High school senior Emma Schanz, one of the more unique stories in swimming, has verbally committed to the UCLA Bruins – the program’s first verbal commitment this fall.
Schanz’s story is a unique one in that she doesn’t train with a big club team or even in a big pool. She lives in Colville, Washington, an hour away from the nearest club team, and usually trains alone in a three-lane, 20-yard hotel pool, as outlined in this story by Mike Gustafson from 2013.
And yet she’s still managed to do the improbable and not only excelled in swimming, but in fact qualified for the USA Swimming Summer National Championships.
In yards, her best times are:
- 100 back – 53.94
- 200 back – 1:56.59
- 100 breast – 1:02.50
- 200 breast – 2:11.90
- 200 IM – 1:59.10
And the best part is that despite training in a pool that’s even shorter than short course, she’s even better in long course. She has meters bests of 1:02.73 in the 100 back, 2:13.71 in the 200 back, 1:11.63 in the 100 breast, 2:30.63 in the 200 breast, and 2:18.28 in the 200 IM.
The breaststroke/backstroke combination that she brings to UCLA is unique enough without consideration for her training circumstances, and that makes her a very, very intriguing prospect for the Bruins. UCLA is pretty stacked in the backstrokes right now, with sophomores Linnea Mack and Madison White both going 52’s last season. That means Schanz would be more immediately valuable as a breaststroker.
It’s the breaststrokes, and specifically her 200, that earned her a spot on the 2014-2015 Junior National Team. She’s clearly talented enough in the backstrokes, though, that it might be her ticket to the senior National Team and beyond.
Her success, of course, wasn’t achieved entirely alone. She represents the Spokane Waves Swim team, and travels to train with them one day a week in the winter and a few days a week in the summer. The rest of the time, head coach Kevin Wang sends her workouts that she adjusts to a 20-yard pool.
Emma used to have a training partner, her brother Dylan, but Dylan is now on the swim team at St. Cloud State in Minnesota.