5 Questions With a Trials Qualifier: Erin Gemmell

By: Rich House

Erin is from Potomac, MD swam summer league with Potomac Woods in the MCSL, went to Stone Ridge high school (same class as Eleanor Sun), swam year-round with Nation’s Capital (NCAP), and just completed her Freshman year at the University of Texas. While at Stone Ridge, Erin earned USA Swimming Scholastic All American, PVS Scholar Athlete all 4 years, as well as 1st-Team All Met, and in her Senior year was selected as Washington Post’s ‘Swimmer of the Year‘. She has found success at every level of the sport, setting league records in summer league- MCSL- 15-18 100 Freestyle (54.59), in high school, she set the Metro record in the 100 Freestyle (48.19) and in her 1st year at Texas has jumped into the Texas All-Time Top 10 in several events including the 100 & 200 Freestyle. At NCAA’s she competed in the 100, 200 and 500 Freestyle events, finishing 18th in the 100 (47.78 best time), 10th in the 200 (1:43.05, best time) and 31st in the 500 (4:41.75), helping the Texas Women capture 2nd place overall.
Erin has qualified for Trials in 5 events, 50, 100, 200, 400 Freestyle races and the 200 IM, with the 400 Freestyle kicking off on June 15th- Day 1 of Trails! This is Erin’s 2nd Olympic Trials as she competed back in 2021, just missing the Olympic Team in the 200 Freestyle, finishing 9th overall. She has swum numerous National and International competitions since then. Notably, June 27-July 1 2023, at the Phillips 66 National Championships, she was 4th in the 400 Free, 4th in the 200 Free and 10th in the 100 Free. This earned her a spot on the US roster for World Championships. The World Championships were held July 23-30th, in Fukuoka, Japan and Erin competed on the 4x 200 free Relay at the World Championships, where she swam a personal best time of 1:55.97 on the leadoff.

Erin with her 4 x 200 Free Relay teammates at World Championships. Photo Courtesy Erin Gemmell

You can watch Erin compete at Trials starting Saturday, June 15th for the 400 Freestyle Prelims, then Sunday, June 16th for the 200 Freestyle Prelims, Tuesday, June 18th for the 100 Freestyle Prelims, Friday June 21st for the 200 IM Prelims and Saturday, June 22nd for the 50 Freestyle Prelims. Media coverage gets underway on Saturday, June 15, with qualifying heats airing live on Peacock with same day delayed coverage each day on USA Network.

Photo by Marcus Chen

Here’s the Questions:

RFTW: Which is more fun- Summer League (MCSL) or College meets…and why?

EG: College meets! I loved my time swimming MCSL, but for me, racing with people I spend hours every day with is more fun because I know them better, and I’ve seen all they work they’ve put in pay off.

RFTW: What is your favorite hype song/band and favorite chill song/band?

EG: Taylor Swift is my go to for all scenarios, but recently I’ve also been listening to Billie Eilish before meets, specifically The Diner and You Should See Me in a Crown. When I’m chilling, I’ve been listening to a lot of Fleetwood Mac this spring and summer.

RFTW: What is your ‘go to’ meal before a meet?

EG: Any pasta! I love all types, but specifically tortellini or ravioli. As a smaller meal right before a session, peanut butter sandwiches have never failed me.

RFTW: What is the best advice you’ve received from a coach?

EG: “Just go fast” — It’s simple, but effective. It helps me remember not to overcomplicate things, and instead to focus on racing.

RFTW: Who has inspired you in your career (list 2, a swimmer & non-swimmer)?

EG: My brother, Andrew, has inspired me so much; I would say he is my original inspiration from before I knew any other swimmers. It’s hard to view things as impossible when your sibling has already done them, so all of his accomplishments — making multiple national teams and the Olympics — make it seem easier to me. Taylor Swift is my number one non-swimmer inspiration. I admire her work ethic and her ability to ignore what others say about her and chase her goals.

RFTW: (Bonus Question) What advice can you give to current age groupers looking to achieve their goals in swimming?

EG: Small things add up! Having one really good practice is great, but what really matters is showing up and giving it your best effort, even on days you’re tired and can’t swim your fastest. Also, assume that if you put in the work, you can reach your goals! You might not be able to right now, but doubting yourself won’t help. Try not to get in your own way.

One thought on “5 Questions With a Trials Qualifier: Erin Gemmell

  • Jun 15, 2024 at 6:24 pm

    Rays 544.5 v. Talyho ho ho ho 246.5. Need I say more?


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