Maddie Smith of the Patriot Aquatic Club has verbally committed to the UNC Tar Heels‘ class of 2021. Smith is a sprinter hailing from Chicago’s northern suburbs, and is a current senior at Lake Forest High School (Matt Grevers’ alma mater).
I chose UNC because of the amazing balance between academics and athletics! I fell in love with the coaches, the team, and the school and I know it is the best place for me to grow as a student, an athlete, and a person. Can’t wait to be a part of the Tar Heel family! GO HEELS!
Smith is a rapidly-improving sprint freestyler, having dropping significant time in the 50, 100, and 200y freestyle races throughout her high school career. All of her best times have come in the last year.
Smith finished 6th in the 50 free and 100 free at the 2015 IHSA State Champs last season. As a member of LFHS’s 400y free relay last year, she split a 50.64 to help them earn the state title in that event and break the IHSA record. The previous record belonged to Glenbrook South– 2016 Olympian Olivia Smoliga was a part of that relay. Smith was also part of the 200 free relay that finished in runner-up position last season.
According to Illinois Aquatics’ IHSA top times list this season, Smith’s 23.52 in the 50 and 51.76 in the 100 rank her #1 and #2 in state, respectively.
Smith’s right on the brink of ACC scoring in the 50 and 100 free, while she isn’t terribly far off of C final cut off in the 200 free. Considering how fast she’s already been in season, and the rate of improvement she’s seen in high school, Smith could come into the Tar Heel program even faster than she is now. With all of the sprint graduations UNC has seen in the last year, she’ll be a welcome addition in Chapel Hill.