Erin Gemmell Breaks Katie Ledecky, Phoebe Bacon Records as Stone Ridge Wins ISL

2022 Independent School League Championships

  • February 20-21, 2022
  • Stone Ridge School, Bethesda, Maryland
  • Short Course Yards (25 yards)
  • Full Meet Results (PDF)

All swimming records are cool. It’s just that some are cooler than others.

On Friday evening at the Independent School League Swimming & Diving Championships, Erin Gemmell, a junior at Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart, broke a pair of individual school records and league championship records.

Among the names to previously have held those records are two recognizable monikers. One is two-time Pan Ams medalist, 2021 Big Ten Freshman of the Year, 2021 NCAA Champion in the 200 back, and Tokyo 2020 Olympian Phoebe Bacon. The other is one of the most decorated swimmers in history, 7-time Olympic champion and World Record holder, Katie Ledecky.

The Gators opened up the meet with a 1:44.72 in the 200 medley relay. Gemmell swam the anchor freestyle leg in 22.10, joining Melina Anschutz, Cameron House, and Eleanor Sun for the league title. While that missed the league record of 1:41.62 that Gemmell, along with Bacon on the leadoff leg, set in 2020, it was a harbinger of things to come for Gemmell.

In her next race, Gemmell won the 50 free in 22.74. While that missed Caroline McTaggart‘s league record, it did break the Meet Record of 23.56 that was set in 2017 by another Holton-Arms swimmer Sydney Mathis. It also broke the old Stone Ridge School record.

That broke Phoebe Bacon‘s old school record of 23.25 that was set at the 2017 Metro Champs meet.

Gemmell then won the 100 free in 48.97, which again broke the Meet Record of 50.98 that was set by Flint Hill’s Jasmine Hellmer in 2018. McTaggart still holds the league record in that event as well at 48.75.

In this case, she broke Ledecky’s 100 freestyle team record. Incidentally, Ledecky didn’t swim that record in an individual 100 freestyle event, or even on a relay leadoff leg. Rather, her former school record was a 49.45 done to the feet on the opening 100 yards of her famous 1:41.55 200 free at 2015 Metros – which in its totality set a new National High School Record.

That’s Gemmell’s second ISL win in the 100 free – she also took the event as a freshman. The 2021 meet was canceled, interrupting her chance at a fourpeat.

Gemmell finished her day by teaming-up with Darby LeFaivreLauren Tucker, and Eleanor Sun to win the 400 free relay in 3:28.59, sealing the team title for Stone Ridge. Gemmell split 48.80 on that anchor leg.

Other winners for Stone Ridge en route to a second-straight team title were junior Lauren Tucker in the 500 free (5:02.65), and freshman Cameron House in the 100 breast in 1:05.07.

Most of these teams will now move on to the DC Metro Champs as their high school season finale, where historically teams have gone significantly faster than these league championships. The DC Metro Champs, held from February 10-12, are a meet for teams in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area, both public and private.

Final Team Standings:

Top 5:

  1. Stone Ridge – 362
  2. Holton-Arms – 334
  3. Georgetown Visitation – 93
  4. Potomac School – 84
  5. The Madeira School – 73

Stone Ridge celebrates a second-straight ISL title. Courtesy: Susie Shaffer

Other Event Winners:

  • Senior Ella Myers of The Holton-Arms School won the 200 free in 1:52.03 and was 2nd behind Gemmell in the 100 free in 52.44. Myers is a University of Texas commit.
  • Another Holton-Arms senior, Sophie Duncan, won the 200 IM in 1:59.21 ahead of Stone Ridge’s Sun in 2:00.19. Both swims were faster than the old league championship record in the event.
  • Duncan later doubled up with a win in the 100 fly in 54.95. Even without her junior season meet, she’ll graduate with 4 ISL individual titles.
  • Courtney Watts gave Holton-Arms another title when she won the 100 back in 57.56, just out-touching Maret School’s Emily Noll (57.67).
  • Holton-Arms dominated the 200 free relay in a time of 1:36.68, with the team of Joyce WuElla MyersCourtney Watts, and Sophie Duncan. Duncan had the fastest split of the field with a 23.41 anchor. Stone Ridge placed 2nd without Erin Gemmell, but even her speed wouldn’t have been enough to make up the six-and-a-half second gap to Holton-Arms.

Full Meet Live Stream:

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3 months ago

Longhorns are going to be good, very very good.

3 months ago

Disappointing for Grigorishin. All that money spent and loses to a High School team.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of 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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