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Ella Menear, a Pennsylvania high school state champion and Summer Juniors qualifier, has announced her verbal commitment to swim for Alabama beginning in 2023.
I chose Alabama because of the family-like culture and relationships I quickly established there. The coaching staff, along with the team are so welcoming and approachable. Alabama also offers some of the best opportunities both in and out of the pool. I can’t wait to spend the next four at this beautiful campus.
Menear, a member of the high school class of 2023, specializes in sprint free, backstroke and IM. She has competed in prestigious meets such as the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association State Championships, Speedo Winter Junior Championships, and several Futures Championships.
Best Times SCY:
- 50 free- 23.92
- 100 free- 51.77
- 100 back- 53.37
- 200 back- 1:59.53
- 200 IM- 2:00.50
Menear goes to Mapletown Jr. Sr. High School, which does not have a pool or an official swim team. She still competes under school name, however, which makes her the first and only swimmer in school history. Menear travels to Morgantown, West Virginia where she trains with Club Mountaineer Aquatics.
At the 2022 Pennsylvania 2A State Championships (PIAA), Menear competed in the 100 back and 200 IM, qualifying for finals in both. In the 100 backstroke, she placed 2nd with a 53.37, taking nearly three-quarters of a second off her previous personal best, set only 2 weeks prior.
In the 200 IM, she became not only Mapletown’s first and only swimmer, but also their first and only state champion. She won the race in a time of 2:00.50, smashing her previous personal best, which was set that very morning, by over 2 seconds.
Menear has a 2022 Summer Juniors Qualifying time in the 200 IM. She also holds the Winter Juniors cut in the 200 backstroke, the Winter US Open cut in the 100 backstroke, and Futures cuts in the 50 and 100 yard freestyles.
In High School, Menear is a two-sport athlete, also playing on Mapletown’s volleyball team. Her team was the first Mapletown volleyball team in history to win every game on route to becoming Section Champions.
The University of Alabama is a Division I program in the SEC. At the 2022 SEC Championships, the Women’s team finished 3rd out of the 12 teams. At NCAas, they came in 4th with 288 points, the best finish in program history. The Crimson Tide had 3 women compete in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics: Rhyan White (USA), Kalia Antoniou (Cyprus), and Diana Petkova (Bulgaria).
Distance free specialist Kensey McMahon just announced her decision to return to Alabama for a 5th year. Olympic backstroker Rhyan White made the same decision. The return of these two stars will help carry over some of Alabama’s momentum from last season.
The biggest losses for the 2022-2023 season will be felt in the sprint group, as the team’s top sprinters Morgan Scott and Kalia Antoniou have not announced their intentions to return for a 5th year. Among last year’s roster, Menear would rank 10th in the 100 free and 15th in the 50 free.
Menear’s best time in the 200 IM would have placed her 29th overall at the 2022 SEC’s and 5th among the swimmers from Alabama. Alabama’s highest finish in the event was by sophomore Diana Petkova who finished 3rd. Senior Cat Wright was close behind, coming in 5th.
When Menear arrives at Alabama, she will train under head coach Margo Geer, a former USA National Team member who just finished her first year as head coach of the Crimson Tide. Geer qualified for last year’s Olympic Trials, though she ultimately chose not to compete, and was a three-time NCAA Champion at the University of Arizona.
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