Trib HSSN girls swimmer of the week: Elizabeth Forward’s Kaelyn McClain

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Friday, January 4, 2019 | 6:33 PM


Kaelyn McClain owned the WPIAL Class AA girls 500-yard freestyle last year as she claimed the WPIAL title and was the top WPIAL finisher at the PIAA championships, taking fifth overall with a time of 5 minutes, 12.26 seconds.

The Elizabeth Forward junior is picking up where she left off last season as she has established herself again as one of the top distance swimmers in the region.

“We sat down at the beginning of the year and talked about some of her goals,” Warriors coach Shawna Boden said. “She has set times she wants to accomplish, and we’re doing everything we can to help her reach those times.”

McClain found herself near the top of the performance list in the Class AA 500 free through December, and she also is among the leaders in the 200 free. She placed eighth at states in the 200 free last year.

“She looks good in the pool so far,” Boden said. “We’re hoping to mix up her events this year to give her a little variety and the opportunity to qualify in some others. From what I can see, she has the ability to qualify for WPIALs in every individual event. Even though she’s a distance swimmer mostly, she’s pretty versatile.”

McClain, who also swims for the Norwin Aqua Club program, was able to test herself at the annual Pitt Christmas meet at Trees Pool. In addition to her usual distance events, she got the chance to up the endurance factor and compete in the mile.

“She really wanted to go there and challenge herself beyond what she normally does,” Boden said.

“It gave her an opportunity to see where she was in terms of her training. She came back from the meet feeling pretty good about where she was. She was training and doing double practices and hadn’t rested in preparation for that meet. To perform the way she did without resting shows us what kind of swimmer she is.”

Michael Love is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Michael at mlove@tribweb.com or via Twitter @MLove_Trib.

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