Leah Shackley Drives One Hour Each Way to Train By Herself at a SCY YMCA 6 Days a Week

2024 PRO SWIM SERIES – WESTMONT

At the Westmont Pro Swim, high school senior Leah Shackley placed 2nd in the 100 back and 3rd in the 200 back, 100 fly, and 200 fly. When SwimSwam spoke with her after her meet, we learned that Shackley only swims six times per week, once per day Monday-Saturday, which is up from this fall when she only swam five times. Shackley drives one hour each way to a YMCA (6 lanes, 25 yards) to train by herself every day.

The closest Olympic-size (LCM) pool to Shackley is 2.5 hours away, so she rarely gets to train long course. However, none of this has stopped Shackley from reaching success at a very high level in swimming. She’s one of the top high school recruits in the nation and will attend NC State in the fall after competing at the 2024 US Olympic Trials in Indianapolis.

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AAAA
3 months ago

Good for Leah, one of the most naturally gifted swimmers of all time. Hard worker, too, I’m sure.

At least some of what is written in the article is not true. Mercersburg Academy has a beautiful 50 meter facility. It definitely isn’t 2.5 hours from Bedford county. Maybe 1 hour, 1 hour 15, maybe less than an hour depending on where you are in Bedford.

Coachgrass
Reply to  AAAA
3 months ago

You’re correct as the crow flies she is about an hour and a half to Mercersburg, her coach however is nearly two hours. And while I’m sure the Academy would love to have her it would cost her a few bucks. Can’t we just recognize the kid answered the questions, understanding her geography as it is and not not call into question the fine details of her replies.

AAAA
Reply to  Coachgrass
3 months ago

Is it possible she doesn’t realize there’s a 50-meter pool at Mercersburg? I mapped it from Bedford, it’s one hour away. Maybe she lives in a far corner of the county, which is why you’re saying 1.5 hours. Anyway, I just thought that reply was interesting. She seems super genuine. She might not realize Mercersburg is that close. And you definitely don’t have to attend the academy to swim at the facility.

Last edited 3 months ago by AAAA
AAAA
Reply to  AAAA
3 months ago

Bucknell is 2.5 hours away from her. She must think that is the closest facility. I guess I think it’s problematic that someone as good as she is, who has a chance to make the Olympics, thinks the closest long course facility is twice as far as it actually is from her. If she’s willing to drive an hour every day to get to Blair Regional, she might be willing to drive 1.25-1.5 hours once a week to train long course, if she knew it were an option.

Mylan Park is also probably about 1.5 hours from her.

Old man in speedis
Reply to  AAAA
3 months ago

Maybe there’s more to the story than how far she lives from any pool? I think the its “problematic” that you think there’s a simpler solution that she is just too stupid to think of. But no matter. We are glad you’re here to drive her carpool, being as you’re such an expert at driving kids to the closest pools in rural PA. Cheers!

ACC fan
3 months ago

I’m getting a female Dean Farris vibe from all these comments

Breezeway
3 months ago

5 days a week with no doubles and still an elite swimmer? A lot of these club coaches are suddenly in cardiac arrest right now

Riccardo
Reply to  Breezeway
3 months ago

A great athlete with good coaching will beat a good athlete with great coaching.

It’s also like…should we look at this as the shining example or Alex Schackell doing 9 sessions a week + lifting at Carmel?

What’s your point?

Swammer
Reply to  Riccardo
3 months ago

Their point is age group swimmers don’t need doubles to have success. Quality over quantity. 10k a day for age groupers is antiquated.

That’s their point.

Curious George
Reply to  Riccardo
3 months ago

Well you know how it is at Carmel…😵‍💫😵‍💫😵‍💫

Free Thinker
Reply to  Breezeway
3 months ago

I oversaw a gold medal club that didn’t do doubles except for a single six week cycle when school was out. Late may – late July. It can be done. Kids love it, colleges love it even more because they aren’t burnt out or hurt.

Chlorinetherapy
3 months ago

I just want to see her “old lady friends” show up at trials with pom-poms as her cheer squad!!!

Coachgrass
Reply to  Chlorinetherapy
3 months ago

Rumor has it that you just might…lol

Flutterfly
3 months ago

aw, love her spirit!

SwimmerGuy
3 months ago

Love her energy and attitude! Will be fun to see with a better setup how much more she can improve!

Curious George
Reply to  SwimmerGuy
3 months ago

She is a doll!..a positive all around kid.

Swimfreak
3 months ago

Bedford is 32 miles from Blair and 32 miles from Cumberland YMCA. Is she swimming at a different YMCA further awa?

Coachgrass
Reply to  Swimfreak
3 months ago

Your marking from the Turnpike…Bedford County runs to the Maryland Line.

AAAA
Reply to  Coachgrass
3 months ago

So if she’s down close to the Maryland line, she can be an hour from Blair Regional. But then she would be 20-25 mins from Cumberland…

John
3 months ago

One of the best interviews I’ve seen here in a while! She’s so admirable – the little quip about her job at Hollister was amazing

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