Year: Senior
Hometown: Severna Park, Md.
High School: Severna Park


  • Michaela Cunningham Photo Gallery

Honors & Awards

  • Big Ten Distinguished Scholar (2014, 2015, 2016)
  • Academic All-Big Ten (2014, 2015, 2016)
  • Nebraska Outstanding Scholar (2016)
  • Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll (Fall 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015; Spring 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016)
  • Tom Osborne Citizenship Team (2014, 2015, 2016)

2015-16 (Senior)
Michaela Cunningham was a versatile swimmer and an outstanding performer in the classroom throughout her Nebraska career. As a senior, Cunningham competed in 10 events with one top-five finish. She set a pair of career bests at the 2016 Big Ten Championships. The senior swam her 400 IM in a career-best 4:29.01 to finish in 42nd at the conference championships. She added a career-best 2:07.35 in the 200 IM to finish 79th at the Big Ten meet. A three-time Big Ten Distinguished Scholar, Cunningham also earned academic All-Big Ten honors for the third consecutive year. She was named one of eight Nebraska Outstanding Scholar Awards across all sports. She was also a member of the Tom Osborne Citizenship Team for the third consecutive season. 

2014-15 (Junior)
Cunningham continued to be a solid competitor for Nebraska, providing depth in nine events. She set career bests in two events, including the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 2:25.22. She added a then-career-best of 2:07.46 in the 200-yard individual medley. Cunningham earned three top-five finishes during the season, with two coming against Northern Iowa. A star in the classroom, Cunningham earned academic All-Big Ten recognition for the second consecutive year and was also named a Big Ten Distinguished Scholar.

2013-14 (Sophomore)
Cunningham continued to be one of Nebraska’s most versatile swimmers as a sophomore, competing in nine events. Cunningham set three career bests in her second season for the Huskers. Her career bests came in the 1,650-yard freestyle with a time of 17:47.45, the 100-yard breastroke with a time of 1:10.58, and a then-career-best in the 400 individual medley with a time of 4:31.77. A Big Ten Distinguished Scholar, Cunningham also earned academic All-Big Ten honors in 2014.

2012-13 (Freshman)
Cunningham showed her versatility and provided depth across the board in 2012-13, competing in nine different events on the year. She tallied seven top-10 finishes, including fourth-place finishes in the 1,000-yard freestyle against South Dakota State (10:57.29) and 1,650-yard freestyle against Nebraska-Omaha (18:33.22). Her time in the 1,000 free against South Dakota State was a personal best, adding to six personal-best times (200 free, 500 free, 1,650 free, 200 breast, 200 IM, 400 IM) at the Iowa Invitational in December. Cunningham also found success in the classroom, earning spots on the Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll in the fall and spring semesters of 2012-13.

Cunningham swam with the Severna Park YMCA national swim team (SPY) for six years, focusing primarily on shorter races such as the 100-yard breaststroke. She also swam for and helped coach the Shipley’s Choice swim team in Severna Park. Cunningham also put together an outstanding record in the classroom at Severna Park High School. A 2012 National Merit Scholarship finalist, Cunningham was a member of the National Honor Society, a contributor to the SPHS Math Team and a Red Cross volunteer at the Kimbrough Ambulatory Care Center at Fort Meade.

Michaela was born on Sept. 15, 1994, in Silver Spring, Md. She is the daughter of Bill and June Cunningham, and she majored in biological sciences and mathematics with a minor in psychology and biochemistry. A pre-medical student, she earned her bachelor's degree from Nebraska in May of 2016. Michaela was a Big Ten Distinguished Scholar and earned academic All-Big Ten honors in 2014, 2015 and 2016. She was an eight-time Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll selection and a three-time member of the Tom Osborne Citizenship Team.

Career-Best Times                                           



Meet (Date)

1,650 Free


Big Ten Championships (2014)

200 IM


Big Ten Championships (2016)

400 IM


Big Ten Championships (2016)

View Full Bio
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