Tennessee in the fall, where she has verbally committed to swim for Matt Kredich and the Lady Volunteers.
Finkbeiner already has bests of 1:49.9 in the 200 free and 4:53.8 in the 500 free (both from last year’s state meet), and given her very recent development, those times could continue to drop. Take, for example, that her best prior to high school in the 200 free was a 2:12, which is a very good time for your ordinary, junior high swimmer, but not a time that one might typically imagine would develop into a 1:49! She had never competed the 500 before high school.
She’ll have a good chance 0f hopping onto a rapidly-improving Tennessee 800 free relay that has the makings of a top-5 relay by the time Finkbeiner swims her first NCAA Championship meet. She also goes a 51.8 in the 100 free.
She joins an already-impressive class that includes a verbal commitment from Jr. Nationals silver medalist Amanda Carner, as well as the classes top sprinter Faith Johnson. Some recent success by the Volunteer women have really built good recruiting momentum this fall.