Special Sets: The Training of Surging Teenage Star Rylee Erisman; 14-Year-Old Qualified for Olympic Trials in Seven Events

Rylee Erisman

Special Sets: The Training of Surging Teenage Star Rylee Erisman; 14-Year-Old Qualified for Olympic Trials in Seven Events

In Windermere, it’s already been a good year for the Erisman family. In early January, son, Ryan Erisman, second-ranked by SwimCloud in Florida and 12th (USA) in the Class of 2025, committed to swim at Cal. His pledge to the Berkeley Bears came on top of posting four All-American times in November at the 4A Florida High School state meet. There he won the 200 and 500 free (1:36.13, 4:22.05), anchored the winning 200 free relay (20.05) and led off the second-place 400 free relay (44.55).

And 14-year-old sister, Rylee Erisman, is making headlines as well. USA Swimming ranks her as the third best 13-14 girl nationally behind Charlotte Crush and Kayla Han. This past weekend, Rylee, who trains in the national group with head coach Kyle Goller at Windermere Laker Aquatics, concluded an outstanding Southern Zone South Sectional in Orlando, raising her Olympic Trials cut total from five to seven.

On Day 1, she took her 200 free cut from 2:00.64 to 2:00.27. Day 2 proved to be a smoke-on-the-water experience. In the 200 IM, she dropped 2.30 seconds to go 2:15 29, waited 12 minutes for the 50 free, and then topped international medalist Summer McIntosh with a 25.25 to improve her previous best and OT cut by 15-hundredths. On Day 3, she achieved another Trials cut, this time in the 400 IM by knocking off 6.10 seconds to clock a 4:48.26. Erisman’s other cuts are in the 100 and 200 back (1:01.70, 2:12.13).

“I was very pleased with not only her swims but our overall team performance,” Coach Goller said. “We had the highest place in team history with a combined score of third place (behind Sarasota Sharks and Bolles) and our girls team was second behind the Sharks. I think our team has set a nice foundation going into the summer for LCM season and for those going to trials as well.

“Rylee did very well (last) weekend and was about what I expected from her but there is still lots of room for improvement before the big show (Olympic Trials) in June.”

Rylee Erisman

Rylee Erisman

In December, she rocked at the 2023 Speedo Winter Junior East Championships by finishing third in the 100 and 200 free (48.32, 1:45.28), both personal bests and Florida 13-14 age group records. Those times currently rank her third and fourth in USA Swimming’s all-time top-100 rankings. She is also 16th in the 100 back SCY and holds five top-100 LC positions. In the Sunshine State, Erisman holds seven 13-14 state age group records and one 10-and-under mark (50 back LC, 33.70).

Erisman sports considerable range in her events, including non-pool swims. In April 2023, she finished second in the USA Swimming 5K Junior Open Water Championships (1:03:28), just 14 seconds behind North Carolina Aquatic Club’s Daisy Collins.

“What makes Rylee a great swimmer is her love for the sport and her ability to push her teammates so the team can get better,” says Coach Goller. “She likes to joke with teammates, and makes practice fun for everyone. Rylee is a positive influence and consummate teammate who leads by example.

“She is very intelligent and not stressful around the goal-setting process. She sets goals quietly and understands that if she doesn’t get them at one meet, she brushes it off, knowing what she needs to do to improve.

“In practice, she is always looking for ways to be better—no matter the yardage or stroke. What drives Rylee is being the best she can be while having fun. A lot of swimmers are intense about what they want to achieve, but Rylee is about as relaxed as I have ever seen concerning goals,” says Goller.

“I knew from tryout days when she was 9 that she had the talent to be an incredible swimmer because of her feel for the water and how easily she moved through it. When she was 10, a lot of coaches in Florida told me she was a special one to watch. Ever since she broke the Florida LSC record in the 10-and-under 100 back, she has had a fire to break more records and be the best,” he says.

“I am proud and honored to have coached her the past five years and gotten to know her as the wonderful person she has become. I am excited to see where swimming takes her.


Set 1: 400 IM (LC)


  • 2 x 100 fly off the block for time @ 2:00
  • 2 x 50 back (negative-split by 50) @ :50
  • 4 x 50 breast (quality effort) @ :55

30-seconds rest

  • 100 free faster than 1:05, no interval
  • 400 IM for time off the block @ 8:00

No extra rest—go straight into next round

Set 2: Distance (LC)

  • 1500 @ 21:00 (1:25 base), negative-split (80-90%)
  • 15 x 100 @ 1:25, 3x

(#1-2 make, #3 negative-split, #4 descend by 25 to sub-max, #5 sub-max)

  • 800 @ 10:40 (1:20 base), negative-split (85-95%)
  • 8 x 100 @ 1:20, 2x

(#1 make, #2 negative-split, #3-4 max effort)

  • 400 @ 5:00 (1:15 base), max effort
  • 4 x 100 @ 1:15, all max

Set 3: Backstroke (SCY)

Best 100 back time: 53.9

21 x 100 all back:

  • 8 x 100 @ 1:30 (8-10 seconds from best time)
  • 100 easy @ 2:00
  • 6 x 100 @ 1:40 (6-8 seconds from best time)
  • 100 easy @ 2:00
  • 4 x 100 @ 1:50 (4-6 seconds from best time)
  • 100 easy @ 2:00
  • 2 x 100 @ 2:00 (2-4 seconds from best time)
  • 100 easy @ 2:00
  • 1 x 100 off the blocks (1-3 seconds from best time)

Set 4: 75s (SCY)

Every Thursday afternoon from August to early November, we go rounds of 4 x 75 max on 1:30 choice stroke, but the stroke needs to be the same every Thursday for this set.

We will start the first week with just one round of 4 x 75 and go all the way up to six rounds of 4 x 75, and go back down to one round when it’s the week before the high school state meet.

In the fall, doing backstroke, Rylee held 43s for five to six rounds. In late October, she did one round of 4 x 75 freestyle, holding :37-:38. We pick this set back up when we finish Christmas training until our big SCY meet in March.

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