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.

Leave a Reply

Notify of

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
2 years ago

This didn’t age well

Miles Kredich
2 years ago

Can y’all stop arguing about this

Aquatics Pater
2 years ago

I would say this is “Ivy League Coronavirus Response” as opposed to “Princeton Coronavirus Response”

2 years ago


2 years ago

Have you ever thought that this “GREAT” Ivy couldn’t give her what she needed to better herself as a person and a swimmer?? You can get a great education anywhere… one doesn’t need an Ivy stamp on his or her name to be happy and succeed in life. She will do amazing things!

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  swimmahswimmah
2 years ago

You got the all caps right.

Reply to  swimmahswimmah
2 years ago

IVY = Throwing your money away on an average education.

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  CA_LAWYER
2 years ago

California = throwing your money away on mediocre housing.

The Great Ivy
Reply to  swimmahswimmah
2 years ago

This comment is a classic one from someone who didn’t attend a school like Princeton. Will she do amazing things at UNC? Sure. Are there a ton of great schools outside the Ivy League? Yes of course. One would argue in fact that UChicago, Stanford, and MIT are all better than maybe 4-5 out of the 8 Ivies. However, it is unfair to act like the Ivy stamp is just some unwarranted rich kid stamp that isn’t earned by the students who attend the school. The kids who go to Princeton work extremely hard and face much harder grade deflation than other Ivies like Harvard or Yale. Not everyone at an Ivy League just went there because of their rich… Read more »

Critical Bot
2 years ago

I wonder if UNC also has grade deflation?

2 years ago


2 years ago

can’t take the heat, stay out of the kitchen

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of 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, …

Read More »