Mackenzie Padington to Forgo Final 2 Years of NCAA Eligibility, Turn Pro

Two-time Canadian World Championship team member and former University of Minnesota team member Mackenzie Padington will not be returning to the NCAA after taking an Olympic redshirt during the 2019-20 NCAA season, she told SwimSwam Monday.

In a since-deleted Instagram post, Padington had announced in January that she would transfer to NC State for her final two years of eligibility.  She will instead turn professional and attend the University of British Columbia while training with HPC Vancouver for the final three years of eligibility she has left, she said (U Sports, the Canadian collegiate sports governing body, allows student-athletes to compete for five years total).

“I want to stay close to home while training for the Olympics,” she added. Padington also posted on Instagram the move is the “best step forward for [her] mentally.”

Padington spent two years with the Gophers’ program. As a sophomore, she finished third at NCAAs in both the 500 and 1650 free and was Minnesota’s second-leading scorer with 32 individual points.

A 2018 Pan Pac bronze medalist in the women’s 4×200 free relay, Padington will have a great shot at making her first Olympic team come 2021. At Canada’s 2019 World Championship Trials, she placed first in the women’s 400, 800 and 1500 free. At Worlds, she place 24th in the women’s 400 freestyle and 18th in the 800 free.

In This Story

Leave a Reply

Notify of

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Laird Smith
2 years ago

Congratulations on your move!
What is happening with Taylor Ruck this year?

Reply to  Laird Smith
2 years ago

We reached out to Taylor and she said she’s not quite ready to announce a decision yet.

I’d imagine lots of swimmers want to figure out what the fall will look like before making a decision.

Chewy Ferocious
2 years ago

Wheels coming off in Minnesota.

Former Big10
Reply to  Chewy Ferocious
2 years ago

They have been for years, especially on the men’s side.

2 years ago

Poor decision in my opinion, likely will miss out next year at the Olympic Trials with younger up and coming girls rising

Reply to  Jim
2 years ago

Her statement implies that there was more to this decision than just swimming.

Even if she misses the Olympics, she’ll still be studying and competing, and she’ll be closer to home.

I think we (Americans) tend to view American university’s as the only solid option for higher education, when there are great universities all over the world. The big difference between our universities and other countries is the money flowing into athletics, for now. To be honest, the way other countries run athletics in college may become the future here in the US, and maybe sooner than later. The US seems to be the only country they used education to pour millions into related sports teams.

Covid… Read more »

Reply to  Jim
2 years ago

like who?

Reply to  Jim
2 years ago

She has more experience then all the younger swimmers and won’t crack like the others

Corn Pop
2 years ago

Winnings are more difficult for mid distance distance as interest wanes after say top 5. The cut off for interestin women’s mid distance are 1.57 , 4.03 8 .20 15.55 .but really 1.55.5 4.01 8.17 15.45.

Good luck imoney wise f you are not them.

Reply to  Corn Pop
2 years ago

Good luck money wise even if you are one of them…

Reply to  Corn Pop
2 years ago

Still more money than she’d earn competing with an NCAA team. Not sure how it’d change her equation that she’s not a top earner right now. She’ll be training, going to school still, and have the option to take endorsements and cash prizes now. Good for her!

2 years ago

Smart decision with a lot of unknown factors when it comes to NCAA

Daniel Jablonski
2 years ago

Congrats, and best of luck.

About Torrey Hart

Torrey Hart

Torrey is from Oakland, CA, and majored in media studies and American studies at Claremont McKenna College, where she swam distance freestyle for the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps team. Outside of SwimSwam, she has bylines at Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, SB Nation, and The Student Life newspaper.

Read More »