Northwestern Snags Verbal from 2023 “Best of the Rest” Maggie Papanicholas

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Olympic Trials qualifier Maggie Papanicholas has announced her decision to swim for Northwestern University beginning in the fall of 2023. She swims year-round for the Glenbrook Swim Club. Papanicholas is a junior at John Hersey High School where she will graduate in the spring of 2023.

She was named one of SwimSwam’s “Best of the Rest” breaststrokers for the high school class of 2023. Tori Brostowitz and Zoey Zeller were also mentioned among the 2023 breaststrokers.

I’m so grateful and excited to announce my verbal commitment to continue my academic and athletic career at Northwestern University!!  Thank you to everyone who has help me through this process and a HUGE thank you to my family, friends and coaches for their endless support.  GO CATS!! 

Papanicholas is a 2021 Illinois High School State runner-up. In mid-November, the John Hersey High School junior finished second in the 100 breast. She went a personal best time of 1:01.16 in prelims, earning her a spot in the A-final. She touched second in finals behind New Trier’s Kaelyn Gridley.

Papanicholas also went a best time in the 200 IM. Her time of 2:06.00 was a best time and it earned her an 18th place finish. She was also a member of John Hersey’s 200 medley and 200 free relays. She currently holds the school record in the 100 breast.

She opted out of high school swimming her sophomore year. Instead, Papanicholas trained with the Pleasant Prairie Patriots in Pleasant Prairie, WI. While training with the team, she picked up two Olympic Trials Wave I qualifying times in the 100 and 200 breast at the TYR 18&U Spring Cup – Des Moines.

She holds the 15-16 Wisconsin Swimming LCM record in the 200 breast.

Top SCY Times:

  • 100 breast – 1:01.16
  • 200 breast – 2:12.84
  • 200 IM – 2:06.00

Papanicholas will join the Wildcats beginning in the 2023-2024 season, where she will be training alongside a strong breaststroke group. Northwestern record-holder Hannah Brunzel, Sophie Angus, and Tara Vovk are leading breaststrokers for the team so far this season. Brunzel and Angus were both runners-up at the 2021 Big 10 Championships. Angus went on to finish 8th in the 100 breast at NCAAs. All three women will have graduated by the time Papanicholas arrives on campus.

Northwestern has already secured verbal commitments from May Peterson, Maggie BelbotAudrey J-Cheng, Sydney Smith, Amy Pan, and Lexi Greenhawt for its class of 2027. This is a big Northwestern class in what is really Katie Robinson’s first full recruiting cycle as the program’s head coach.

It’s also a diverse class, and the kind of class that Northwestern needs to push into the upper echelon of Big Ten swimming. Pan is a 23.0/49.9 freestyler, Greenhawt is a 54 second butterflier and backstroker, Peterson is a 53.7/1:57.6 backstroker, Belbot is a 53.3 butterflier, Smith is a 49.7/1:47.3/4:51.1 freestyler, and J-Cheng is a 2:01/4:17 IMer. In this class alone, they have 7 swimmers that cover almost the entire gambit of NCAA events at a Big Ten scoring level.

If you have a commitment to report, please send an email with a photo (landscape, or horizontal, looks best) and a quote to [email protected].

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