Erin Earley’s Olympic Potential

Erin Earley, a junior at Hopkins, finishes up her morning practice. Earley is half a year out from competing in Omaha, Nebraska for the Olympic Trials.

NEW HAVEN — There are three female high school swimmers in Connecticut that have a chance to earn a spot on on the 2016 Olympic swimming team.

Erin Earley, a student-athlete at Hopkins School and a member of the USA Swimming National Junior Team is one of those three.

“I’m extremely excited, but it’s so close and I don’t feel so prepared for it yet, but I’m just working really hard trying to get there” said Earley.

According to Nan Cooper, an administrator for Connecticut Swimming Inc., the other two high school female candidates are Marcella Maguire of Ridgefield High School and Ky-Lee Perry of Brien McMahon High School in Norwalk.

Olympic Trials will be held in Omaha, Nebraska next June. To qualify for the Olympics in swimming, one must place in the top two of their event that they are swimming in Omaha.

Earley, 17 of Woodbridge, will be competing in the 100 and 200 backstroke.

“I am also close to the 400 IM and 800 freestyle cuts,” said Earley.

Collegeswimming.com currently states that Earley is ranked first out of 151 junior high school swimmers in Connecticut.

According to Usaswimming.org, the roster for the USA Swimming National Junior Team is “comprised of the top six athletes in Olympic events from the combined results of all USA Swimming and FINA sanctioned meets” and they also are 18 and under.

Being a member of a USA National team since last summer has allowed Earley to travel to countries such as Singapore, Japan, Dubai and Qatar.

“My teachers say to have fun. They give me some work and when I get back, I’ll make it up,” said Earley.

Chuck Elrick, head coach of Hopkins Mariner Swim Team and the Hopkins School swim team has coached Erin since she was four-years-old.

“When she turned about 10, it became obvious there was something a little different, a little special,” said Elrick.

Teammate and captain, Molly Seidner, describes Earley as one of her best friends in swimming.

“She’ll always perform the way you tell her to, tries her hardest, and gets really good results,” said Seidner.

Elrick says Earley’s attitude helps her other teammates perform better and even though she has had the opportunity to travel the world, she remains humble.

“Where many people who have made it to the U.S. team or have represented the country somewhere, they might have forgotten some of the lesser people on their team, but Erin hasn’t,” said Elrick.

Gearing up for the 2015–2016 Hopkins School season, Earley and her team’s biggest goal of the season would be to place in the top two at their high school championships.

“Winning would be very hard, but I think we can do that,” said Earley.