Ryley McRae’s neck must have been sore after finishing the Snow Fest swim meet wearing seven medals around his shoulders – six of them beaming gold. The competition took place in Kelowna, B.C., on Jan. 18, hosting 332 swimmers arriving from B.C., Alberta, and Washington State. The TRU Men’s team finished fifth overall; the Women’s team placed eighth, but McRae was the stand-out with his six first-place finishes. He won the 400-metre individual medley, the 200-metre freestyle, the 100-metre freestyle, the 100-metre butterfly, the 50-metre butterfly, and the 800-metre freestyle event. On top of that, he also won bronze in the 50-metre butterfly. With these results, McRae is looking like the Phelps of TRU.
“He swam a total of 9 races and finished 3 of them with personal bests,” TRU swim head coach, Brad Dalke said. “Our goal was for him to finish all his races within three percent of personal bests and he completed that for the most part. For him to have that consistency at his age is highly impressive.”
At only 19, the future is bright for McRae. He has already qualified for the Olympic trials and is the only TRU swimmer to make it to the U-Sports National Championship in February this year.
In order to succeed, McRae is putting in an unwavering amount of work: “Ryley is putting in about 22 hours a week of training. Half of that is in the pool and the other half includes dryland training,” Coach Dalke Explained.
That calculates out to over three hours a day of working out. To top it all off, McRae is a straight-A student.
“Not only is he working his tail off in the water, but he also is an exceptional student,” Coach Dalke said. “I think last year he finished with a 4.15 GPA which isn’t bad for an engineering student. He’s a great example of a real student-athlete. He’s very focused.”
McRae and his incredible work ethic will be on full display when he and the TRU swim team partake in their next meet Feb. 8-9 in Vancouver B.C. McRae will use this as a way of preparation for the U-Sport National Championships which will take place in Victoria, B.C, Feb. 20-23.