At any high intensity meet the difference between first place and eighth can come down to tenths of a second, and with a shorter the event you have even less room for error. Taking one off stroke can be the difference between NEWMAC Champion, and not even making it on the podium. At nationals the difference between first and eighth place is even closer.
Emily Medeiros has arguably had the most successful careers as a swimmer at Springfield since Kellie Pennington in 2014. From two honorable mentions, three All-American titles, three Springfield Swimming and Diving Records and two NEWMAC records she has had a very exciting and busy four years swimming for the Pride.
In Medeiros’s first NEWMAC meet as a freshman for the Pride, she did what many people ever get to do, become the NEWMAC Champion not only the 100 breaststroke, but also the 200 breaststroke. Medeiros didn’t stop there, over her for years she has won NEWMAC titles every single year. Since so many things can happen while swimming it is not common for someone to go four for four, meaning they win the same event all four years. It is even more rare for someone to go eight for eight. Medeiros had just come off of being sick before NEWMACs this past season, making her races even more mentally and physically draining.
“It was exciting to end my individual NEWMAC career with wins in the 100 and 200 breaststroke; I never thought coming into college swimming that I would be able to do that,” said Medeiros. “My goal is always to improve on my own times so I was a little bit disappointed with my times, but I feel lucky to have another opportunity to swim at NCAAs.”
Since NEWMACs ended Medeiros is preparing for the NCAA Championships held in Shenandoah Texas March 15 to March 18. Medeiros, who was an Honorable Mention in 2014 and an All-American in 2015 and 2016 has a lot of experience on the national stage. Springfields Swimming head coach John Taffe is very confident in Medeiros since she has been to nationals multiple times, and she already knows what to expect and how to deal with the pressure.
“She’s fortunate that she has talent and ability and is very good in the so called pressure or arena. At the bigger meets she blocks all it out and lives in the moment and she’s fine,” said Taffe. “She’s confident, I think she has a lot going for her because she’s been there before, she thrives in that kind of environment and doesn’t get intimidated by it.”
Medeiros is the only swimmer representing Springfield in Texas, so all of her training has been individualized. For NEWMACs Taffe had to slow down her workouts, however after NEWMACs they must build her workouts back up. Since Medeiros has been in this position multiple times it makes Taffe’s job easier, she knows what she has to do.
“My goal for nationals is to get best times in all of my events and perform better than I did last year,” said Medeiros. “Aside from that, there is not much else I can hope for.”
Taffe and Medeiros have been working on speed, and workouts with quality over quantity. Training for such an intense meet is hard, all her work and dedication can come down to tenths of seconds.
“It will come down to hundredths, you can be one-tenth slower and move down four spots, and be one-tenth faster and move up four spots,” said Taffe.
As Medeiros’s amazing and successful career is coming to a close she knows she will be able to look back on the past four years and know she left a legacy behind.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to have been on this team for four years and to have been coached by John,” said Medeiros. “I am really proud of all of the hard work me and my teammates have put in this year and all years and I am going to miss being a part of the team next year!”