For this week’s Buc Report, the Terrarium sat down with swimmer and record-holder Emma Canny’16 (below) to get the scoop on expectations, trials, and progress as the Bucs dive into the 2013-2014 season.
T: What are you most looking forward to this season?
EC: Everyone on the team is looking forward to the MWC Championships in February because that’s ultimately what we train for. I’m really hoping we have the same results as last year. We had a bunch of people breaking records, and hopefully we can get that same result again. We want everyone to improve on a universal level.
T: We heard you were one of those record breakers. How does it feel?
EC: It feels interesting because in high school I wasn’t exactly the top person on my team. It’s nice that I get to share this experience with three other people (Shaunte Moss’16, Dana Olesch’16, and Cherrelle Phon’15) because it was the 200-medley relay record. It sets my sights higher expectation-wise, to break more records this next year.
T: You’ve had a few meets already. How have those gone for both you and your team?
EC: For me personally, the first meet against Lawrence I got a very good time on my 100 backstroke, much better than I started off last year which is a positive. I cut some time off at this past meet against UW-Oshkosh, so it has been going well thus far. I have a shoulder injury, so I’m still trying to recover from and push through that.
T: What’s your favorite part of being on the swim team?
EC: It’s cliché, but my teammates. My teammates keep me going, and it’s kind of nice to have that support. You suffer together, so your bond is ultimately stronger. They’re also just funny people. We have good chemistry.
T: Least favorite?
EC: Swimming a lot every day can get exhausting. Sometimes it does get to me, but really I can’t say there’s anything bad about being on the swim team. Going through all the workouts just makes me want to swim faster and do better to prove during the meets that the conditioning has actually gone somewhere.
T: What do you think is going to be the biggest challenge going into this season?
EC: A big challenge is trying to not psych ourselves out. We need to have that stable mentality to drive ourselves forward and swim faster and faster. This, in general, is the hardest part about swimming. I had a coach once who said that 30 percent of the race is physical and the rest is mental. It’s a mental game you’re playing with yourself. Individually, that is going to be the most difficult part of the season−as it is every season.
T: What do you think is more important while you’re racing: beating your own personal record or beating your opponent?
EC: They’re both equally important, but it depends on where you stand at the beginning of the season. If overall, hypothetically, you’re standing at a pretty good level starting in, then you can direct your attention more on competition and beating other people during meets rather than just focusing on yourself. That being said, focusing on yourself will ultimately make you a better swimmer.
T: Why be a swimmer at Beloit College?
EC: I’ve been swimming since I was 7, so swimming has legitimately been part of my life since I can remember. I decided to swim in college, and specifically at Beloit College, because I thought that the combination of the people I met on the swim team and the coach would make me a better person outside the pool.
From a swim team perspective, college is when you’re starting to get a little older. You start to get injured more often than when you were 12, but I keep swimming because I think I would go insane if I didn’t. There’s a three-week period after the season ends where I find myself needing to do something, so I go back in the pool and everything makes sense again. Obviously during season some swimmers will complain about how practice was hard and that it was awful, but we still swim anyway because of this undying passion we share to keep swimming. It’s a part of us at this point.
T: How do you think being a member of the swim team relates to the liberal arts in practice?
EC: You gain a lot of leadership skills on the swim team. It’s a surprisingly big team sport despite the fact that you race individually. You need to advocate for your teammates and cheer each other on. You have this obligation to help each other when someone is struggling with a particular stroke. That leads to a development in leadership skills, which is a large part of what the liberal arts in practice is about because you can apply those skills anywhere.
Don’t miss the Buccaneers’ first home meet of the season against Carroll University on Saturday (Nov. 9 ) at 1 p.m. in Kresge Natatorium.