By Reed Shimberg
PHOENIX, Arizona, June 16. JIMMY McEldrew, a five-star recruit from the class of 2011, is the next subject in the Swimming World College Recruit Rankings Profiles series. McEldrew lives in Pennsylvania and swims for Germantown Academy Aquatic Club while attending Germantown Academy.
He owns senior national cuts in the 200m back (2:06.14), 200m IM (2:07.96) and 400m IM (4:31.26).
McEldrew maintains his profile in the Swimming World College Recruit Rankings.
What is your favorite set?
I like sets which we descend. I like having a break in between the fast ones, and then just sprinting.
What is your least favorite set?
At GA we swim with buckets attached to our hips, and while I know the value in these sets, they aren't my favorites.
What is your daily schedule with school and practice and such?
We have practice from 6 until about 7:40 every Monday through Friday during the school year and from 6 until 9 in the summer. School starts at 8 and ends at 2:50 and swimming starts at 3 and goes until 6. In the summer, afternoon practice starts at 1 and ends at about 4. Saturdays usually run from 7:45 to 12 and Sundays go from 10 to 12.
What is it like swimming everyday? Do you ever feel like you need a break?
I don't really know anything different. Once I became serious with swimming, I began training every day. It keeps me focused. The only hard part about practicing everyday is probably Sundays, but I've always felt I train better on Monday when I swim on Sunday.
What are your long and short term goals?
I have some times that I would like to reach at Nationals. In the long run, I just want to take swimming as far as I can.
What is something that people wouldn't know about you?
My mom taught me how to cook, and I'm actually pretty good at it.
What type of input do you have in your training (versus your coach)?
My coach pretty much runs the show. But I don't mind it, I trust him completely.
What are you interested in studying in college?
I've always been interested in medicine so that's what I'll probably pursue.
Swimming has always been fun for me. There have been times when I hate it and just want to leave, but I always get through it because I remember the fun times I had with swimming.
Did you do other sports?
I did everything when I was little: cross country, baseball, basketball, lacrosse and soccer. But than I found swimming and just stuck with it.
What is your favorite food?
I love Cheesesteaks, they're delicious.
What is it like to swim at Germantown Academy with such a rich history of successful athletes?
I hear stories everyday about [Couch Richard Shoulberg's past athletes. At the pool, there is a flag for every country in which a GAAC athlete has represented the USA. All those things motivate me to work harder and swim faster.
What have the Crippens taught you about success and hard work?
The Crippens are definitely a one-of-a-kind family. I've never met Maddy, but I've heard stories about her work ethic. I swim everyday with Fran. Fran is one of the hardest workers I've ever seen. He gives his all on everything, and I don't think I've ever seen him fail a set. I swam with Teresa my freshman year. She basically taught me how to train. We raced every set, and fought to get to every wall. Claire was the first person to talk to me when I moved to the senior group. She introduced me to everyone made sure I was all right. But Claire works hard too. Training with the Crippens has taught me to never give up, to never back down from a set, and to always try my hardest.
What is the best thing about Coach Shoulberg?
Shoulberg never gives anyone a break. And while it may sound harsh, it actually works very well. He never lets you slack off or hide at the end of the lane. He tells me everyday that great athletes swim well at night, but the best athletes swim better the next morning. Shoulberg never lets anyone become complacent with where they are, he knows that you can always do better.
What keeps you motivated in the pool?
I know what I want to accomplish, and I know what I have to do in order accomplish my goals. But my team helps a lot too. It always nice to have someone going through the same thing as you are.
What opportunities has swimming opened up for you?
I've gotten to travel all over the country. I've met so many people and have had so many good experiences.
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