Sep 4, 2013
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Two-time All-American.
Five-time honorable mention All-American.
10-time BIG EAST champion.
14-time all-BIG EAST honoree.
January 16, 2012 member of Sports Illustrated’s Faces in the Crowd.
School record holder in four individual events and four relays.
Above is just a small sample of what University of Notre Dame women’s swimmer Emma Reaney has accomplished since she stepped on campus in August 2011. Tuesday, the Lawrence, Kan., native added one more honor to her already impressive Irish legacy as she was named to the 2013-14 USA Swimming National Team.
“After last summer and my placing at Olympic Trials, it really started to sink in that I could make an impact on the national and international level if I really wanted it and worked hard enough” said Reaney. “I went into this year’s U.S. Open with one goal and it was to make the National Team. I knew I had to drop quite a bit of time and place fairly high, especially since all the big guns were at the World Championships and I couldn’t race them in California, but I guess I kind of went into it with a mentality of ‘Why not me?’
“Right after the 200 breaststroke event, I looked up at the clock and actually didn’t believe it. I watched national and international rankings that week and now knowing that I officially made the team is the biggest relief. I feel a sense of accomplishment that I never knew was possible and I am so ridiculously honored to be a part of the USA Swimming National Team. I’m not sure what it means to be on the team or what we do exactly, but I am so out-of-my-mind excited to get started with whatever it is. I will be surrounded by the best swimmers in the country and some of the best in the world and I couldn’t think of a better motivator to improve myself.”
Reaney is one of 112 swimmers to make the team (men and women) qualifying in both the 100 and 200 breaststroke events.
Swimmers were selected for the USA Swimming National Team based on their times in Olympic events from the combined results of the 2013 FINA World Championships, the 2013 Phillips 66 National Championships, the 2013 U.S. Open and the 2013 World University Games. Swimmers with the top six times in each event made the National Team, however, relay lead-offs and time trials were not included.
Benefits offered to USA Swimming National Team members include reimbursement for travel to USA Swimming Arena Grand Prix Series meets and training camp sessions among many other opportunities.
Reaney locked up her spot after a sensational U.S. Open in August. Her laundry list of impressive showings at the meet included placing second in the 200m breaststroke (2:26.65), third in the 100m breast (1:07.56), fourth in the 200m IM (2:14.01), eighth in the 200m butterfly (2:14.15) and 12th in the 100m fly (1:00.35). Competing in one event a day, Reaney swam in the finals of all five events she competed in over the five-day meet. Performances in both breaststroke specialties put her as the top American in each event at the meet.
While Reaney is certainly happy for herself, she also realizes what this announcement does for the Notre Dame program.
“Being from a school that isn’t yet known for its swimming is also really neat for me,” said Reaney. “I like being the underdog and proving people wrong and doing that under the Notre Dame name is something I will always be proud of. I love this place so much and I want everyone to know how amazing it is so being the one to bring my cap with the ND logo on it to an international level is such a huge honor.”
Notre Dame head coach Brian Barnes thought Reaney had a shot to make the national team after her impressive swims at the U.S. Open, but was eagerly anticipating the final announcement.
“We are all so excited for Emma,” said Notre Dame head coach Brian Barnes. “This moment is really great for her. She is climbing the national breaststroke ranks really quickly and has earned every honor she has received. She believed in the process and made this moment happen through a lot of hard work and determination.”
— Russell Dorn, Assistant Media Relations Director