Fans of the Stone Ridge swimming program were treated to a trio of Gators competing at the USA Swimming Winter Nationals in Greensboro, NC last weekend as Erin Gemmell '23 and Phoebe Bacon '20 competed alongside alumna Katie Ledecky '15 in the most competitive domestic swim meet of the season. The USA Swimming Winter Nationals meet attracts the highest level of swimming talent from the United States, with a handful of international competitors in the field as well. The meet is consistently ranked as the 2nd or 3rd most competitive meet held annually in the US, with qualifying swimmers competing in an open age group. At the meet, the female swimmers ranged from age 13 to 31, with several collegiate swimmers taking part. This year, the Winter Nationals represented the first national qualifying meet for the 2020 US Olympic Team Trials Meet that will take place in June of 2020.
Erin represented the youngest batch of swimmers at the Winter Nationals at just 13 years old. Finishing as the fastest 13-year old at the meet in the 50, 100, and 200 meter freestyle events, Erin's meet was highlighted with her performance in the 100 meter freestyle. Erin not only finished 11th overall in the event, touching out a former Olympian and world-record holder, but her time of 56.32 seconds was a personal best performance, which now ranks her as the 2nd fastest American 13-year old 100 meter freestyler ever. Erin's time in the 100 freestyle was also just .03 seconds off of the 2020 Olympic Team Trials qualification standard.
Phoebe, a veteran at national and international meets, had a great showing, completing the meet with a top-10 finish in each of her four races. Phoebe also achieved the 2020 Olympic Team Trials Meet qualifying standard in all four races. Phoebe achieved a 9th place finish in both the 200 meter individual medley and 100 meter butterfly by winning the consolation final heat, earned a 6th place finish in the 200 meter backstroke final, and highlighted the meet with a 2nd place finish in the 100 meter backstroke final, finishing as the fastest American in the event.
Both swimmers just began their respective Middle School (Gemmell) and varsity (Bacon) swim seasons at Stone Ridge. Coming off a great performance at Winter Nationals, we are excited to see where Erin and Phoebe can lead the Gators this season and in the years to come!