Erin Gemmell Becomes No. 2 All-Time American 13-year-old in 200 Free


Erin Gemmell, daughter of coach Bruce Gemmell (Katie Ledecky‘s former coach), swam a 2:00.70 to win finals of the women’s 200 free at the 2018 Speedo Junior Nationals.

Gemmell, 13, is now the second-fastest 13-year-old in US history, passing Sippy Woodhead (2:01.08). She just touched out 17-year-old Texas commit Miranda Heckman (2:00.77) Friday night, splitting 27.82 on the 1st 50, then going 30.31, 31.30, and 31.51 on the 2nd, 3rd, and final 50s.

Gemmell now sits behind only Claire Tuggle, who swam a 1:59.11 earlier this year, and went2:00.80 in finals for third place overall Friday night. In prelims Friday morning, Gemmell went a best time of 2:01.50, which made her the third-fastest American 13-year-old of all-time at that point.

With the swim, Gemmell moved from 15th to ninth in the all-time rankings for 13-14 girls, with a full year left in the age group. Tuggle swam a lifetime best 1:58.59 last week at the 2018 Phillips 66 National Championships, making her second all-time in the 13-14 age group, just behind Woodhead’s NAG record of 1:58.53.

NEW ALL-Time Girls 13 200 Free (TOP 5)

  1. Claire Tuggle – 1:59.11
  2. Erin Gemmell – 2:00.74
  3. Sippy Woodhead – 2:01.08
  4. Carly Geehr – 2:02.22
  5. Chelsea Chenault – 2:02.60

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4 years ago

That’s what leaders do to the sport. A year ago when 13 yo Claire Tuggle approached 2 min mark there were so many talks about new prodigy. Now 13 yo Erin Gemmell does exactly the same…Well, it isn’t a unique anymore.

Reply to  Yozhik
4 years ago

Someone will breakthrough really young soon and hit a 1:56/7 I bet

Reply to  Hswimmer
4 years ago

If a 13 year old girl went a 1:56 2 free would that be the greatest age group swim of all time? At least on the women’s side? All I can think of overall is Phelps 200 fly at 16 and a couple of ledecky’s swims, but they were both already established on the international scene and not really “age groupers” anymore. Maybe Mary T’s 200 fly?

4 years ago

Wow, what a swim! Last 10 meters was.painful but she done! Great job! Her style is similar to Ledecky. Go out fast and maintain.

bobo gigi
4 years ago
bobo gigi
4 years ago

The apple never falls far from the tree.

4 years ago

Way to go Erin!

About Torrey Hart

Torrey Hart

Torrey is from Oakland, CA, and majored in media studies and American studies at Claremont McKenna College, where she swam distance freestyle for the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps team. Outside of SwimSwam, she has bylines at Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, SB Nation, and The Student Life newspaper.

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