GSHS swimmer aims for another successful season |

GSHS swimmer aims for another successful season

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. Emily McDonald has twice received All-American honors for athletics and academics.She’s also earned two gold medals, which are the first individual state swim titles at Glenwood Springs High School.Now, she’ll be taking on the Class 4A state swimmers again, this time in her senior year with the Demons.McDonald will be undergoing a new role in her final season, as one of the captains on the team. Glenwood head coach Michelle Brune will be looking for McDonald to help guide the other swimmers.”One of the things we’re working on is leadership,” Brune said of her expectations of McDonald. “Other kids have always looked up to her because she’s so good, but I almost view her as an assistant at times – helping other swimmers. It’s nice to see her step into that role.”The Colorado Rocky Mountain school student, who swims for Glenwood like two of her other CRMS classmates, has goals for her final year swimming at the high school level, but her first is for her team.”I want the team to do the best that we can,” McDonald said.Individually, McDonald will look to defend her state titles and help Glenwood to another strong state appearance.”I want to hopefully win state again and then qualify for the junior nationals team in the 50 and 100 free,” said McDonald, who drives from Carbondale to Glenwood each weekday for practice at 5:30 a.m.Last season, McDonald earned her gold medals with times of 24.47 in 50 freestyle and 52.21 in the 100 freestyle. This season, Brune, in her second year with the team, is trying to help McDonald make those times even faster.”She is great. She is really pushing us,” McDonald said of Brune. “Last year was sort of a test to see where our limits were. Then this year, she is trying to break those limits down.”McDonald had to sit out occasionally last season because of back and shoulder problems. The same issues have been plaguing her this season, but she is trying to control them by doing physical therapy and sitting out when she needs to.”Emily is looking good,” Brune said. “I know she’s had trouble with her back and has to sit out a little bit here and there, but she’s never missed a whole practice because of it.”A diverse athlete, McDonald keeps herself busy when she’s not in the pool as a member of the CRMS telemark ski team. Every Tuesday and Thursday, she heads to Aspen, where she builds her leg muscles while cruising down the slopes.”It’s wonderful,” McDonald said of telemark skiing. “I love it because it has new challenges and makes you look at things in a whole new way.”This summer, McDonald spent a lot of time in the water. Whether it was helping build her upper body strength while kayaking or swimming for the Sopris Barracudas, McDonald’s offseason was a wet one. McDonald hopes to continue her swimming career for Division III Middlebury College in Vermont, a 2,300-student, independent liberal arts school 25 miles southwest of Montpelier. The senior will find out in a few days whether she’ll be a Vermont resident next year, but in the meantime she’s got her work cut out for her. Aiming to be the best in state in two events and gunning for a junior national team selection won’t be easy, but if anyone can do it, it’s McDonald.Post Independent, Glenwood Springs Colorado CO

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