Jr. Pan Pacs Gold Medalist Maggie Wanezek, #5 Junior Recruit, Commits to Wisconsin

Wisconsin native Maggie Wanezek, the No. 5 high school recruit in the class of 2024, announced her commitment Thursday to continue her swimming career in-state at the University of Wisconsin. 

“I’m so excited to announce my verbal commitment to continue my academic & athletic career at the University of Wisconsin!!” Wanezek wrote on Instagram. “I’m very grateful to my family, friends, and coaches for their endless support and am incredibly blessed to have this opportunity. Go Badgers!!”

Wanezek competes for Brookfield East High School in Brookfield, Wisconsin, about an hour away from Madison. She also trains with Elmbrook Swim Club, which earned gold medal honors from USA Swimming last year. 

Wanezek is slated to team up with her sister, Abby, who is beginning her freshman season with the Badgers. Their dad, Tom, competed at the University of Indiana while their mom, Emily, swam at the Division III level for DePauw University in Indiana.

Wanezek is a backstroke specialist who owns the top 200-yard back time (1:52.36) in her class from the 2022 NCSA Spring Championships in March. With two years still left to improve before her collegiate debut, her best 200 back time would have already placed second at the 2022 Big Ten Championships behind Wisconsin’s Phoebe Bacon, who could cross paths with Wanezek if she decides to use her fifth year of eligibility in Madison. 

Wanezek’s best 100 back time (51.13) is just one-tenth of a second slower than the top mark among high school juniors, which belongs to Levenia Sim (51.03). That time would have beat the field by nearly half a second at Big Tens. It also stacks up against top talents from years past such as Regan Smith (50.8), Claire Curzan (51.2), and Gretchen Walsh (51.5). 

Additionally, Wanezek boasts impressive times in the 50 free (22.68) and 100 fly (53.97), leaving her options for a third individual event at NCAA meets. Both marks would have qualified her for the C-final at Big Tens.

Best SCY Times:

  • 100 back: 51.13
  • 200 back: 1:52.36 (best in class)
  • 100 fly: 53.97
  • 50 free: 22.68
  • 100 free: 49.76
  • 200 free: 1:48.74
  • 200 IM: 1:59.80

A member of the U.S. National Junior Team, Wanezek competed at Junior Pan Pacs in August, setting LCM personal bests in the 100-meter back (59.96) and 200-meter back (2:11.26). She broke 1:00 for the first time in the 100 back en route to a gold medal after also winning that event just a few weeks earlier at Junior Nationals in 1:00.46. 

Wanezek is slated to arrive on campus in the fall of 2024 along with best-of-the-rest breastroker Bridget McGann and fellow breaststroke specialist Catherine Hughes. With returning NCAA champion Paige McKenna likely around for at least another three years and a 2023 recruiting class featuring distance freestyler Maddie Waggoner (No. 19 recruit) joining the group next fall, the Badgers are poised to make a leap into the next tier of top collegiate programs in the coming years. 

At the 2022 Big Ten Championships, Wisconsin finished in 4th place, just 15 points behind Indiana, before placing 17th at the NCAA Championships. The Badgers visit Arizona for their first dual meet of the 2022-23 season on Friday at 3 p.m.

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1 year ago

Huuuuge! Congrats and excited to see you staying in the B1G!

Go Bucky
1 year ago

This is a great get for my Alma mater! Congrats!

1 year ago

Congratulations Maggie! Big win for WI

About Riley Overend

Riley is an associate editor interested in the stories taking place outside of the pool just as much as the drama between the lane lines. A 2019 graduate of Boston College, he arrived at SwimSwam in April of 2022 after three years as a sports reporter and sports editor at newspapers …

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