Dive one yard below the surface of a pool, and the world pushes down on you twice as much as it does on the surface.
For Emily Becker ’19, the increase in pressure is just what she is looking for. Previously, she swam for John Witherspoon Middle School’s swim team, and before that, she was part of Community Park Pool’s Blue Fish summer team. In addition to her participation on PHS’s swim team, Becker has been swimming for a club team for the past four years.Becker swims farther than her teammates. Her event, the 500-yard freestyle, is the longest event in high school swimming, comprised of 20 laps back and forth across a 25-yard pool. Although Becker primarily swims the 500-yard freestyle, Captain Maddie Schwimmer points out that she is also extremely versatile—which is Becker’s greatest contribution to the team.
“She swims the 500 a lot … not everyone can do [it],” Schwimmer said. “She’s really great at it … She can do distance, and she can sprint, which is really valuable for the team. She kind of brings that extra element of having speed in her back pocket.”
Becker’s level of competition has a lot to do with her work ethic.
“[Emily] is such a hard worker … She is doing club swimming, but she is still so committed to high school swimming. She comes at least four times a week and is willing to do any event she is put into—even the 500 free,” Schwimmer said.
Becker hopes to drop her time in her event so that she will able to make it to finals at counties, a goal which she is always working toward. However, Schwimmer sees Becker playing an even larger role in the team’s future.
“I think she is going to be … a really great captain. As she’s gotten older and has gotten to know the team better, she knows how upperclassmen should act in a team environment. She has that perfect combination of friendliness and leadership,” Schwimmer said.