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Kennedy named to U.S. national swim team for the fourth time

Madison Kennedy before the 50 freestyle final. (Courtesy U.S. Swimming)

Madison Kennedy before the 50 freestyle final at the recent U.S. national championship meet. (Courtesy U.S. Swimming)

After a one-year absence, Avon’s Madison Kennedy is back on the U.S. national swim team. USA Swimming announced its 2014-15 national team roster Tuesday and Kennedy earned a spot on the team in the 50-meter freestyle.

The top six swimmers in each Olympic event earn a berth on the national team. Kennedy earned her invitation by finished fourth in the 50 freestyle at the recent U.S. national championship meet with a time of 24.83 seconds – her best-ever time at the national meet and the second fastest time of her career. Swimmers were selected from performances at the U.S. national meet and the 2014 Pan Pacific championship meet.

“The USA Swimming national team represents the pinnacle of competitive swimming in the United States,” said Frank Busch, director of USA Swimming national team.

World record-holders Missy Franklin (Centennial, Colo.), Katie Ledecky (Bethesda, Md.), Ryan Lochte (Daytona Beach, Fla.) and Michael Phelps (Baltimore, Md.), are some of the top names in swimming that were named to the U.S. national team roster.

Benefits offered to USA Swimming National Team members include reimbursement for travel to USA Swimming Arena Grand Prix Series meets and training camp opportunities. Select athletes are eligible for monthly assistance and elite athlete health insurance.

Kennedy was on the national team for three seasons from 2010-11 through 2012-13 in the 50 free. She didn’t qualify for the 2013-14 squad after taking ninth at the U.S. nationals in June 2013.

Kennedy had a busy and successful week at the 2014 nationals – three top 10 finishes and swimming on a national championship relay team. She was fourth in the 50 free to earn her third national championship meet medal in the event. She was second in 2011 and 2010.

She was 10th in the 100 freestyle with a time of 54.86, taking second in the B final. In the 50 backstroke, she finished 10th with a time of 29.15, also taking second in the B final. Her finishes in the 100 free and 50 back were her best finishes in the two events at the nationals.

Kennedy swam on SwimMAC Carolina’s national championship squad in the 400 freestyle relay, which won its race by 0.01 of a second. She swam the second leg to give SwimMAC the lead for good and she swam the fastest leg of the 100 meters (55.81 seconds) on her team.

As a team, SwimMAC Carolina won the women’s national championship and the men’s national championship competition.

Kennedy graduated from Avon High in 2005 and the University of California in Berkley in 2010. She has been training with SwimMAC Carolina since November 2011.

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of The Collinsville Press. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 30 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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