Freestyler Ella Penny Verbals to Lenoir-Rhyne University

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Ella Penny, a senior at Eastside High School, has verbally committed to Lenoir-Rhyne University.

I am excited to announce my verbal commitment to continue my academic and swimming career at Lenoir-Rhyne University! I want to thank my parents, coaches, and all of my teammates for their encouragement and support. I am so excited to be a BEAR! #gobears”

Penny competed at the 2021 SCHSL 4A Girls Championship in October, where she placed third in the 100 and 200 freestyle. She also competed as part of the gold-winning 200 and 400 free relay at that meet.

She also swims for Y-Spartaquatics Swim Club. At the March 2021 YMCA Swimming Festival in Greensboro, Penny swam some of her best times, finishing sixth in the 100 free and eighth in the 200 free. At the 2021 NC YMCA Long Course Swimming Festival, Penny swam as part of a top-10 performing 200-meter free relay, 400-meter free relay, and 400-meter medley relay.

Her best short-course yard times are:

  • 50 freestyle: 25.01
  • 100 freestyle: 52.50
  • 200 freestyle: 1:54.78
  • 100 backstroke: 1:00.38

Lenoir-Rhyne University is a Division II school and member of the Bluegrass Mountain Conference. At the 2021 BMC women’s championships, Lenoir-Rhyne finished fourth out of six teams. At that meet, Penny would’ve made the B final in the 100 and 200 free, and the C final in the 50 free and 100 back. 

If she can at least match her best times while in college, Penny will be well on her way toward breaking a program record. Her best times in the 100 and 200 free are less than a second away from the program’s records.

Her best times would currently rank her as the third-fastest 100 freestyler, fourth-fastest 50 and 200 freestyler, and the fifth-fastest 100 backstroker of all time at Lenoir-Rhyne. Given that most of the swimmers ahead of her have graduated, with the exception of current-junior Lisa Boernigen and current-senior Elizabeth Bowman, both of whom are freestylers.

Penny joins five other recruits who will swim freestyle, including four who have listed other specialty strokes as well. She joins freestyler/backstroke/butterflier Katherine Hudson, freestyler/butterflier/breaststroker Camille Brown, distance freestyler and butterflier Katelyn Toelle, freestyler and breaststroker Devin Poteat, and freestyler Trinity Price. Penny can set herself apart by getting as close to her best times, or surpassing them, and establishing herself as a top sprinter.

Penny is also part of a larger 2022 recruiting class that includes butterflier and backstroker Anna Gagnon, and butterflier and breaststroker Lizzie Ryan.

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