Water works: McClellan, Genrich finish with flourish
A job well done deserves a day off.
Emily McClellan, a Delavan-Darien High graduate, topped off a successful junior year for the UW-Milwaukee women’s swimming team with All-America honors at the NCAA Division I championships in Indianapolis last weekend.
Despite turning in a strong performance in a field that included Olympic qualifiers, McClellan—the Horizon League’s women’s swimmer of the year for the third straight year—said she cannot afford to bask in the glow of success.
"It’s back in the pool for training," McClellan said. "I’ll keep up with the same schedule of 20 hours of dry land and swimming.’’
McClellan said she is taking "a few days off" to catch up on schoolwork, but the meter continues to run.
"You take a day off and the other person didn’t," McClellan said. "And they are getting better than you.’’
McClellan qualified for the 200-meter individual medley and the 100 and 200 breaststrokes at Indianapolis. She broke her UWM and Horizon League records in the 200 individual medley with a time of 1:59.26 to finish 36th among 64 swimmers. McClellan moved up 22 places from her 2012 finish and cut nearly two seconds off her 2012 NCAA time.
In the 100 breaststroke, McClellan was seeded 14th in the nation, but improved to finish 10th overall. She posted a 59.33; Texas A&M junior Breeja Larson, a 2012 Olympic gold medalist, finished in 57.63 for the victory.
"Larson is built like a breaststroker," McClellan said. "Her walls are phenomenal—she gets off quick and stays under water a long time.’’
McClellan, who finished sixth in the 100 breaststroke at last summer’s Olympic trials, moved up eight places from her 2012 NCAA finish and cut almost two seconds off her time.
McClellan concluded her NCAA appearance by moving up 13 places in the 200 breaststroke from 2012 with a 12th-place finish and a season-best 2:09.10, more than two seconds better than last year.
"I’m happy with the way everything went," McClellan said. "I think I’ve improved a lot over the past couple of years.’’
McClellan continues to train hard in preparation for the World University Games July 6-17 in Kazan, Russia. McClellan qualified for the U.S. team after finishing first in the 100 breaststroke at the U.S. Open last August.
McClellan is taken back by her success.
"It’s crazy," McClellan said.
"I never thought I’d have all the accomplishments I’ve achieved."
McClellan has her senior year remaining, and more achievements could be on the way.
"I’m starting to plan for next year," said McClellan, who will train with J-Hawk Aquatic Club in Whitewater this summer. "I still have time and I am improving.’’
After her Olympic trials debut, McClellan wants to return to that stage.
"It would be amazing to go back and swim and compete at the trials, but a lot can happen from now and then, but I owe it to myself to keep trying,’’ McClellan said.
Genrich has last hurrah
While McClellan has her eye on her senior swim season and beyond, Marcus Genrich, a Janesville Parker High graduate, finished his swimming career with UW-Whitewater at the NCAA Division III championships in Shenendoah, Texas, last weekend.
Genrich finished his career by posting a time of 57.07 seconds in the 100 breaststroke, a season-best 2:04.84 in the 200 breaststroke and a 1:53.40 in the 200 individual medley. He was part of the Warhawks’ 400 medley relay team.
In his career, Genrich posted school records in the 200 IM and the 100 and 200 breaststroke. He was also a member of three record-setting relay teams.
"It’s been a long time," Genrich said. "I’m glad it’s over, but not really glad.’’
A biology and chemistry major, Genrich said he wants to teach and coach swimming. Genrich has been on the Dean’s List for the past three years and held a cumulative GPA of 3.566 coming into this year.
Genrich said balancing school and swimming was not easy.
"It was really hard," Genrich said. "Just swimming or just going to school is hard enough, but when you put them together it’s tough."
Compared to most competitive swimmers, Genrich covered a lot of ground in little time. He didn’t begin competitive swimming until he was a sophomore at Parker.
"I’ve only been swimming about 10 years," said Genrich, who is an assistant coach for the J-Hawk club team in Whitewater. "Most swimmers at the college level have been swimming since they were 5 to 8 years old."
Genrich said he stayed with college swimming because he enjoyed the competition and working with his teammates and coach.
"It was wanting to go faster and work with my team and my coach," Genrich said. "My coach pushes you and he keeps a competitive atmosphere. He keeps everyone in it.’’
Ken Veloskey is a sports writer for The Gazette.
Last updated: 8:16 am Monday, April 29, 2013