U.S. National Junior Teamer Paige McKenna Verbally Commits to Wisconsin for 2021-22

Paige McKenna
Photo Courtesy: IG Paige McKenna (@paigemckennaaaa)

NEW COMMIT: The University of Wisconsin has landed their first early verbal commitment for the fall of 2021 and it’s a big one: Paige McKenna of Easton, Penn. will join the Badgers as part of the class of 2025.

McKenna is a member of the 2019-20 USA Swimming National Junior team after her strong performances this summer. At the 7th FINA World Junior Championships, she finished sixth in the 1500m free. She also had a stellar performance at Phillips 66 Nationals where she placed sixth in the mile and 18th in the 800m free.

Swimming year-round with Nation’s Capital Swim Club, McKenna raced to sixth in the 1500m free and eighth in both the 400m free and 800m free at Winter Nationals in December. At NCSAs in March, she further proved her distance talent by sweeping the 500-1000-1650 triple threat and also took fifth in the 200 free. A current high school junior, McKenna is a 14-time finalist at the Potomac Valley Senior Championships over the last two years.

Screen Shot 2019-10-13 at 5.47.13 PM

Photo Courtesy: Paige McKenna Instagram (@paigemckennaaaa)

She has made major improvements over the past two seasons, dropping 21 seconds in the 500 free, 36 seconds in the 1000 free, and nearly two minutes in the mile. Those time drops have carried over into the long course season as well: in two years, she has knocked off 11 seconds in the 400m free, 43 seconds in the 800m free, and 64 seconds in the 1500m free.

Her best times include:

  • 200 free – 1:47.36
  • 500 free – 4:41.21
  • 1000 free – 9:35.99
  • 1650 free – 15:48.07

She has already achieved three 2020 Olympic Trials cuts:

  • 400m free – 4:14.78
  • 800m free – 8:38.38
  • 1500m free – 16:26.49

Even with just under two years of club swimming still to go before suiting up for the Badgers at the start of the 2021-22 season, McKenna will make an immediate impact as her best times in the 1000 and 1650 are already faster than Wisconsin’s program records, both of which are currently held by Cierra Runge.

At the 2019 Big Ten Championships, she would’ve placed second in the mile behind NCAA champion and U.S. National Teamer Ally McHugh as well as scored in the A-final of the 500 free. McKenna, whose top time in the mile is already four seconds faster than the 2019-20 NCAA “A” standard, would’ve placed fifth in that event at the 2019 NCAA Championships.

If you have a commitment to share, please send a photo and quote via email to hs@swimmingworld.com.


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Carol Savini McClintock

Congrats, Paige!

Rose Unicomb
4 years ago

Welcome to the Badger Family! ??

Andrea McHugh
4 years ago

This is awesome news! Welcome!!

Lisa Bendall
4 years ago


Marci Makin
4 years ago


Jennifer Marks May
4 years ago

On Wisconsin!!

Teresa Zimbric Briest
4 years ago

On Wisconsin

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