Two-time NCAA champion and World Championship medalist Kensey McMahon is taking a break from competitive swimming to pursue other opportunities.
McMahon, 23, told SwimSwam that she’s putting the sport “on pause” for the time being but hasn’t ruled out a return in the future.
“My post-grad plan was to continue in the sport but sometimes plans don’t work out as you envision,” she said. “Swimming is on pause and I’m pursuing other opportunities.”
McMahon declined to elaborate on why her plans changed.
McMahon wrapped up her college eligibility at Alabama this past season with the best year of her career, winning NCAA titles in the women’s 500 free (4:36.62) and 1650 free (15:43.84) while also claiming the SEC title in the mile for the second time.
She’s also had a breakthrough in meters over the last 12 months, first winning bronze at the 2022 Short Course World Championships in the women’s 1500 freestyle while representing the United States.
McMahon then had a very impressive 2023 long course season, setting personal bests to place 3rd in the women’s 1500 free (16:07.78) and 6th in the 800 free (8:25.97) at U.S. Nationals while also placing 8th in the 400 free (4:10.27). She added a PB of 2:01.40 in the 200 free in a time trial.
Despite being fast enough in the 1500 free, McMahon was not a part of the 2023-24 U.S. National Team roster that was announced on Monday, indicating she opted out.
The Jacksonville, Florida native was named to the National Team in open water earlier this year, and has represented the U.S. internationally in open water events multiple times, including placing 10th at the 2022 World Championships in the women’s 25km.
Over the course of her collegiate career, McMahon was a nine-time All-American, including finishing inside the top eight of the 1650 free in all four of her NCAA appearances. At the conference level, she won the SEC title in the 1650 free in 2020 to go along with her 2023 title, and she never missed the podium over five championship appearances, also placing 3rd in 2019 and 2nd in both 2021 and 2022.