Emma Waddell of Bangor is a national champion for the second time in her career.
The Williams College junior got the NCAA Division III Swimming and Diving Championships off to a splendid start on Wednesday when she sped to victory in the 50-yard freestyle.
The former Bangor High School star established a meet record with a time of 22.69 seconds in claiming the title on the first day of the meet at the Conroe ISD Natatorium in Shenandoah, Texas.
The versatile Waddell excelled despite having altered her repertoire this season.
“It is very exciting to switch up my lineup this year, so I’m glad it paid off in the end,” Waddell said in an interview with the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference.
“Honestly, I was just trying to control my nerves. It was a little intimidating not having been in this event before, but really just trying to enjoy the experience and race with everything I had.”
Waddell was a dynamo in helping coach Steven Kuster’s team win the New England Small College Athletic Conference championship recently. In that meet, she won the 200 individual medley, the 100 butterfly and the 100 free and participated on the Ephs’ record-setting entries in the 200 free relay, the 400 medley relay and the 200 medley relay and Williams’ victorious 400 free relay quartet.
“I’m so happy at Williams and I really value all my teammates and coaches,” Waddell said, “and so to come out here and make them proud really is just a phenomenal feeling.”
In 2015, Waddell had claimed an individual Division III national title in the 100-yard butterfly. Her time was 53.65 seconds.
On Thursday, Waddell helped Williams’ 200-yard freestyle relay team claim second place in 1:32.90.
She followed that up by claiming her second individual victory in the 100-yard butterfly, clocking in at 53.48 seconds.
Waddell capped her night by helping Williams’ 400-yard medley relay team place second in 3:40.57.