Hernando Sun Staff Report
Emma Elferdink is Weeki Wachee High School’s first swimmer to ever make it to the state championship swim meet. In fact, she’s the only Hernando County student to compete in the state meet this 2020 season. On Saturday, November 14, 2020, Elferdink competed in the 2020 FHSAA 2A State Swim Championships at the Sailfish Splash Aquatics Center in Stuart, Florida. She finished 23rd with a time of 1:13.09.
Coach Meaghan Jeffers remarked, “Emma qualified for Regionals by taking 2nd place 200IM & 1st place 100 Breaststroke at Districts as well as placing 4th overall in the 400 Free Relay which also qualified (her) for Regionals.”
As talented as this 16-year-old high school Junior is, training is naturally a big part of her life- both in and out of the water. It’s imperative she maintains a healthy balance between health and fitness to achieve the best results. When it comes down to it, the hard work she puts in during training allows her to feel confident in her ability while competing. During competitive meets, she will remind herself of her training and push herself farther and farther every yard.
Coach Jeffers explained that after regionals, Emma went to compete in states for the 100Y breaststroke, but also previously broke school records in all four competitive stroke styles (200 IM, 100 Breast, 100 Free, and the 50 Free). Not surprisingly, breaststroke is her favorite!
“Breaststroke is definitely my favorite. The kick and glide both play a huge part in this race, and it’s so strategic. In a close second is the IM, however. I like being challenged and kept on my toes. It’s always fun to push myself. It was fun to break these records, and I plan on breaking more next season,” Emma commented.
The biggest drive to keep swimming is her teammates Emma remarked. “They’re of constant support, in and out of the water, and they show me what real friendship means,” said Emma.
Jeffers shares, “Emma brought great experience to our team which she shared with her teammates. Our swimmers are all really close & Emma has fit right in and added to the fun they have at practice! We are excited already for next season! Coach Braden is so proud of Emma and all our swimmers this year!”
Long term goals for Emma are to be able to compete in college. Swimming is such a big part of her life that she would love to carry it over to the next chapter of it. She has been in contact with several colleges but is currently keeping her options open.
And what are her plans for the immediate future?
“Currently I am training for the end of short course season. There is a senior championship meet at the end of the season that my club plans on attending that is very big for young swimmers. Furthermore, I am striving towards getting my sectional and national cuts by the end of this year. The future is very exciting!”
A little fun fact on Emma is that she’s actually allergic to water. She explained that she has a condition called aquagenic urticaria. She will break out in hives on her back the second she touches water. Commenting on her condition she says, “Although it’s been a struggle at times, I’ve learned perseverance, and that swimming is too important to give up.”