Emily McClellan: Breaststroke/IM
Emily McClellan was born June 21, 1992, to parents June and Thomas McClellan in Delavan, WI. At Delavan-Darien HS, McClellan stayed busy, competing in softball and basketball in addition to swimming. She earned honorable mention all-state status as a sophomore, and was all-state her junior and senior seasons. As a senior, she won the 100 breaststroke (earning All-American status) and placed third in the 200 IM at the Wisconsin high school championships. McClellan didn’t travel far for college, as she chose to swim for the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee. She boasted senior national cuts in the 100 and 200 breaststroke before heading to school.
McClellan made history her freshman year as the first UWM swimmer and first Horizon League female swimmer to qualify for NCAAs. Get ready for this: McClellan broke three Horizon League record five times, three school records five different times, three freshman marks five times and two Klotsche Natatorium (home pool of UWM) records four times. She competed in the 100 and 200 breast and 200 IM at NCAAs. She placed 54th in the IM (2:03.14), tied for 35th in the 100 breast (1:01.85), and finished with a time of 2:15.30 in the 200 breast for 48th. She was named the Horizon League Women’s Athlete of the Year, the Women’s Performer of the Meet and the Horizon League Women’s Newcomer of the Year after her incredible efforts at the Horizon League Championships, winning league titles in the 100 breast, 200 breast and 200 IM and setting new league records in each event. McClellan was the first female Horizon League athlete to sweep all three honors.
Her sophomore year, McClellan repeated as the Horizon League Women’s Athlete of the Year and the Women’s Performer of the Meet after winning league titles again in the 100 and 200 breast and the 200 IM. She posted NCAA ‘A’ cuts in both breaststroke events at the Horizon League Championships, the first time an athlete from the league had ever swam ‘A’ cuts, and she led the Panthers to their first league title since 2001. McClellan touched at 2:02.72 for 58th in the 200 IM at NCAAs, clocked a 1:00.31 in the 100 breast just missing the B final (18th), and finished 25th in the 200 breast (2:11.45). While none of these times matched the times she went in her conference championships (59.25, 1:59.84, and 2:08.94, respectively), she improved considerably from her 2011 NCAA meet.
McClellan remained perfect in her three events, the 100 and 200 breast and the 200 IM, at the 2013 Horizon League Championships, and finally broke through into finals at the NCAA meet. In all three of her events, she improved upon her Horizon League meet performances, highlighted by her 10th place finish in the 100 breast (59.33) and 12th place finish in the 200 breast (2:09.10). She earned All-American Honorable Mention status for her breaststroke success. She also touched at 1:59.26 in the 200 IM for 36th place. McClellan made more history as the first female swimmer from the Horizon League to score points at NCAAs and the highest point-scorer from any swimmer or team from the Horizon League at the NCAAs.
As a senior, if McClellan’s name hadn’t been out there before, it certainly was after her NCAA meet. The Panther star shot out to double top-eight finishes in the 100 and 200 breaststrokes. She edged Notre Dame’s Emma Reaney for runner-up position in the 100 breast (57.76) behind only Breeja Larson, the American record holder in yards of that event. Her 57.76 in the 100 breast made her the 2nd fastest female 100 yard breaststroker ever. She then touched at 2:06.98 in the 200 breast, which was good enough for 7th overall. McClellan also finished 28th in the 200 IM (1:57.84), not far off of her personal best. She re-set league records in her three events over the course of the season, and was, for the fourth straight year, named the Horizon League Women’s Athlete of the Year award and Horizon League Women’s Swimmer of the Meet. McClellan never lost an individual event in her entire career at the Horizon League Championships.
2012 US Olympic Trials
McClellan broke onto the national stage at the 2012 Olympic Trials, where she finished 6th in the 100 meter breaststroke (1:07.41), tying her personal best time in the event. She also swam the 200 meter breaststroke, where her time of 2:31.40 placed 24th overall.
2012 US Open
Later on in the year, at the US Open, she took home the title in the 100 breast (1:07.43) and finished third in the 200 breast (2:27.49), landing her a spot on the 2013 World University Games in Kazan, Russia.
2013 World University Games
At the WUG in Kazan, McClellan won a bronze medal as a member of the 400 medley relay. Individually, she finished 9th in the 100 breast (1:09.31/1:08.88p) and was the fastest American in the 50 breast (31.64), where she placed 7th in the final.
2014 US Nationals
While her time of 2:31.85 in the 200 breast did not qualify for finals at the 2014 US Nationals, McClellan made it back for second swims in the 50 and 100 breast. She finished 11th in the 100 breast (1:08.91), a ways off her best time of 1:07.41 from the 2012 Trials, and touched at 31.62 in the B final of the 50 breast for 13th place. Her 31.56 from prelims, however, was a personal best time. She chose to scratch the 200 IM at this meet.
Emily is an A3 Performance athlete.
–Originally developed by Karl Ortegon