JACKSONVILLE, Fla., April 23 – Avon native Madison Kennedy looked sharp in winning the TYR Jax 50 Dual Challenge for the second time in four years with the fourth best time in her career in the 50-yard freestyle.
Kennedy swam the 50-yard freestyle in 21.76 seconds to easily beat University of Tennessee swimmer Kira Toussaint (22.59) in the finals. It was Kennedy’s best time in the event since she swam a career-best 21.68 seconds twice in 2015 at the Oklahoma Elite Pro-Am.
The Jax 50 Dual Challenge is a unique meet. Ordinary swimmers from age eight and up get to compete in the same meet as some of the top professionals in the sport. Swimmers vye for a chance to qualify for the eight-woman final in the 50 freestyle.
Eight women compete head-to-head in the quarterfinals and advance in single-elimination style. In her quarterfinal win, Kennedy swam a 22.23 to beat Abi Wilder (24.71), a high school senior in Jacksonville who will swim at Auburn next fall. A high school junior and a pair of 16-year old swimmers also competed in the quarterfinal round.
In the semifinals, Kennedy dropped her time to 22.08 and beat Jules Woody, an strong collegiate (NAIA) swimmer from Savannah College of Art and Design with a time of 23.14.
Kennedy, who won $2,500 for winning the event, also won the Jax 50 Dual Challenge in 2014.
The young swimmers also had an opportunity to participate in a clinic with the professional swimmers with the chance to learn about different strokes, starts, turns and techniques.
Proceeds from the clinic were split up among the pros to help them pay for their training expenses.
Women’s 50 yard freestyle results
Madison Kennedy, Swim MAC-North Carolina 22.23 def. Abi Wilder, Bolles (FL) Sharks, 24.71
Jules Woody, Savannah College of Art & Design, 22.88 def. Kirschtine Balbuena, Gator (FL) Swim Club, 23.81
Daiane Becker, Brazil national team, 23.20 def. Isabel Ivey, Gator (FL) Swim Club, 23.22
Kira Toussaint, University of Tennessee, 22.59 def. Clair Maiocco, Trinity Prep (FL), 23.59
Kennedy 22.08 def. Woody 23.14
Toussaint 22.55 def. Becker 23.68
Balbuena 23.79 def. Wilder 24.94
Maiocco 23.58 def. Ivey 23.65
Kennedy 21.76 def. Toussaint 22.40
Woody 23.10 def. Becker 23.96
Balbuena 23.72 def. Maiocco 24.04
Ivey 24.08 def. Wilder 24.64