Originally published Jan. 31.
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Multi-sport athlete McKenzie Siroky has announced that she is switching her commitment from Minnesota Duluth for hockey to the University of Tennessee for swimming.
Siroky will take a gap year after graduating in the spring, and will train with her high school coach for the year to prepare for the 2024 U.S. Olympic Trials in the 100 breaststroke.
She will then enroll at Tennessee in the fall of 2024.
In September of 2021, Siroky had originally announced that she was opting to pursue her hockey career at the Division I level for Minnesota Duluth, effectively ending her swimming career after high school.
Siroky shared with SwimSwam that choosing between the two sports was a difficult decision that ultimately came down her potential in swimming and “what kind of professional options there are after college for both sports, what kind of schooling, etc.”
Siroky, a senior at Livonia Stevenson High School in Michigan, is exclusively a high school swimmer and does not compete for a club team in swimming. Despite this, she is a 3x Michigan state champion in the 100 breaststroke with the goal of making Olympic Trials in 2024.
Siroky added, “Since I’ve never trained year round for swim or giving my 100% focus on it since I would be playing hockey at the same time, I’m so excited to see what damage I can do in the pool when I really start giving my full attention to the sport!”
She shared her commitment on Instagram:
Just a few months after her commitment to Duluth for hockey in 2021, Siroky defended her state title in a state record time of 1:00.48, breaking NCAA All-American Miranda Tucker’s previous record of 1:00.56.
Despite her swimming career appearing to reach its end, she continued to improve this year. Siroky notched her 3rd state title with a new record time of 1:00.07, shattering her previous best time from the previous year by almost half a second.
Siroky’s best time of 1:00.07 would have qualified her for the B-final at last season’s SEC Championship. Current junior Mona McSharry won the event for the Vols at SECs with a final time of 57.50. McSharry went on to place 4th at the 2022 NCAA Division I Championships, improving on her SEC time to post a 57.18.
If Siroky’s goal of competing at the 2024 Olympic Trials is to come to fruition, she’ll need to get down to 1:10.29 in the long course 100 breast.
Per our research, she has no long course swims on record. Her SCY time of 1:00.07 converts to 1:08.67 in the 50-meter pool.
Tennessee has a talented incoming class that features Camille Spink, who is the 5th-ranked recruit in SwimSwam’s class of 2023 recruit rankings. Other commitments include international athletes Emelie Fast and Laura Littlejohn, Molly Blanchard, Sophie Brison, and Tori Brostowitz. Siroky technically holds the fastest 100 breaststroke of the class, but Fast has a best LCM time of 1:06.64 in the 100m breast, which roughly converts to 58.23 in yards.
Siroky will join them one year later, and the Lady Vols already have a few other notable commitments in thr high school class of 2024, including Emily Brown, the #19 ranked recruit in our Way Too Early rankings from this past June, and “Best of the Rest” swimmers Josie Connelly and Hannah Marinovich.
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FFT is a SwimSwam partner.
How is she this good without club swimming?
Athletes gonna athlete.
she got that DAWG in her
Why does this article say she’s training for the Olympic trials? She doesn’t have a trial cut. She has never swam in a long course meet.
I get that you have some personal beef with this athlete (she probably beat your kid), but maybe re-evaluate the aggressiveness with which you’re going after a high school swimmer.
(For those who aren’t following, SwimTNimpact is going after her hard in multiple comments).
Nope. It was a ?
Because it is her goal to make the Olympic Trials in 2024 while embarking on her first go at year-round training.
I think the biggest takeaway from all this is the gearing up for a trials cut in the 100 breast. She’s never swam long course before in a meet. Arguably the worst part of her stroke might be her turns because she’s so powerful. Put that stroke in a long course pool? It may not be right away but we could be on to something here.
Powerful turns aren’t her biggest weakness. Technique is.
She’s obviously got upside, maybe a lot of it, and there’s a strong chance
of significant improvement, I would think, once she’s starts training at Tennessee,
especially given that she hasn’t even swum for a club before.
As someone that’s followed her hockey career just as much as her swim career, this is absolutely a blow to UMD. Wouldn’t be surprised if USA hockey snubbing her for U18’s this year might’ve played a role.
Is if for international Hockey teams? If so, was it U18 or 18&U? So for anyone born 2005 they can be U18 for leagues & Countries that use DOB for age, but for international Hockey they use year of birth so you would be too old for U18, but could be okay for 18&U.
It’s bananas that she’s that fast while only swimming for her high school. If she’s swimming at that level while only doing it part time, it will be interesting to see how she progresses when she’s focusing on it!
It is very unusual to see someone who is good enough to be recruited at the Division I level in such wildly different sports. I’ve heard of girls being recruited in both lacrosse and field hockey, for example, but not a situation like this where there’s very little skill overlap aside from general strength and conditioning.
Tennessee recruiting is sketchy.
Always has been
Idk how getting a girl to commit from Minnesota Duluth to Tennessee is sketchy? Even if she’s switching sports it’s a bigger school = bigger opportunities
Kids committing to the school and it’s sketchy? UVA, NCSU and Florida must be sketchy too then
Please elaborate what is sketchy about this? And how is it indicative of any pattern in TN’s recruiting other than they are recruiting lights out right now?
A verbal commitment is not binding, and this is clearly a case of someone who decided to change sports entirely, not just a school.
Your comment is far sketchier than Tennessee’s recruiting.
It would be a very bad move to go into specifics but that comment was not about this specific commitment. Congratulations to McKenzie! I was talking broad recruiting. Every year recruits seem to have their stories about Tennessee… stay around in the swimming world long enough and you’ll hear them.
Her legs and core strength must be incredible from all the skating. It’s hard to replicate it in the pool and dry land.
Skating and breaststroke kick remind me of one another.
Hockey was a sidequest
If anyone is open minded enough to include ice skating in her DL program, it’s Kredich. I hope he does.
One of the practice drills figure skaters do is abducting & adducting the legs continuously while moving along the ice, sometimes going forward, sometimes going backwards. Wait ’til you see this done on one leg! It might be the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen.
Skating is all about balance. Maintaining posture and head position. Awareness of where on the sole of the foot feeling the pressure, what segment of the blade length is weight on, using ankles to adjust. Getting it wrong has immediate negative reinforcement from fall on the hard ice.
Over the years they develop unconsious ability… Read more »
Yes BUT you need stiff ankles for hockey and loose ankles for swimming so really tough to do both at a high level during the same season.