Erin Gemmell On Making Olympic Team: “I could do that too someday too maybe” (Video)

Reported by James Sutherland.


  • Junior World: 1:56.12, Shen Duo (CHN), 2014
  • Meet: 1:58.26, Lia Neal, 2011
  1. Erin Gemmell, NCAP, 2:00.74
  2. Miranda Heckman, PLS, 2:00.77
  3. Claire Tuggle, CLOV, 2:00.80

13-year-old Erin Gemmell from Nation’s Capital really went for it in the women’s 200 free final, posting the fastest splits in the field on the first two 50s in 27.82 and 30.31. Claire Tuggle made up a bit of ground on the third 50, and then a huge push on the last length by Miranda Heckman made it a three-way battle to the wall.

At the touch it was Gemmell, barely hanging on for the win in 2:00.74, just over Heckman (2:00.77) and Tuggle (2:00.80). Gemmell swam the 3rd fastest time ever by a 13-year-old American this morning in 2:01.50, and now moves past Sippy Woodhead (2:01.08) for 2nd behind only Tuggle (1:59.11). She also moves into 9th all-time in the 13-14 age group.

16-year-old Samantha Pearson won the B-final in 2:00.63, knocking over two seconds off her prelim swim and sneaking under her personal best from Nationals. That time ended up stacking up as the fastest of the night.

15-year-old Olivia McMurray (2:01.90) and 14-year-old Ella Bathurst (2:02.33) both made impressive drops from the C-final. Bathurst is now just over a second outside the top-10 all-time in the 13-14 age group.

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4 years ago

How does Erin Gemmell perform in other events? Is the 200 free her strongest one? What kind of swimmer can she possibly be? Sprint, middle, long distances? How does she do with other strokes. She will be only 15 in 2020. Maybe still too young to be on Olympic team.

bobo gigi
Reply to  Yozhik
4 years ago

All her freestyle records have been made this week (26.15/56.62/2.00.74) except the 400 free (4.21.88). She has never swum the 800 free and the 1500 free in long course so far.

Reply to  bobo gigi
4 years ago

So she is quite an opposite to Tuggle’s type who has 400 as her strongest event. They just overlapped in 200. Will be interesting to see who of them will progress faster in this event because 4×200 relay can be their the only chance to become Olympian in 2020.

Jim C
Reply to  Yozhik
4 years ago

I would imagine the Gemmells are thinking about the Olympics in 2024. Erin would need about a 4s improvement to qualify for the relay. I expect her to be at the Trials in 2020 for the experience.

bobo gigi
Reply to  bobo gigi
4 years ago

Now 26.14 in the 50 free.

4 years ago

How can a 13 year old be that levelheaded and articulate??

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Coleman Hodges

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