Huntersville, North Carolina’s Kensley Merritt has announced her verbal commitment to Auburn University for 2020-21. She will take the baton from her older sister Jessica Merritt, currently a junior on the Tigers’ roster and slated to graduate in the spring of 2020. Kensley and Jessica have an older sister, Heather Merritt, who swam at South Carolina; their mother swam at Penn State.
“I chose Auburn University because of the balance between academics and athletics along with the instant connection I felt with the coaches and team! I fell in love with the campus and town the first time I visited and can’t wait to carry on the traditions already built! War Eagle!!”
Merritt is a junior at William Amos Hough High School and is a year-round member of SwimMAC Carolina. A USA Swimming Scholastic All-American, she excels in back and free and was a two-time finalist at 2018 Winter Juniors East, finishing 19th in the 200 free and 23rd in the 100 back. She earned PBs in the 50/200 free and 50/100 back at the meet. Her best 100 free and 200 back times come from last spring’s Greensboro Sectionals. Merritt competed in the 200 free and 100/200 back at Speedo Junior Nationals in Irvine last summer. She finished the LCM season with improved PBs in the 50/100/200/400 free and 50/100/200 back. In high school swimming, she was runner-up in the 100 back (54.45) and took 4th in the 200 free (1:49.21) at the 2018 NCHSAA 4A State Championships.
Merritt would have scored in the C final of the 100 back at the 2018 SEC Championships. Current sophomore Sonnele Oeztuerk, with whom she will overlap one year, was an A finalist in the 200 back and a B finalist in the 100 back. Merritt’s top 200 free and 200 back times are just a tick outside of scoring range at the conference level (it took 1:48.04 in the free and 1:57.00 in the back to get a second swim in 2018). Current senior Erin Falconer was the lone Tiger finalist in the 200 free at SECs; she also scored in the 100/200 back.
Top SCY times:
- 50 back – 25.62
- 100 back – 54.20
- 200 back – 1:57.89
- 50 free – 23.45
- 100 free – 50.71
- 200 free – 1:48.30
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].