Even before she set foot in the pool for the Section XI Swimming Championships on Saturday, Emily Anderson knew she had already been guaranteed a spot in the state meet later this month. That took some of the pressure off her in the state qualifier, and Anderson produced a winning performance.
The Shoreham-Wading River High School junior, who competes as an independent, was the first one to complete the 100-yard breaststroke at Suffolk County Community College in Brentwood. Regardless of the circumstances, victories like that are to be cherished.
“Once you see something like that, an automatic smile crosses your face,” Anderson said. “That never gets old.”
Anderson’s time of 1 minute 7.08 seconds was two seconds off her best time.
In addition, she took fifth place in the 200-yard individual medley in 2:13.6, which was three seconds over her fastest time in that event.
Anderson will make her third appearance in the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Championships at Ithaca College on Nov. 21 and 22. She will compete in the 100-yard breaststroke, which she called her strongest event. She swam that event in the last two state meets, taking eighth place as a freshman and fourth as a sophomore.
Anderson said she is excited about the opportunity that awaits her in Ithaca. “I’m pretty confident that I can at least get within the top four,” she said.
This has been a good year for Anderson. In August she was named a scholastic All-American by USA Swimming, the governing body for the sport in the United States.
“It was really special knowing that all my hard work in the pool and out paid off,” she said.
Swimming is a big part of Anderson’s life. A member of the Three Village Swim Club, she swims six days a week, usually two hours a day. Although the training is tough, she said, “I wouldn’t give it up for the world.”