VYPE U: Shark History In The Making
At the beginning of this month, a Shadow Creek swimmer made school history as the first swim athlete to commit to a university in the program.
In the school's five-year run, Shadow Creek had yet to produce a collegiate athlete from the swim program, let alone a D1 collegiate athlete.
Enter Emma Burke.
Burke attended the UIL State Swim Meet as a freshman before taking a hiatus from school swim to focus on club and her academics. In the two-year hiatus, Burke trained relentlessly with PEAK Swimming, setting high goals for herself and striving to prove she's the best. Returning to the school swim program her senior year, Burke is expected to shine brightly on the squad and hopefully make another State appearance to leave her legacy at Shadow Creek.
When asked about her short time with the SC program, Burke said, "I've only truly been a member of the swim team here at SC for a few months. Although I was on the team as a freshman, it was mainly for my PE credit and I wasn't involved enough to count it. These past few months, however, have been beneficial in the sense that I have another place to swim with brand new people. I'm also able to work on things as an individual, such as strength and technique, whereas at club I focus on different aspects of my training. It's adding to my skill set."
Burke, now a senior, committed to the University of Maryland - Baltimore County in the early days of October. The D1 university resides in Baltimore, MD, and they have a great swim program. After swimming for most of her life, Burke's dream was to receive a swim scholarship from a D1 university, and she has done just that.
"I knew UMBC was the one as soon as I stepped on campus," said Burke. "It's really hard to get a feel for the environment over a computer screen and as helpful as the coaches were, nothing compared to being immersed in the environment. I knew it was the best fit for me when I met a group of the girls on the team in person. In my short time there, I had so many productive conversations and made really great friends. I felt so valued and welcomed by everyone I came in contact with, and I knew I couldn't turn down that opportunity."
In her first two school meets of the season, Burke won all her individual events (200 IM, 100 Fly, 100 Back) and contributed to several relay teams. She even posted times significantly faster than her speeds at this time last year. As the season progresses, Burke is predicted to stay far ahead in competition as her opponents face the ferocity of the Shadow Creek Sharks. For now, she cherishes the last remaining bits of her high school swim career, but she has a wonderful new adventure awaiting her in Maryland.
Burke provided a few closing remarks to reflect on her commitment: "As my high school career comes to a close I'm looking forward to going to college which I've been excited for since quite literally 8th grade. I'm ecstatic to be in an environment where there is a common goal and everyone there has a self-driven purpose. I'm also looking forward to making new friends and memories with my future teammates."
A huge congratulations to Emma Burke on her commitment. This young swimmer has such a bright future ahead of her, and she will not fail to drop the jaws of any spectators. Keep a lookout for this superstar as she follows her dreams to college.