Before shattering two NCAA records at the 2014 Women’s NCAA DI Championships, Brittany MacLean was making waves in Canada. Originally from Etobicoke, Canada, MacLean swam for Etobicoke swim club under Coach Kevin Thorburn. She was a member of the Canadian Junior National Team, represented her country at the 2011 and 2013 World Championships, and at the 2012 London Olympics. MacLean holds Canada’s LCM records in the 400m and 1,500m freestyles. Born March 3, 1994 to parents, Dan and Michele MacLean, she attended Silverthorne Collegiate Institute in Canada. She decided to swim for the University of Georgia, and train with some of the most elite middle-distance swimmers in the NCAA. She’s currently in her junior season, and she is majoring in Sport Management being named to the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll on many occassions.
University of Georgia
MacLean chose to swim for Coach Jack Bauerle at the University of Georgia and proved to be valuable in her freshman season. She helped her team take the SEC title for the fourth straight year, and qualified for the NCAA Championship. In Indianapolis MacLean swam the 500 yard freestyle, 200 yard freestyle, and the 1,650 yard freestyle placing seventh, 11th and 12th.
If the NCAA community did not know Brittany MacLean at this point, she made her mark. At the 2014 SEC Championships, she won the 500 and 1,650 freestyle and placed third in the 200 freestyle helping George secure their fifth-straight SEC title. She was also elected the SEC Swimmer of the Year.
MacLean was even more impressive at the 2014 NCAA DI Swimming Championships. After winning both the 500 freestyle and 1,650 freestyle in NCAA record times, she was elected Swimmer of the Meet.
MacLean was back in the finals to defend her 500 and 1,650 freestyle titles. However, she came up short finishing 7th and 9th respectively. In the 800 yard freestyle relay, MacLean helped the Bulldogs to a bronze medal.
At the 2016 NCAA Championships, MacLean collected a handful of medals to help the Bulldogs claim another national title. Along with her Georgia teammates, Maclean took the first gold of the meet in the 800 yard freestyle relay. At the end of the third leg, the Bulldogs sat in second place, but MacLean had a monster anchor leg, splitting 1:41.46 to help her team take gold.
MacLean picked up another gold in the 200 freestyle in a new pool record of 1:42.42. In her other individual events, 500 and 1,650 freestyle, MacLean picked up silvers. Her final medal of the meet came in the 400 freestyle relay. This time, the Bulldogs didn’t have enough to over take the Trojans and settled for silver.
After earning a roster spot on the Junior National Team, MacLean had her first big international win in the 200m and 400m freestyle events at the 2011 Junior World Championships. She followed the performance by making the World Championship Team in 2011, 2013 and earning two bronze medals at the 2013 World University Games in Russia.
In 2012 MacLean charged her way through the 2012 Canadian Olympic Trials, qualifying first in the 400m freestyle with a new Canadian National Record. She followed suit qualifying for the 800m freestyle relay accompanied by her sister, Heather MacLean, who qualified to swim on the 400 freestyle relay in London. MacLean bettered her 400M freestyle Canadian Record in London, finishing seventh in 4:05.06.
In 2014 MacLean was named the 2014 OMEGA Female Swimmer of the Year by Swimming Canada.
Canadian 2016 Olympic Trials
At the Canadian Olympic Trials, Maclean earned her spot on Team Canada by winning the 200M Free and the 400M Free. In both events she set new Canadian Records, sprinting to a 1:59.94 in the 200 and 4:03.84 in the 400.
2016 Rio Olympics
Maclean swam to a Canadian Record during the heats of them 400M Free with a time of 4:03.43, eclipsing her previous record of 4:03.83. In the finals, she swam to a 5th place finish with a time of 4:04.69.
In the 4X200M Free Relay, Maclean, who did not swim in the prelims, helped her team to a bronze medal finishing behind gold medal winners, the US, and silver medalists, Australia.
Maclean made it to the semifinals of the 200M Free, but did not advance to the finals, swimming a 1:57.36. Maclean also finished in 10th place in the 800M free with a time of 8:26.43.