Illinois High School State Finalist Kendall Pickering Dies in Car Crash

15-year old Illinois swimmer Kendall Pickering and her father Robert D. Pickering, 59, were killed Tuesday when their car left a highway in North Carolina and struck a tree.

Kendall Pickering was a sophomore at Hinsdale Central High School, where in October she broke Pool Records in the 100 breaststroke and 200 IM at a high school Sectional meet, one of many regional events that replaced the Illinois High School State Championships.

In 2019, as a freshman, she finished 4th at the Illinois High School State Championship meet in the 100 back.

Police responded to reports of a collision at 6:49 PM on Tuesday evening. The car was travelling southbound on Interstate 85 about 25 miles northeast of Charlotte. The vehicle left the roadway to the right, struck a drainage ditch, and continued down an embankment before hitting a tree. Both Kendall and Robert Pickering died on the scene.

The two were reportedly on a trip to visit colleges.

Kendall Pickering trained with USA Swimming club team FMC Aquatics.

Both Hinsdale Central High School and the school’s athletics department posted about the death on Twitter. Even as just a sophomore, her name appeared in the school’s record books 16 times already.

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7 months ago

So terrible that this happened to someone that I’ve only recently met this past season. 🕊🕊🕊

Last edited 7 months ago by PFA
Reply to  PFA
7 months ago

Who is down voting a comment like this? WTF.
Condolences to the family- heartbreaking news.

Reply to  WCNJCTNY
7 months ago

I didn’t but it is probably because they found a way to make a horrible tragedy about themselves that people find tasteless

7 months ago

Awful news. Condolences to their family.

7 months ago

So absolutely brutal and sad. I hope the rest of the family can eventually find peace. I can’t imagine that pain. Heartbreaking.

7 months ago

Damn… that is just crushing news. Love and prayers go out to her family, friends and all that knew her.

7 months ago

A tragedy for our swimming community. Thoughts go our to her mom and sister, family, friends and teammates

7 months ago

prayers for her family, friends, and teammates through this extremely tough time! it is so sad to see such a beautiful person and talented athlete have to leave us in such a horrific way!

GA Boy
7 months ago

My heart goes out to her family amd friends! RIP

7 months ago

She was such a versatile talent, had such a future ahead of her. Awful to hear. RIP

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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