Ultra Swimmer of the Month: Leah Shackley

Ultra Swim Swimmer of the Month is a recurring SwimSwam feature shedding light on a U.S.-based swimmer who has proven themselves over the past month. As with any item of recognition, Swimmer of the Month is a subjective exercise meant to highlight one athlete whose work holds noteworthy context – perhaps a swimmer who was visibly outperforming other swimmers over the month, or one whose accomplishments slipped through the cracks among other high-profile swims. If your favorite athlete wasn’t selected, feel free to respectfully recognize them in our comment section.

It’s been a breakout month for Leah Shackley, as the (new) NC State commit has quickly risen into a premier contender in several events at the U.S. National Championships in June.

Shackley entered May with best times in her three primary events—100 back, 200 back and 100 fly—all having been set at the U.S. Open in December.

The Blair Regional YMCA swimmer clocked 1:00.45 in the 100 back, 2:12.36 in the 200 back and 1:00.62 in 100 fly at the end of 2022, but has now been faster in all three races multiple times after a pair of standout performances at the Renee McCutchan Invite in early May and the Speedo Sectionals in Richmond a few weeks later.

The 16-year-old dropped time in succession in the 100 and 200 back, and in the 100 fly, she set a PB at the Renee McCutchan Invite and then came within 15 one-hundredths at Sectionals.

LCM 2022 U.S. Open 2023 Renee McCutchan Invite
2023 Richmond Sectionals
100 Back 1:00.45 59.91 59.55
200 Back 2:12.36 2:08.65 2:08.42
100 Fly 1:00.62 58.07 58.22

Shackley now ranks fifth all-time in the girls’ 15-16 age group in the 100 back, sixth in the 100 fly and seventh in the 200 back.

In Richmond, Shackley also raced the 200 fly for the first time in her career in long course, clocking 2:12.41 in the final to rank second among U.S. swimmers in the 15-16 age group this season and 70th overall.

As we descend on the U.S. National Championships in late June, Shackley ranks third among Americans this season in the 200 back, fifth in the 100 back and eighth in the 100 fly.

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About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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