Sterling, Va. — Dominion High School senior Rachel Schlemmer has made a commitment to continue her swimming career at the United States Naval Academy starting in the 2020-2021 school year.
“The recruiting process is pretty stressful,” the 5-foot-8 Schlemmer said. “Knowing I’ll be apart of a great team in college is very exciting to me, and I can’t wait to swim with some amazing ladies.”
Led by 16th-year head coach John Morrison, the Division I Midshipmen are currently 10-2 including a win in the nine-team Liberty Invitational on November 22-24. The Navy women will head to the Patriot League Championships on February 19-22 in hopes of winning their ninth straight conference title.
“I love the girls on the team, the other recruits in my class, and the coaches,” said Schlemmer, who plans on swimming distance freestyle events, butterfly, and the IM at Navy. “Since I have a wide range of events and can manage a large amount of yardage during a meet, I hope I can add to the depth of skill on Navy and be an asset to the team in the long-distance races.”
In her time at Dominion, Schlemmer has proved to add a tremendous amount of depth, earning All-LoCo first team honors following her sophomore and junior seasons after picking up an honorable mention nominee as a freshman. In 2018-2019, Schlemmer finished second in both the 200-yard individual medley and 100-yard butterfly and helped the Titans to the title in the 200-yard medley relay at the VHSL 4A State championship. In 2019-2020, Schlemmer finished third in both the 100-yard butterfly and 500-yard freestyle at the inaugural LCPS Championships.
“Dominion swim has always been fantastic. I love the atmosphere of the team and being able to compete for my school,” said Schlemmer, who also swims competitively for Snow Swimming. “I’ve made a ton of friends being on the team, and being a captain has taught me a lot about responsibility. Racing at meets like regions and states with my teammates is a great experience and being a part of a state-winning relay is amazing.”
The journey to the top of the podium started for Schlemmer when she was just four years old, after a near-drowning experience prompted her parents to teach her how to swim.
“Swimming has always been a big part of my life and a majority of my friends are my teammates,” Schlemmer said. “Being able to practice and compete with them is one of the main reasons I swim and racing is exciting and rewarding.”
While swimming has always played a major role in her life and a major role in her decision to continue her education at the Naval Academy, Schlemmer is also excited about the opportunity to study science in Annapolis.
“I chose Navy because of the team and the school itself,” Schlemmer said. “It has a great chemistry program and a strong swim team that I feel like I will fit in well to.”