Sophomore makes UWM, league history at NCAA swim championships

Emily McCellelan

Emily McClellan is the first-ever female from the Horizon League and the first-ever Panther swimmer to earn a trip to the NCAA Women’s Swimming and Diving Championship.

For the second consecutive year, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee sophomore swimmer Emily McClellan earned a trip to the Division 1 NCAA Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships at Auburn University. The three-day championship meet kicked off Thursday, March 15 and wrapped up Saturday, March 17.

McClellan is the first-ever female from the Horizon League and the first-ever Panther swimmer to earn a trip to the NCAA Women’s Swimming and Diving Championship.

McClellan posted NCAA A-cut times in winning both the 100 and 200 breaststroke at the Horizon League meet to earn an automatic bid into the national competition and also won the 200 IM – a freestyle medley of multiple strokes – with an NCAA B-cut time. Achieving an A-cut time requires an elite-level performance, and thus automatically qualifies a swimmer for the NCAA championships.

Emily McClellan

Emily McClellan

After automatically qualifying for the 100 and 200 breaststroke by posting an A-cut time in the Horizon League Championship, McClellan finished 18th overall in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:00.31 and 25th in the 200 breaststroke with a time of 2:11.45. McClellan finished with a time of 2:02.72 in the 200 IM for 58th overall.

Last season, in McClellan’s first trip to the NCAA Championship meet, she competed in the 100 breaststroke where she placed 35th in the country. She also placed in two other events last season.

The NCAA Championship capped an outstanding season for McClellan and Milwaukee women’s swimming and diving team. This season the Panthers won the Horizon League Championship for only the second time since 2001. The men’s team won their third-straight league championship this year.

Looking back on McClellan’s 2011-12 season provides some incredible numbers. In the three events she competed in nationally, the sophomore twice broke her own school and league record, broke the Klotsche Center record in the 200 breaststroke and helped break the Klotsche record in both the 200 and 400 medley relays despite only having two home meets this season. She also broke countless opposing schools’ pool records and, of the 21 times she competed in her three main events, she took first place all but two times.