Caroline Pennington, the 19th ranked swimmer in SwimSwam’s re-ranked top 20 HS recruits in the class of 2021, is officially listed as a freshman on USC’s roster. In October 2019, Pennington verbally committed to the University of Virginia for their class of 2025. Pennington did not compete for Virginia and is listed as a freshman on the USC roster.
In her Trojan debut against UC San Diego on January 15, Pennington won the 1,000 freestyle (9:56.73) and the 500 freestyle (4:53.76). Her best time in the 1,000 is 9:37.34 seconds, which was done in December 2020. Pennington is a strong 500 freestyler as well, holding a best time of 4:43.46 seconds. Her best time in the mile (16:03.21) would have placed her in the top-8 at NCAA Championships last year.
Her 500 freestyle time from the meet against UC San Diego is the 3rd fastest time for the Trojans this season. She currently sits behind fellow freshman Marlene Kahler (4:43.45) and fifth-year Courtney Tseng (4:48.36)
Amidst the pandemic, Pennington moved from her home state of Connecticut to North Carolina to train with the TAC Titans. She quickly began going best times, dropping from 16:29 seconds in the mile, to 16:17 seconds by the end of Summer 2020. She then went 16:03 seconds in December 2020. Her best time in the 1,000 freestyle (9:37.44) was also from the same meet in December 2020, which was almost a 13 second time drop.
Prior to moving to North Carolina, In April 2020, Pennington had surgery to remove melanoma from her calf.
The Trojans have dual meets against Cal (January 28), Stanford (January 29), and UCLA (February 11) before competing in the Pac-12 championships next month from February 23-26.