Competitor Coach of the Month is a recurring SwimSwam feature shedding light on a U.S.-based coach who has risen above the competition. As with any item of recognition, Competitor Coach of the Month is a subjective exercise meant to highlight one coach whose work holds noteworthy context – perhaps a coach who was clearly in the limelight, or one whose work fell through the cracks a bit more among other stories. If your favorite coach wasn’t selected, feel free to respectfully recognize them in our comment section.
In June of 2014, Katie Ledecky set two world records at an in-season meet in Texas, with coach Bruce Gemmell ultimately earning our Junior/Club Coach of the Year Swammy Award.
On June 19, Ledecky blasted a 15:34.23 to lower her own world record in the women’s 1500 free. At the time, Ledecky held world records in the 800 and 1500 frees, and this swim gave her the top two performances of all-time in the 1500.
Three days later, at the same TWST Senior Invite in Texas, Ledecky crushed an 8:11.00 in the 800 free to break her own world record by almost three seconds.
That was the start of a banner summer for the 17-year-old Ledecky, who would go on to claim the 400 free world record for the first time later that summer, and would end up breaking five world records in the year 2014. (Two apiece in the 1500 and 400 frees, and one in the 800).
Gemmell was Ledecky’s primary coach at the time at Nation’s Capital Aquatic Club, and he oversaw an outstanding 2014 to 2016 run where Ledecky took over the world record books in distance freestyle and became essentially unbeatable in the 200-1500 free range.
Since 1960, Competitor Swim® has been the leader in the production of racing lanes and other swim products for competitions around the world. Competitor lane lines have been used in countless NCAA Championships, as well as 10 of the past 13 Olympic Games. Molded and assembled using U.S. – made components, Competitor lane lines are durable, easy to set up and are sold through distributors and dealers worldwide.
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