Oct. 16, 2013
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - After a wild first two years brought her All-America citations and a spot on the 2013-14 US National Swimming Team, University of Notre Dame junior Emma Reaney is still amazed at everything she has accomplished.
"It seems sort of cliché, but these past two years have gone by so fast and almost feel like a dream," said Reaney. "I have worked harder in these last two years than I ever thought I could and it's so rewarding to see it all pay off. I really take it to heart now when Brian (head coach Brian Barnes) says to never celebrate too long or give yourself limits because I've broken through any expectations I had about my swimming career. If I can accomplish this much in two years, I'm so excited to see what the next two bring."
After winning 10 BIG EAST titles and earning 14 all-BIG EAST scrolls in just two seasons, Reaney wasted no time in letting the Atlantic Coast Conference know that she is ready for a new challenge as she was named ACC Women's Swimmer of the Week Tuesday after an impressive showing at the Dennis Stark Relays and in a tri-meet against national powers Auburn and Indiana.
Normally an IMer and breaststroke specialist, Reaney won the 100 breast in the tri-meet in an NCAA B-cut time of 1:00.94, but also claimed the 100 fly (55.03) title in the first race since Kim Holden, the Notre Dame record holder in the event, graduated. She also took second in the 200 free (1:50.40) and 200 medley relay (1:42.84).
At the Dennis Stark Relays, Reaney helped the 800 free relay (7:24.98) and the 300 breast relay (3:13.18) claim first, the 200 free relay (1:33.96) and the 400 medley relay (3:54.29) place second and the 400 free relay (3:31.00) take third.
As a team, the Irish finished second at the relays and lost to both the Tigers and Hoosiers Saturday morning in close fashion. Despite the dual losses, Reaney was still pleased with how the team competed, using her grading skills to place a "solid B" on the Irish performance.
"I think we need to up our competitive drive just a little and want to win those close races even more," said Reaney. "For our first meet, I think it went pretty well and it was a good way to gauge where we are time-wise and skill-wise. It gave us a lot of information on how this team functions as a unit and where we have holes to fill."
Reaney, meanwhile, is entering the season on a roll after impressive performances at the Phillips 66 National Championships and the U.S. Open led to her being selected to the 2013-14 U.S. National Team for the 100 and 200 breaststroke. The Lawrence, Kan., native thinks the summer helped her get in the right mindset for her junior campaign.
"It definitely gave me motivation," said Reaney. "Doing something that for years I only dreamed of doing has given me a lot more confidence in my abilities and broke down a lot of mental barriers I think I had unknowingly set for myself in my head."
Reaney and the Irish return to action Nov. 1 when they travel to Purdue for a 5 p.m. (ET) dual meet.
-- Russell Dorn, Assistant Media Relations Director