SHAWNEE TOWNSHIP — There will be many local schools with a lot of talented swimmers diving into the pool on Saturday at the YMCA Holiday Swim Meet. One local athlete will likely steal the show.
Shawnee senior standout Emily Murphy is back for her senior season and is looking to improve on her second place finish in the 50 yard freestyle the last two years at the state swim meet. Murphy also placed second in the 100 yard freestyle her sophomore year and eighth in the 100 yard freestyle her junior year.
Murphy has signed her letter of intent to swim at the University of Pittsburgh next year and plans to major in business. Murphy picked Pittsburgh over Ohio State, Purdue, Miami of Ohio and Bowling Green.
“To be honest, I was a little nervous being from a smaller place like Lima and then going to a big city,” Murphy said. “After meeting the team and the coaches, I felt really comfortable. I noticed that they cared about each other, and I got along well with them.”
Murphy will be competing in most of the same events at Pittsburgh that she has been competing in for the last several years.
“I’ll be doing mostly sprints like the free and maybe a little bit of backstroke,” Murphy said. “Coach (Chuck) Knoles said that my times should be pretty competitive. Hopefully I’ll be able to do some relays as well.”
Despite a bright collegiate future, Murphy still has some high goals for her senior season with the Indians.
“Individually, I’d like to drop time in my top three events (50 freestyle, 50 backstroke and 100 freestyle),” Murphy said. “I’d like to get some more personal records.”
Even though Shawnee lost some talented swimmers from last year’s squad, Murphy still thinks the Indians will be a force to be reckoned with this season.
“We lost a big chunk of our team,” Murphy said. “I think that we’ll still place well at [the Western Buckeye League Championships]. It will be more of a challenge for us this year. Our boys are looking really good and our girls have been working really hard.”
Shawnee coach Kristin Gable mentioned how lucky she is to have Murphy setting a high standard for her team in the pool and in everyday life.
“Emily is a silent leader who isn’t big on getting in faces,” Gable said. “She’s a leader by dedicating herself in practice. She shows up and works hard. She’s willing to do whatever you need her to do and doesn’t complain. She’s a great asset to the team.”
Murphy is looking toward the Holiday Swim Meet as a good benchmark to see how she stacks up against some good talent as well as how well the team might do once the regular swim season is over.
“We’re really excited for it because it’s one of our biggest meets of the year, and we’re looking forward to it,” Murphy said. “It will be a good indicator to see where we’re at and see how well we’ll do for the postseason.”
As long as the Indians have Murphy competing for them, they will be a tough team to beat.