Picture perfectPublished 4:27pm Thursday, December 20, 2012
At times it seems almost unfair. While the rest of her competitors try their hardest to swim faster then Emily Pfeiffer, the Washington senior coasts by them with a picture perfect technique that still amazes longtime Pam Pack coach Spencer Pake.
“When she swims she looks like she’s not moving any water,” Pake said. “It’s like she’s floating right on top of it.”
Thanks to her perfection of fundamentals, Pfeiffer floated past the competition at last year’s NCHSAA 3-A state meet in Cary to win Washington’s first-ever state championship when she torpedoed her way to gold in the 100-yard breaststroke with a personal-best time of 1:04.32.
Pfeiffer would go on to place second in the 200-yard individual medley and participate on the bronze-winning 200-yard medley relay team to cap off one of the most impressive state outings in school history.
The waves from that performance had a ripple effect that reached all the way to Louisiana as Pfeiffer was recruited by schools such as LSU, East Carolina and North Carolina to name a few.
After weighing her options, Pfeiffer decided to take her talents to Chapel Hill.
“I will be attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill next fall and I couldn’t be more excited,” Pfeiffer said. “Although my dad (Richard) is an N.C. State graduate and it kind of killed him a little bit, he couldn’t be more happier.”
Neither could her coach.
“It always makes the coach look good when you have a state champion but it’s really due to her hard work that she’s put in for years and years,” Pake said. “I’ve been some part of her swimming since she was little and it’s been fun to watch her grow into the athlete she is today.”
Pfeiffer, who swims in the 100-yard breaststroke, 200-yard IM, 200-yard medley relay and the 400-yard freestyle relay, has been swimming competitively since she was eight years old and has been winning Coastal Conference championships since she was a freshman.
“She’s been the Coastal Conference champion in everything she’s swam since she was freshman. I don’t think she’s lost a conference championship to be honest with you,” Pake said.
After challenging for state titles as a freshman and a sophomore, Pfeiffer finally broke through as a junior to make Pam Pack history.
“If it was just me by myself it would mean absolutely nothing, but to have Spencer be so proud of me and to have my teammates there was great,” Pfeiffer said. “Representing Washington and winning in such a big city like Carry competing against all those other teams was just awesome. Whenever you can be the first to do anything it is exciting and your teammates definitely help boost your confidence.”
While Pake praised Pfeiffer’s form, he said it her mentality is even better and that he was proud to be able to coach her.
“She’s a very good person,” Pake said. “She’s great in the classroom and in the pool and she’s just a really good friend. She’s a great friend to all of her teammates whether it be her year-round club or her high school swim club. She doesn’t know a stranger, she’s always smiling – until it’s time to get on the starting block.”