Maddie Smith, a sprinter who was on UNC’s 200 free relay at the 2019 ACC Championships, has confirmed with SwimSwam that she’ll be heading to Northwestern University in the Big Ten after two years with the Tar Heels.
Smith, who is originally from Lake Forest, IL, will be heading back to Chicago’s north shore area. High school teammates with Daria Pyshnenko of Michigan, the two will now be opponents in the Big Ten. According to the USA Swimming times database, Smith is now attached with NASA Wildcat Aquatics, the club team run out of the Northwestern pool.
- 50y free – 22.42
- 100y free – 49.17
- 200y free – 1:51.05
- 50y fly – 24.71
- 100y fly – 54.27
- 50m free – 26.11
- 100m free – 57.07
- 50m fly – 28.34
Smith is primarily a sprint freestyler, with her SCY bests coming from the 2017 Tennessee Invitational during her freshman season. She has also proven herself as a sprint butterflier, and could be developed into a medley relay fly option as well as a potential anchor.
In 2019, Smith scored in the 50 free at the ACC Championships, placing 21st (22.77). She also split a 22.36 on their 200 free relay, which took 5th. She made the C final as a freshman in the 50 free and was on the 200 free relay (22.44 split) and the 400 free relay (49.31 split) at 2018 ACCs.
Smith leaves a UNC program that finished out of the ACC top 5 (7th) in 2019, and the Tar Heels recently announced their new head coach to be Mizzou’s Mark Gangloff after long-time head coach Rich DeSelm stepped down earlier this spring amid a cancer diagnosis.
Northwestern, a team on the rise in its second season under an all-new coaching staff led by former Boise State coach Jeremy Kipp, will greatly benefit from another sprinter on the roster. Their incoming class is strong, but not very sprint-oriented; meanwhile, rising senior Malorie Han had a breakthrough 2018-19 season that resulted in PRs and team-leading times of 22.74 in the 50 free and 49.42, but she has just one season left. Smith will be a nice complement to her and will ensure that NU has at least one more season with a reliable medley relay anchor and free relay presence.
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