Current Athlete Of The Week: Emma Davis

On Saturday Emma Davis will swim in her final meet as a member of Nantucket High School’s swimming program. A stellar career will continue into college when she joins Sacred Heart University’s Div. I program next year.

Davis has been the leader for the girl’s swim team that went undefeated in the regular season, won the program’s seventh consecutive league title, and placed fourth out of 34 teams on Feb. 12 at the MIAA sectional meet. Now their sights are set on states, with Davis leading the way one last time. For all her success and after a strong sectional meet, she is this week’s Current Athlete of the Week.

Reflecting on Davis’ career begs the question of where she stands compared to all of the other swimmers that have come before her.

“All-time in program history, Emma is going to easily go down as one of the top three fastest female swimmers we have ever had,” head coach Jim Pignato said. “You can even make the argument she is in the top two or even the fastest. She has the school record in the 100 free. Since her freshman year she has been a key component to building relays and building lineups. When you talk about the fastest females coming out of here you are talking about the Ainsley Ellis’, Claudia Hofford, Katherine Pittman, Emma Davis, they are all in that conversation.”

Davis said over the years she has needed to learn how to handle the mental side of swimming. When we asked her to name an athlete or coach that she is very thankful for or that she believed helped her develop into the swimmer she is today, she wasted no time answering the question.

“Easy, Tyler Roethke,” Davis said. “Ever since I was little and when I was first starting to go to bigger meets, Tyler had been to those meets. When I was nervous before a race, Tyler was there to get me out of my own head and let me know I could do it as long as I got out of my own head and just went out to do what I was trained to do. He was always there for me at practice to push me and tell me to do my best. He was always someone to look up to. I miss swimming with him.”

Davis is seeded second in the 100 yard freestyle on the state meet psych sheet that came out this past week. She is also seeded fourth in the 50 freestyle. She said while there are initially nerves when those seedings come out, she feels more prepared for this kind of pressure compared to her last state meet when she was a sophomore.

“I think that I really learned how to push myself and just put my head down and sprint,” she said. “I used to hold back a little and I have really taught myself not to. I remember Jim coming up to me at states my sophomore year and he was like ‘just put your head down and sprint. You know you can do it. It is going to hurt no matter what so you might as well just give it your all.’ So sometimes you have to just get out of your head and give it your all. So sometimes you have to just get out of your head and give it your all. I always say you should never get out of the pool with any regrets.”

Davis said this year has been special after an isolating junior year, which consisted of virtual meets. She and her teammates have been looking forward to sectionals and states since the season began after they were canceled last year.

“I think the year has gone well,” she said. “I feel like I was swimming really well my sophomore year and we were putting up really good times. But then we had last year and it was just virtual meets and didn’t feel like a real season. So now to see us all getting together as a team and growing together after the isolation we had last year has been really great. I am excited to see how everyone does at states.”

Davis said she didn’t feel like she was at her fastest during the sectional meet. Pignato said he felt like she was their strongest swimmer at the meet for the Whalers. Davis said she has high hopes for the state meet.

“I don’t think I was at my fastest in sectionals but given where I was placed I was seeded third in one race and placed third and seeded fifth in another and placed fifth,” she said. “That was the same for a lot of girls. We didn’t drop time but based on where we placed and the points we got for our team, I think we all did really well, which is why I am looking forward to seeing how we do at states because I think we will drop time and place high.”

Davis said she is incredibly thankful for the opportunity to swim for Nantucket High School.

“It has honestly shaped me into the person that I am today,” she said. “The team atmosphere is like a family. I have learned to work hard, get past fear and angst, and work well with other people. It is definitely a big part of my life and I am forever grateful for it. I will miss swimming in this pool.”

“When we are on the pool deck at championships, sectionals, or states, whether it is for high school or on the club team, we have such a good team atmosphere and environment. Everyone is encouraging one another. It is really just very positive and has been a great experience because I feel like you don’t always get that everywhere.”

Pignato said he hopes to see Davis cap her Whaler swimming career off by standing on the podium.

“I am hoping for something good this weekend,” Pignato said. “First place will be tough. She will really have to throw down and everything will have to click for her since the first place time is about 1.5 seconds quicker, but we will see. Even a second or third place finish for her to get on the podium that last meet would be awesome.”

“It is crazy to think this is her final meet as a swimmer for Nantucket High School. She has had such a strong career for us and will leave a void that will be extremely difficult to fill right away. Overall, she is also just a great kid. We wish her the best in all her future endeavors. It is great she is swimming at Sacred Heart. It is great she is pursuing a nursing career. We are here to support her as not just a swimmer but an individual as well.”

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