Princeton’s Coronavirus Response Leads Addison Smith to Transfer to UNC

Addison Smith has announced her decision to transfer from Princeton University to the University of North Carolina. She will have 3 seasons of eligibility remaining.

The Tennessee native, who attended the Baylor School in Chattanooga in high school, spent 1 season at Princeton, but says that the advent of the coronavirus pandemic has led her to change programs going forward.

“I had no intention of leaving Princeton at the end of my freshman year and I have the utmost respect for the PWSD legacy and my teammates,” Smith said of her decision. “However, with Princeton’s response to the pandemic, I felt like I needed to explore my options in order to best fit my needs and goals. UNC’s balance of athletic and academic excellence led me to this decision. Whatever comes out of this year, I’m ecstatic to be a Tar Heel!”

Smith’s announcement comes on the same day as Princeton announced that it had changed its plans and would make the entire fall semester remote. That decision follows one by the Ivy League last month, where the conference announced that it was cancelling all sports for the fall semester, including the first half of the swimming & diving season.

In her freshman season at Princeton, Smith was the Ivy League runner-up in the 400 IM, finishing in a 4:14.28. She was beaten by another freshman, Harvard’s Felicia Pasadyn, who won in 4:08.47.

That 400 IM is where Smith saw her biggest drop at Princeton, cutting more than 5 seconds off her best time coming into her college career

Smith also finished 4th in the 500 free (4:46.00) and 8th in the 200 fly (1:59.47). That gave her 75 individual points as part of Princeton’s title-winning effort. She also swam the anchor leg of the team’s 2nd-place 800 free relay – a relay that was made up of 4 freshmen.

Smith’s Lifetime Bests:

Prior to Princeton
Best Time at Princeton
200 free 1:47.23 1:46.97
500 free 4:46.11 4:46.00
1000 free 10:12.82 9:57.18
100 fly 53.95 54.08
200 fly 1:59.28 1:59.47
200 IM 2:02.12 2:02.04
400 IM 4:19.83 4:14.28

At UNC, she will bolster a middle distance group that was a weakness for the Tar Heels last season. The team scored just 21 points in both the 500 free and 400 IM at last year’s ACC Championships. What’s more, their top finisher in the 400 IM (Bryanna Cameron – 13th) and their top 2 finishers in the 500 free (Cameron, again, in 13th, and Roby Dryer in 18th) were seniors.

Her best times in both races, as well as the 200 free, would have placed her in the B final at the ACC Championships last season. The Tar Heels finished 4th at last year’s ACC Championships in their first season under new head coach Mark Gangloff.

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SWIMGUY12345
1 month ago

Wow – definitely an interesting decision. Not too often do you see people give up that Princeton education.

DevonK
Reply to  SWIMGUY12345
1 month ago

Are you implying that a a Princeton is superior to UNC? The ivys are simply clubs for the elite by the elite that give them license to feel superior to everyone else. The Many people have no interest in joining those clubs. Totally understandable.

SWIMGUY12345
Reply to  DevonK
1 month ago

Well…she had interest in joining initially so…I guess you’re saying she changed her mind.

I have no horse in this game, so I’m not about to fight for Princeton or UNC to say which is better. I just said you don’t see people often give up a Princeton education. Similar to the surprise I felt when Chuck Katis transferred from Harvard to Cal.

Devonk
Reply to  SWIMGUY12345
1 month ago

The point is that neither school is better than the other. One may be better than the other for a particular student for various reasons…. but the flat out inference of ‘elite’ status and superiority is simply nonsense…an exclusive club trying to remain exclusive.

SwamaJammaDingDong
Reply to  DevonK
1 month ago

No reason to imply anything, Princeton is far superior to UNC. Yes, it is about connections and reputation. Walking alway from Princeton is literally walking away from millions of dollars of potential future earnings. I can’t imagine the mental gymnastics required to make the decision to leave due to a six month problem.

Xman
Reply to  SwamaJammaDingDong
1 month ago

19 year old – “Oh I dont care about money”

swimmahswimmah
Reply to  SwamaJammaDingDong
1 month ago

And this is where you’re wrong. So stupid

Yup
Reply to  DevonK
1 month ago

Princeton didn’t have 30+ years of academic fraud and no-show courses, so…..

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  SWIMGUY12345
1 month ago

As short-sighted as it may be, it’s tough to swallow the Ivy price tag for online education. The real hurt is going to come when UNC ends up shutting down. On Wednesday, the county health department recommended UNC goes online for at least the first 5 weeks, but they’re going ahead with 65% dorm occupancy. House parties and crowded bars already. The UNC faculty felt “blindsided” by the opening plans (https://abc11.com/health/unc-clarifies-reopening-guidelines-amid-covid-19-pandemic/6355557/). Hope it works, but it won’t.

SWIMGUY12345
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
1 month ago

I think my question about her transfer is that she basically thinks Princeton’s response to the pandemic has been inadequate – if I’m reading between the lines correctly.

I don’t think UNC’s response or any other college’s response has been/is going to be significantly better.

Breaststroker
Reply to  SWIMGUY12345
1 month ago

I think it was the problem of half the season being cancelled by the Ivy League.

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  SWIMGUY12345
1 month ago

The Princeton decision was largely driven by new state restrictions, including quarantines from students arriving from a bunch more states, that would’ve precluded on-campus dining, residence, and large gatherings. In contrast, UNC just straight-up ignored the local health department, already had a 37 person outbreak in the athletic department, and just had a campus “die-in” protest. Just the thing you look for when you pick a transfer college

Caleb
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
1 month ago

Yeah I hope this works out for everyone but wonder how they will feel a month from now if ACC season is also cancelled/postponed.

SwamaJammaDingDong
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
1 month ago

Princeton (and most Ivy League schools) are usually less expensive that state schools. If your family makes less that $250k / year, Princeton cost less than $30k / year thanks to their massive endowment.

Swimmom
Reply to  SwamaJammaDingDong
1 month ago

I didn’t see numbers like you are throwing out for Ivy League.

Swammajammadingdong
Reply to  Swimmom
1 month ago
CA_LAWYER
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
1 month ago

Really? You hope it works? Mr. the Corona is going to end us all unless we lock down for a few years.

coach
1 month ago

I respect this. Best of luck!

Blue Devil
Reply to  coach
1 month ago

Agreed. Good choice Addison. I’m hoping the Power 5 conferences will be able to make it through this year for all of college athletics long term survival. Covid is a terrible situation but shutting down everywhere for 2020/2021 is not the answer especially in places that have already gotten through the spikes. https://www.kare11.com/amp/article/news/health/coronavirus/do-some-people-have-preexisting-immunity-to-the-coronavirus/89-b01b53a7-2663-4854-9a59-342d9c2dc6d6
If we can work, go to stores and fly we can figure out how to go to school and swim.

Blue Devil
Reply to  Blue Devil
1 month ago

A realistic view of Covid and dealing with it. https://amp.theatlantic.com/amp/article/614860/

Hmmm
1 month ago

Assuming that there is still a swim season….

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Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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