Erin McCarthy made her high school swimming debut last fall and ranked among the state’s finest. She earned all-state honors by placing seventh in the 500-yard freestyle for Metro United. The co-op team changed its name to St. Anthony Village this season but McCarthy is her same strong self in the water. Her current best time of about 5 minutes, 7 seconds, ranks her in the metro-area honor roll.
Q: Your father, Justin, coaches at Aquajets swim club. Did you have any choice to let swimming into your life?
A: My parents let me experiment, so I tried soccer and basketball. I took tennis lessons for a little while. Then one year I decided to swim. I really liked it and I’ve been doing it for seven years now.
Q: Did your father have a role in your development?
A: He never coached me on a team but he has helped me with technique. If I’m open to his advice, he gives it to me.
Q: What was it like to go to state, swim a great race and be on the podium?
A: It was a goal of mine to get into the top eight so it was really exciting. I had a whole bunch of teammates come and make signs and cheer from the stands.
Q: Is your focus on the 200 and 500 freestyles this season or are there other events you could be trying to swim at state?
A: No, it’s definitely going to be the 200 and 500. I’m a miler in club so the 500 is my main event.
Q: What makes distance swimming appealing to you?
A: I just like the endurance aspect. There’s a certain kind of rush that you get when you’ve got your rhythm and pace down. I’ve always tried to have even splits — that’s a calming thing for me.
DAVID LA VAQUE