A successful end to one swimmer’s senior season


Courtesy of Grace Gardiner

Tess Meulbroek, Staff Writer

Varsity Swim Captain Emma Darling has had an extremely successful past few weeks of her senior season, including breaking a school record and heading to the IHSA State meet. 

With such an impressive achievement, it may come as a surprise that her passion for swimming started just a few years ago during her first season on the team.

“Before swimming that first high school season, I wasn’t fully committed to the sport because I still played soccer and ran track. But after that season, I recognized how important swimming was to me,” Darling said. 

After being one of the few freshmen on the varsity team, Darling has made her talent and extreme determination clear. 

“This year, we had nine practices a week, including morning practices three times a week, dryland and weight training, and practices every afternoon,” Darling said. “Swimming is definitely a sport where progress depends on consistent training and the effort you put in, so I really emphasized giving every practice my all this season.”

Darling’s preparation and hard work paid off this year when she broke a 2014 school record for the 100-yard backstroke at sectionals, finishing off in 56.65 seconds, 0.11 seconds faster than the previous record. 

“Breaking the record was such a happy moment for me because it made me realize how all the training had paid off,” she said. 

Following a successful weekend at sectionals, Darling turned around and did it all again the next weekend at the IHSA State meet in Westmont – the final meet of her senior swim season.

“State this year was very bittersweet because although it was such a great accomplishment and a  great experience, it was our last high school meet as seniors,” Darling said. “I remember closing out the meet with a group hug with my co-captains as we celebrated such a great season together.”

With a successful high school swimming career coming to an end, Darling notes that it wouldn’t have been possible without the support of her team. 

“Being surrounded by such hardworking people is truly so motivating and inspiring, and I’m so glad I got to be a part of this team for these four years and meet so many great people,” Darling said.