By Murray Gleffe, Sports Correspondent
Name: Emma Steffel
Sport: Girls Swimming
What is it like to be a leader on the swim team at Ashwaubenon?
“I feel very proud to say I’ve been a captain two years in a row, and feel honored to be thought of as a leader on the team. It’s very important to me to be a role model for underclassmen, and I would say it is also for the entire upperclassmen group we have this year. They are a really nice group of girls. Being able to go through high school swimming with the same nine seniors was very special. We grew up, matured, and think that the term “leader” could be expressed towards any one of my fellow seniors.”
What is your most embarrassing moment ever in swimming?
“My freshman year after the sectional swim meet, the entire team was going out for dinner at a restaurant I will keep unnamed, and let’s just say somehow, some way, I ended up breaking a door down. The restaurant had no idea, and I feel as if I’m known as “that person that broke the door down”. Pretty embarrassing for a freshman.”
How many years have you been involved in swimming?
“Involved? Well if you say that, probably since before I was born…my mother has always been coaching. I still have memories of swimming in the Edison Middle School pool as my mom was coaching for the Marlins High School Team. Competitive swimming, I would say about 11 years. I started around age 6 or 7.”
What is your most memorable moment in swimming?
“I have a memorable meet, if that counts. When I was ten years old I attended the State Meet in Madison with my mom and to this day I think it was the best meet of my life. I don’t remember times or placing, but I remember how happy I was and how happy and proud my mom was, which is why I think it meant so much to me.
Making the top 6 in all four of my High School State events last year was pretty amazing for me as well.”
What’s the hardest aspect about swimming?
“Coming to terms with the fact that training for swimming is not fun. You don’t get a social life; just countless yards and focusing on stroke technique for 2 ½ hours every day. But we swimmers do it anyway because we love it. I love it, because it defines who I am and makes me the hard- working person I am today and for that I’ll take the early mornings, late nights, and four-day swim meets because to me it’s worth it.”
If you could be somebody for one day, who would it be?
“Probably my dog. I don’t know if that counts or not. My dog literally just gets to chill out all day, nap whenever, play whenever, get treats whenever…it’s a good life and I’d take that relaxation for a day.”
What are your college aspirations?
“I always knew college swimming was where I wanted to be, so I would like to continue that dream. As for my schooling, I’d like to go to a four-year school and then continue my education for a master’s degree of some kind.”
What would be your dream job once you graduate?
“Even I don’t know that. I know I love the medical field and I’m very interested in going into that area, but I think I have time to specialize. If I were picking today, I’d probably say either physician’s assistant or physical therapy.”
What are your hobbies?
“I draw a little in my free time. I like to watch movies and tv shows on Netflix, and play with my dog.”
What is your favorite sporting event ever attended?
“I went down to Omaha with my family and a friend to watch the Swimming Olympic Trials last summer.”
What is your favorite kind of music?
“I listen to alternative, indie, and R&B”
What is your favorite thing to do on your phone?
“I don’t really have a favorite thing.”
What three words best describe you?
“Work ethic, relaxed, goofy”
What is your favorite trip(s) ever taken?
“Any spring break trip taken with my family.”
Anything sweet or a pastry
Game of Thrones
Lemonheads or bottlecaps
Christmas or Halloween (actually all of them)
Fall and Winter
Comments from Jaguar Head Swim Coach Jennifer Steffel,
“I have been on a high school deck with Emma since before she could walk, so it makes complete sense to both of us that I would eventually be her high school coach. Not many people get the opportunity to coach their own kid, which can be a wonderful experience, or a horrible one. I have had many years of coaching my own children and I definitively made many mistakes. I do feel I make less and less every season. Emma and I have a coach/athlete relationship verses a mother/daughter relationship on deck. She calls me ‘coach Jenny’ just like everyone else. We become mother and daughter in the car rides to practice and again leaving practice. Those rides are the really special moments where she and I get extra time together. Sometimes those car rides are about training, meets, goals and other times they are about non-swimming things. It has been a pleasure to be an intimate part of her high school swimming career and am very proud of her accomplishments. I am really looking forward to the next chapter of her life where I just get to be ‘mom’.”