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Women’s Swimming: All-American Reaney steadily leads team

Katie Heit | Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Junior breaststroker Emma Reaney started off her college career with a bang and has never looked back.
Named MVP by the Monogram Club her freshman year, Reaney has broken school records in seven events, was named an All-American in two events, given honorable mention All-America in two more events and competed in the U.S. Olympic trials after her freshman year. Reaney was also named to the 2013-2014 National team, based on her performance at the U.S. Open.
“My 200 breaststroke this summer at the  U.S. Open was one of my favorite races ever,” Reaney said. “I was really ready for that race and I knew it.”
Reaney said despite all the success, she’s always tried to stay humble and focus on the next race.
“I try not to let it get to my head,” Reaney said. “My family has always taught me to be humble and thankful for all I have and that’s all I can do.”
Instead of allowing the success to heighten her expectations in each race, Reaney said she has continued to train and to focus on every individual competition with what she calls her “Let’s do this” mentality.
“I don’t think about it too much,” Reaney said. “I just try to have fun and dance out the nerves before I get up on the blocks but other than that I pretty much try to think about anything but swimming.”
Reaney said she first looked at Notre Dame after getting a call from her former club coach in Lawrence, Kan., current Irish coach Brian Barnes.
“When he called to recruit me, I hadn’t even been thinking of Notre Dame,” Reaney said. “I decided I’d give it a shot because of the reputation the school had and that Brian had as a coach.”
Reaney’s decision has paid off. In her junior season, Reaney was named ACC swimmer of the week after her first weekend of competition – the first ACC honor awarded to an Irish swimmer. In just three meets this season, Reaney has already qualified for the NCAA B cuts in the 100-yard and 200-yard breaststroke.
A leader on the team competitively since her freshman year, Reaney said she hopes she has become a leader for the Irish in and out of the pool.
“I think I’m a leader in that I will speak up for the good of the team or the good of a few people when it needs to be done,” Reaney said. “I also hope that I am a leader by example when it comes to hard work, technique and dedication in and out of the pool.”

Contact Katie Heit at kheit@nd.edu