Emma Wright likes to write.
When the Hobart sophomore swimmer isn’t in the pool working on her sprints, she’s typically in front of a computer or has a piece of paper with pen in hand. She writes what’s on her mind, writes out her goals and then writes what she accomplishes.
“I just spill my thoughts,” Wright said. “I have tons of little check lists and I get excited when I can check something off my list. This week, I got to check off that I won sectionals. Now the next box I want to check off is making it to the state finals.”
Wright is halfway there. She enters Friday’s preliminary round at the girls swimming and diving championship at the Indiana University Natatorium in Indianapolis seeded first in the 100-yard freestyle and fourth in the 50 free. Wright earned the top seed with a jaw-dropping time of 50.00 seconds at Saturday’s Chesterton Sectional. The fans in attendance let out an audible gasp when her time was posted on the scoreboard.
“She had it in her mind that she wanted to get a 49 and we were just staring at the board when the race was done,” Hobart coach Katie Rinas said. “The 50 was just perfect. I don’t know how else to describe it. Getting a 49 would’ve been unheard of. I was filming the race and when it came up 50.00, you could just hear the crowd. She broke the sectional record the day before and then broke it again. How much faster can you get?”
Wright will be making her second trip to the state competition this weekend. As a freshman, she didn’t make it out of the prelims. Wright came in seeded 23rd in the 50 free and finished 21st in a time of 24.10. She was seeded 13th in the 100 free and finished 22nd, hitting the wall at 52.75.
“It was a little disappointing last year the way I finished, but it gives me a lot more motivation to do better this year,” Wright said. “I’m very hard on myself. I have a lot of pressure and there’s a target on my back. It can be a little overwhelming, but I just want to have fun. I try not to worry too much.”
There will be plenty of Region talent on display in Indianapolis this weekend.
Chesterton has at least one entrant in every race, including all three relays. Senior Jaclyn Klimczak is seeded second in the 200 individual medley and third in the 100 backstroke while her younger sister Maisyn is seeded fifth in the 500 free and seventh in the 200 free.
Altogether there are 43 Region entries spread out over 12 events with Chesterton, Crown Point, Highland, Lake Central, Lowell, Munster and Valparaiso all represented.
Wright is the only representative from Hobart.
“I take it as pride that I get to represent my school,” Wright said. “It’s nice to see some of the small teams go up against these really big teams.”
Wright will be participating in the 50 and 100 free races, but those aren't her only strengths. Rinas said on Thursday afternoon that Wright broke the school’s 500 free record earlier this year and that Wright is constantly challenging herself by trying new things in the pool.
“She came in with some big goals and she still has some that she wants to accomplish,” Rinas said. “I had her as a student in sixth grade and she’d always talk about the Olympics. She would wear this shirt that said ‘Tokyo 2020’ and I realized what she meant. She has these goals in front of her and she just doesn’t let up."
It sounds as if there may be more checklists in Wright’s future.