For the second year in a row the Jewish Community Center of Greater Baltimore will send two swimmers to the Olympic Training Center as part of the Maryland Swimming Select Camp. For the first time, they will be joined by one of their coaches.
Head coach Brendan McElroy and swimmers Adam Todd and Olivia Plant will travel to Colorado Springs, Colo., in late October for an extended weekend at the training facility, where they will live in the same dorms as Team USA athletes and will meet with nutritionists, speak with other athletes and train.
“There’s nothing normal about it,” said JCC aquatics director Bill Kirkner of the JCC sending two athletes — the maximum number allowed from each team — both of the years the camp has been offered.
The swimmers were selected through a process that evaluates each athlete’s performance across all events. Maryland Swimming, the group sending the trio to Colorado, comprises more than 40 teams from around the state. From those 40 teams, only 24 individual swimmers are selected for the camp. Coaches are selected based on their swimmers’ performances.
Kirkner said that the JCC’s swim program does not set out to send athletes to camps such as the Olympic Training Center, but the effect of having swimmers make the cut is felt throughout the swim classes. The energy and enthusiasm for swimming that the kids return with, he said, is contagious.
He added: “They get a sense that [competing at the Olympic level] is possible and how close they are to actually being able to do those things.”