20 Yard Hotel-Pool Trainee Emma Schanz Verbally Commits to UCLA

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.

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great story. thanks for sharing.


This is not a story of adversity – it is a story of a girl with a tremendous advantage. I think the 20-yard pool was good for them (her and her brother)as it allowed them to do more training with excellent technique as technique often deteriorates in the last 5 yards of a 25 yard pool.


How does she have an advantage? She doesn’t have have a coach to help improve technique, nor does she have anyone to push her

Darth Vader

Well that is truly odd anonymous. Fine, I like it.

Dylan Schanz

Hi, I am Dylan Schanz. Emma’s brother. I also trained in that pool prior to my college swimming and I can tell you with utmost certainty that there is no advantage to training in that pool. We put forth the effort same as everyone else, just in a shorter pool. What my sister has managed accomplish is absolutely incredible and deserves all the respect in the world, she is an inspiration to me and makes strive to train with even more intensity than I though I could. She is an incredible athlete and she will grow at UCLA and I cannot wait to see what she can accomplish.


Seems to me that if a shorter pool it is an advantage to improve performance, then many others would adopt a similar training regimen. Don’t forget that she trains in whatever pool she trains in but she got to where she is by competing against others in a standard length pool.


Emma is such an amazing swimmer, I’ve seen her swim since she was 9 years old and I find it completely incredible that a girl who once raced in the heat after me is now going this far! Go Emma!

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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