Texas A&M’s Ashley McGregor will delay her senior season, training instead in Canada to prepare for the Olympic Trials.
McGregor is training at Swimming Canada’s training hub in Montreal according to Tom Rushton, the head coach of that location. She will train there leading up to Canadian Olympic Trials in the spring, and plans to return to Texas A&M for her senior season in 2016-2017.
We’ve reached out to Texas A&M for comment, but the Aggies have not responded.
McGregor was arguably the best breaststroker on the Aggie roster, which took 4th in the NCAA last season. She finished 7th in the 200 breast at the 2015 NCAA Championships, earning her All-America status.
But McGregor is also among the best Canadian breaststrokers, and should have a shot at an Olympic berth next year. McGregor holds the 3rd-fastest time of any Canadian in the 200 breast for 2015, and it looks like she’ll be battling Kierra Smith and Martha McCabe, among others, for the nation’s two Olympic spots. Smith, like McGregor, is taking a redshirt season from the NCAA after winning a national title with the Minnesota Golden Gophers last spring.
If Texas A&M can afford a big loss in one event discipline this year, it’s the breaststrokes. Though losing McGregor will hurt, the team still returns NCAA scorer Bethany Galat, NCAA relay member Franko Jonker, almost-scorer Sycerika McMahon and incoming transfer Jorie Caneta. As we mentioned in our profile of the A&M women earlier today, the Aggies have the depth to weather McGregor’s absence for a year.