Emma Schoettmer could not have envisioned a much better start to her senior season.
Now she’s ready for an equally strong finish.
The University of Arizona standout was named Pac-12 Swimmer of the Month in November, after registering individual victories in the 100-yard breaststroke in dual meets against UCLA and USC and the 200 breaststroke against USC. She was second in the 200 breaststroke against USC. She also was part of two team victories in the 200 individual medley in those meets.
The 2012 Center Grove High School graduate has continued to swim well headed into the final stage of her college career.
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“I feel like I’m at a good point with my training,” Schoettmer said. “Weight-lifting is going great and practices have been amazing.
“Right now I’m working with my coach on race strategy for the last couple of dual meets before championship season starts.”
Schoettmer’s final home meet is Friday and Saturday against Texas.
The Pac-12 Swimming Championships are set for Feb. 24 to 27 at Federal Way, Washington. The NCAA meet will be March 17 to 19 in Atlanta.
Schoettmer finished 14th in the 200 breaststroke and was on the 400 medley relay that finished 12th in 2015 NCAA meet.
“My expectations for Emma are probably similar to her own goals. To score in both breaststroke big finals (in the NCAA meet) and to help our medley relays score in the top three,” Arizona coach Rick DeMont said. “She has improved consistently over her time at U of A.
“Her best performances were last summer at long course nationals, which puts her in a good spot as far as Olympic Trials goes. Having been through (Olympic) trials in 2012 should help her this time around.”
Schoettmer has reached NCAA “B” standard cuts in the 100 breaststroke (1:00.56) and 200 breaststroke (2:09.75)
“I loved the summer season. I got my times back down and made the national team, so that is driving me through this season,” she said. “I’m excited to see where I end up short course and am looking forward to Olympic Trials after school ends in May.”
The Olympic Trials will be June 26 to July 3 in Omaha, Neb.
Schoettmer said she has times in mind she wants to reach but isn’t obsessed with them.
“But I’m more of a race swimmer,” she said. “I tend to not over-analyze the times themselves and focus more on like how I can swim my own race and keep my stroke count and my body in line to race the person next to me without spinning out of control.
“I definitely want to get the school record (in the 200 breaststroke) for Arizona, which should put me in a position to final at NCAAs.”
The Wildcats’ record is 2:07.68 for the 200 breaststroke by Annie Chandler in 2010. Schoettmer’s personal best is 2:08.36 in 2014.
Schoettmer said she considers herself better at the 200 breaststroke than the 100 breaststroke but plans to compete in both at the Olympic Trials.
“Four years ago, trials was a time for me to experience swimming at a high-caliber meet,” Schoettmer said. “I had been swimming at the senior national level for a few years by that point, but that was the first real pace of the excitement. It’s arena seating, so there are stands on all four sides of the pool which you don’t get at any other meet.
“They have fireworks when somebody makes the team on the side of the pool. There is so much hype that goes into the meet that making it to semifinals four years ago gave me the opportunity to experience the pressure of a high-caliber meet, which has carried over through college swimming and hopefully set me up for a perfect swim at Trials.”
Whatever happens at the Olympic Trials, Schoettmer plans to continue swimming.
“Since I made the national team, I’m looking to continue training through graduate school,” Schoettmer said. “I’m waiting to hear back from (graduate school) applications and where I could potentially end up and they have a program that I can swim with.”
Name: Emma Schoettmer
Birthday: Dec. 11, 1993.
Personal: Sister Tori, a 2013 Center Grove graduate, competed on the University of Louisville cross country and track and field teams but had to retire from competitive running in February 2015 because of pain in shins. Lives with senior swimmer Bonnie Brandon and two former teammates. Majoring in anthropology with a minor in creative writing.
Favorite author: Francine Rivers.
Favorite musician: Linkin Park.
Favorite meal: Salmon with green beans and orzo pasta.
Career plans: “If I go with anthropology, I’m looking at working in a museum in the conservation field to preserve archaeological artifacts.”
Favorite way to relax: “I enjoy sleeping. I’m re-watching the “Dexter” series on Netflix. I enjoy reading.I recently got a book for Christmas, “Red Queen,” but I’ve already finished it. I’m waiting for the sequel to come out in February.”
What is the best part of swimming at Arizona?: “The team itself and the unity of the women’s program. We do everything together. We hold each other accountable both in and out of the pool. I don’t think I could have found that anywhere else in the country.”