The Kenyon College Ladies swim team recently gained a new commit from Paige Haden, a backstroke specialist from Evanston, Illinois. Haden swims for her high school, Evanston Township, and finished 19th in the 100 backstroke at last year’s Illinois High School State Swimming Championships and helped her team take third in the 200 Medley Relay. Outside the high school season, Haden competes with her club team, McGaw YMCA.
Haden explained the attraction of the Division III powerhouse, saying, “I chose Kenyon because I felt at home not only with the people on the team, but with the students on campus. Something that I really value about Division III is that everyone on the team wants to be there. They wake up early for practice because they want to get better, and that is the sort of team mindset I want to be a part of.
“My connections to Kenyon are growing every day. One of my current teachers attended Kenyon and has been telling me stories for years. Also, the coach who recruited me to swim at Kenyon actually attended my high school (ETHS) and competed for the swim team under the same coach who is coaching me in girls’ high school season right now. I have family in the Columbus area so that was a big draw for me as well.”
Outside the pool, Haden is also very active as a runner. She has two 5k races in the coming month with a eye to competing in the 2016 Chicago Marathon. Adds Haden, “I plan to eventually continue my love of swimming (and running) by becoming a triathlete.”
As she heads into the final year of high school, Haden’s best times in her primary events are:
- 2:06.29 200 Backstroke
- 57.73 100 Backstroke
- 27.40 50 Backstroke
The Ladies finished 4th at the Division III NCAA Championships last season, marking the 34th consecutive year of being top 4 at the meet. The Ladies still hold a record number of consecutive first place finishes (17) at the NCAA meet on the women’s side and will be looking to reclaim the title in the coming year.