Reaney breaks U.S. record
Rebecca Rogalski | Wednesday, December 10, 2014
While the Irish squad split up this weekend to compete in elite meets in Texas and Iowa, senior Emma Reaney traveled internationally to Doha, Qatar, where she participated in the FINA Short Course World Championships from Dec. 3 to Dec. 8. This marks Reaney’s first international meet representing the United States.
Reaney, a Lawrence, Kansas, native and five-time All-American, won a silver medal in the women’s 200-meter medley relay with a time of 1:44.92, breaking an American record. The USA relay team finished second to Denmark, who claimed first with a time of 1:44.04. Reaney also qualified individually in the finals of the women’s 50-meter breaststroke.
Reaney said her reaction upon finding out she had won silver was intensified even more when she realized she was standing alongside her swimming idol, Natalie Coughlin.
“At first we were all kind of bummed we didn’t win, but then I remembered I got to be on the podium at my first international meet and was ecstatic,” Reaney said. “Being able to get my first international medal with Natalie Coughlin, someone I’ve idolized in the sport of swimming since I was little, was beyond amazing. I’m honored to have my name in the record books with those girls.”
Reaney continued her success in the pool, as she qualified for the 50 breast medley. In her first finals appearance of the championship, she finished in sixth place with a time of 30.05.
“I feel really great about my finish,” Reaney said. “I really wanted to break 30, so it’s a little frustrating to be that close, but I think it’s a really good sign that my 50, an event I’m not normally really great at, is that fast.”
Along with a silver medal and qualifying time, Reaney brought home an abundance of lessons and memories that she said will last her a lifetime.
“I learned to always use your resources. The coaching staff will do whatever they can to help you succeed, and making sure you speak up for that is essential,” Reaney said. “Recovery resources are important too, so making sure I got massages and ice baths was something I learned as well. I realized I just need to take it all in and have fun because being too nervous is just a waste of energy that you could be using during your race.”
Even after returning from Qatar, Reaney said she continues to reflect on the moment she stepped on the podium to receive her silver medal alongside her teammates.
“I don’t know if it’s even really set in yet,” Reaney said. “Everyone asked me if I cried, but I didn’t. We were just having too much fun up there for me to even realize what was going on. It was pretty awesome.”