AN ALL-AMERICAN JET

After career-best time, Jordan-Matthews swimmer Fadely gets nationwide recognition

BY CHAPEL FOWLER, News + Record Staff
Posted 7/29/20

SILER CITY — Five months to the day after Jordan-Matthews’ Jennah Fadely swam the best race of her high school career, she scored another major honor.

On Feb. 6, at the NCHSAA 1A/2A Swimming …

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AN ALL-AMERICAN JET

After career-best time, Jordan-Matthews swimmer Fadely gets nationwide recognition

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Posted

SILER CITY — Five months to the day after Jordan-Matthews’ Jennah Fadely swam the best race of her high school career, she scored another major honor.

On Feb. 6, at the NCHSAA 1A/2A Swimming and Diving Championships in Cary, the junior scored a second-place finish in her best event: the women’s 100-yard breaststroke.

Once out of the water, Fadely quickly learned her time, 1:03.32, met the 1:03.80 threshold for All America consideration. She wasn’t an automatic lock — 1:02.58 was the magic number there — but she could submit an application to the National Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association.

And on July 6, Fadely got the news — she was an All American.

“It just came together really nicely,” the 17-year-old said, “and I was very proud of that.”

The NISCA announces consideration times the summer before prep seasons begin, and it takes applications from Nov. 1 through June 15. Outside of making time, swimmers must also log the time in a high school meet — not club — and be academically eligible.

Fadely met all those criteria, of course, and her time in the 100-yard breaststroke ranked 67th on the organization’s final list of 91 All Americans in the event.

“I wasn’t really expecting it for certain date or time,” she said. “Nobody really told me when it would happen. They just gave me a rough estimate. I was just like, ‘I’ll wait for some news’ — and it came around.”

The honor helped legitimize Fadely’s career-best race in February, something she said has “never happened before” and hopes will give her a recruiting boost in the near future. (She’s talked to three schools since last summer: Southern Methodist, Marshall and Kenyon College in Ohio.)

At state championship meets, she’s also made a steady progression in the 100-yard breaststroke, which she calls her best and favorite event. In 2018, as a freshman, she finished 13th with a time of 1:11.64. In 2019, as a sophomore, she finished second with a time of 1:06.04 to Community School of Davidson’s Emme Nelson, but she wasn’t fast enough for All America consideration.

As a junior, Fadely set her sights on a first-place finish.

“I knew what I had to bring to the table to be able to compete with (Nelson),” Fadely said. “I just tried to put my best foot forward and give it everything I have. We’d worked the previous weeks on my turns and narrowing down just every little thing about my stroke technique to see how fast I could go.”

At the Triangle Aquatic Center in Cary, Fadely again finished just short of Nelson, a senior Texas A&M commit, who won her fourth consecutive state title in the event with a time of 1:02.81.

But this time, Fadely’s numbers warranted All America consideration. She also finished a career-best fourth in the women’s 200-yard individual medley event that weekend.

As the only Jets swimmer who qualified for the state meet, her 32 combined points from those two events placed Jordan-Matthews in a tie for 18th among 40 total competing schools.

All in all, it wasn’t a bad two races to end on — all of Fadely’s club events in the spring were canceled in reaction to the coronavirus pandemic, as were the 2020 Olympics Qualifying Trials.

“A state championship would be really amazing to have,” she said. “But I also think that this kind of (All America) recognition is also something that a swimmer should be really proud of — it’s not easy to make those times.”

Reporter Chapel Fowler can be reached at cfowler@chathamnr.com or on Twitter at @chapelfowler.

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