Breakout UW-Milwaukee star and recent college grad Emily McClellan is spending her summer training with the professional group at Minnesota Aquatics before heading to Dave Salo‘s USC program in the fall. McClellan checks in with SwimSwam from Minneapolis to talk about the big learning curve she’s tackled during her rapid rise to swimming stardom.
McClellan first picked up swimming in high school, only started swimming year-round in college, and now is readjusting to full-time long course training, another new element for her. McClellan won a bronze medal for the U.S. at last summer’s World University Games, and will fight for a spot on the national team at the upcoming national championships in Irvine.
A transcript of her answers is below:
SwimSwam: SwimSwam here with Emily McClellan, NCAA runner-up with UW-Milwaukee. Emily, talk a little bit about your summer training plans and future training plans after that.
McClellan: OK! Well, this summer I’m training at the University of Minnesota with Kelly Kremer and it’s been good so far, we’re having fun. There’s a good group of post-grads and it’s been exciting for me because there’s other breaststrokers here like Jared Anderson, Haley Spencer, Josh Hall. It’s just been nice to have other people in the same boat as me, and people to train and work with. It’s been really good training.
At the end of summer after nationals, my plan is to go out to L.A. and train at Southern Cal with Dave Salo. Really looking forward to that! Dave’s a great coach and the pool out there, just the whole environment and everything out there is just really exciting. It’s just fun – I’m excited to be a part of that and have a change of pace, something new.
SwimSwam: Now you really had a breakout college career and kind of came from an interesting club backgroud. Talk a little bit about that, where you came from growing up.
McClellan: Well, I kind of picked up competitive swimming in high school and got better and better as the years went by. And so I really started swimming year-round going into college. Coming out of my freshman year of college was really my first time swimming year round.
My club background, I swam for the J-Hawks Aquatic Club with Cheri Zimdars. Cheri kind of sat me down and was like ‘Emily, college swimming, you’ve got to do it.’ I was just so fresh and raw. I still am today. This is really my first time ever training long course. I had some of that background with Cheri, but then in college we didn’t have any long course pool or anything.
I’ve just been learning between [Milwaukee coach] Kyle Clements and Cheri and what I learned at Milwaukee. Going from NCAA swimming and then learning club swimming, it’s kind of come full-circle. I’ve been able to apply it more, but they both really have helped me out tremendously and taught me everything.
SwimSwam: Thanks, Emily, and good luck the rest of the season!