‘Skins Baker named ECOL female swimmer of year

| February 1, 2013

COSHOCTON – Coshocton senior Emily Baker is capping off her four year swimming career with the Redskins in a big way, being named the East Central Ohio League female swimmer of the year.

Baker said of the honor, “It’s a great honor. It came at the end of my career, and it’s kind of the icing on the cupcake at the end of the day after breaking four school records and three league records. It was amazing – I cried.”

Baker said that “Swimming is my life. I have swam for 10 years now, competitively. Swimming has taught me time management, it has taught me how to be a leader, it’s been physical activity for me, and I’m not too great with the hand-eye coordination (laughing) so swimming was kind of my only option.”

Baker plans to attend Miami University (Ohio) in the fall. “I might swim a little club, not swimming particularly in college. I am going to major in accounting – I might pick up a double major in physics. A weird combo I know!”

When asked about her coaches, fellow teammates and those that have supported her during her career, she said, “I owe a lot of credit to Coach McColley. He swam in high school and college. He works out with us – he will run with us in the morning – it’s always a great inspiration when your coach does the workout and just doesn’t tell you what to do. He’s always believed in me, he’s always been proud of me, that helps a lot. This team always becomes a family every year, it’s a different family but it’s still a family. It’s great when you have that support system – when you get out of the water and immediately you’re engulfed in hugs. That’s always nice. And my parents have always been there for me. They’ve been willing to do whatever it takes to make my dreams come true.”

Speaking about her teammates, Baker said, “Right now our medley relay team is four seniors. (Baker, Emily Simpson, Savannah Brown, Hannah Ringenberg) We broke our school record so that’s always going to be ours. We’ve been swimming together for a long time now and it’s going to be bittersweet at the end. We’re hoping to do a lot of great things yet, get on the podium at the sectionals.”

Baker reflected on her career, all of the hard work and dedication, “I think down the road it’s going to mean a lot, what I accomplished here at Coshocton. It means a lot to me now but after this it’s a closed chapter in the book and I’m hoping to go on and do many other great things.”

Emily talked about the special moments in her career, “There are so many highlights and each one is different. Going to state, breaking individual records, breaking multiple relay records, I broke one my freshman year, two relay records my sophomore year and the two relay records that we broke this year. It’s hard to choose one of those – they’re all different. Each one has been special in my heart. It’s really weird to me how different they are; it’s the different dynamic of the team, the different dynamic of the relay, and what’s going on that day. But that relay this past Saturday was special. It kind of set the tone for the whole day; it was almost a miracle when everyone swam so great that day.”

Baker said “I enjoy the hard workouts, the ones when you can’t get out of the pool. Those are the best moments, when you know you made that set, before you went into the water you thought, “I can’t do this Coach, it’s way too hard and then you get it, and say, “Yes, I did it. Everything comes together at the end of the year; it makes those early morning swims at six o’clock important. You realize how important they were to put in all the hours and spend so much time here. When you drop that two seconds at the end of the year and move up that place or you go to state, it becomes real.”

Coshocton swimming coach Nat McColley said of Baker’s award, “It’s certainly well deserved. In four years of ECOL competition she’s only gotten third once, so in eight opportunities to swim, she’s won seven of them. The third came as a freshman. It’s been a long time coming. But this year she kind of put an exclamation point on it, the way the whole team swam; four school records, three ECOL records in one meet is something that is pretty special.”

Coach McColley said, “Success breeds success,” I’ve had kids in the past that were head and shoulders above the rest of the group and you push them as hard as you can but deep down in your heart you know that if there were a couple of kids about as good as them the whole group would get better together. That’s certainly been part of it this year and throughout all of their careers (the four senior girls); they have known that as a group they can do a lot of special things.”

“Swimming is really a numbers game, our kids compete every bit as well as Dover, New Philly or anywhere else, but it’s hard when you have 10 girls and they walk in with 30”, said McColley. “So for every Emily Baker, Emily Simpson, Savannah Brown and Hannah Ringenberg that we have, they’ve got two. It speaks a lot for the commitment that the girls have put forth and the program in general, that we can be the smallest team in the league and still finish second. We can be the smallest team in our other league and still be competitive. We won the SEOSL last weekend. I’m very pleased with all these girls.”

Coach McColley said about the upcoming sectionals and going forward, “The sky is the limit for these girls. I’m not going to put any limitations on them; all of them blew away my expectations at the ECOL. I told them, “The sky is the limit, believe in yourself, believe in what you’ve been doing, get your head screwed on straight, anything can happen.”

Category: High School

About the Author ()

I live with my beautiful wife Nancy on a small farm just outside Coshocton. We have been married for thirty two years and have two grown children, Jessica and Jacob. Jessica is married to Aaron Mencer and they are employed with Coshocton City Schools. Jacob is a sophomore at Kent State University. I graduated from River View High School, have a Bachelor’s Degree from North Carolina Wesleyan University and am actively involved with the Roscoe United Methodist Church, serve on several local committees and am a member of the Coshocton Kiwanis Club, having served as Past-President. I love reading, especially military thrillers, the Civil War and history in general. My goal is to write a novel. My wife and I are also AdvoCare distributors and encourage anyone wanting to lose weight, gain energy and better health to explore AdvoCare at our website; www.fortunes4advocare.com. I love the media field, innovative technology and have worked in newspapers for over 30 years – in fact, my first job was delivering newspapers. The Beacon is a dream made possible by the support of this community and a great team. I hope to continue serving Coshocton County for many years.

Comments are closed.