Freshman Swede fulfilling hype
Published: Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Updated: Tuesday, December 6, 2011 20:12
Emma Svensson has met the hype.
Svensson, the ninth ranked Division I swimming recruit coming into the season—the highest ranked recruit in any sport in FGCU history— won three bronze medals at the Swedish Short Course Nationals in front of friends and family in her home country.
So far this season, Svensson, a freshman on the FGCU swimming & diving team, has earned five NCAA qualifying times and won the CCSA Swimmer of the Week three times.
At the Swedish Nationals late last month, she earned bronze medals in the 50 and 100-meter back stroke as well as the 50 meter butterfly. "It was a great honor to win the awards and I endured a very heavy practice schedule but in the end it was worth it," Svensson said.
A week before the tournament, Svensson prepared in Atlanta.
Svensson is also very proud with how she has performed this year and her progress in the pool.
She has noticed differences in how swimmers prepare for meets in the U.S. compared to Sweden.
"I have been doing better this season than I ever have before and I noticed that in America we spend more time practicing meters and working on outside sports such as yoga and spinning," Svensson said.
Svensson still has goals in mind this season. She wants to earn more NCAA qualify times at February's CCSA Championship. It's the first time FGCU is eligible for the NCAA tournament.
"I am very excited about that (the chance to compete in the NCAA tournament) but right now I just want to have fun and see how far I can go in the regular season," Svensson said.
FGCU swimming & diving coach Neal Studd knew what he was getting in Svensson. She hasn't disappointed.
"Emma (Svensson) is not only a great athlete but she's very coachable and talented," Studd said. "She is very detail orientated and really follows on what we want her to do every day." Svensson has also been a key cog in FGCU's Nationally ranked 200-yard medley relay team. "Emma (Svensson) is a sprinter so she competes in all of the relays and we've always prided ourselves in relays," Studd said. "Whenever the relay swimmers are swimming fast, everyone feels good about themselves so it's a win-win for everybody."
Studd also points out that Svensson has improved under the training of FGCU coaches.
"When she went home, her coach in Sweeden said that her technique has really improved and we've noticed that her endurance level has also improved," Studd said. "There's some technical stuff we're still working on and as interesting as it is and as fast as she's swimming there is still some areas for her to improve."
Studd knows Svensson won't stop.
"She's a first year freshman and I'm hoping that this is a four-year project in which she can end up being an NCAA contender," Studd said.