Schouten signs with Loyola

By on November 22, 2016

 

Warwick High School senior Emma Schouten signs her National Letter of Intent to continue her academic and swimming careers at Loyola University.

Warwick High School senior Emma Schouten signs her National Letter of Intent to continue her academic and swimming careers at Loyola University.

As senior Emma Schouten prepares for her final swim season at Warwick, her focus is sharp.

Her objectives are to make some serious waves in the breaststroke event.

Not that she hasn’t done that already.

In the 100 breaststroke, Schouten is a two-time Lancaster-Lebanon League gold medalist, a three-time District Three medalist, with a silver last winter, and a three-time PIAA State qualifier, including back-to-back trips to the B-finals.

But she’s not satisfied.

“I want to medal in breaststroke (at States) &tstr; not just top eight, like top three,” Schouten said. “That’s what my goal is, to prove myself in breaststroke.”

Loyola University would certainly be proud.

During the early signing period, Schouten signed her National Letter of Intent on Wednesday, Nov. 9 to continue her athletic and academic careers with the Lady Greyhounds in Baltimore, Md.

She was also considering the U.S. Naval Academy and the University of Delaware before signing on the dotted line with Loyola.

“I’m very excited,” Schouten said. “I love the team and the campus was beautiful. It’s a small setting, there’s only 4,000 undergraduates. I’m between majors right now, but they have a great business school and they have a great engineering program, so the education I’ll be provided is awesome.”

Warwick coach Mark Daum believes Loyola is a nice destination for Schouten.

“Definitely (she can make an impact),” he said. “She isn’t going in as a big fish in a little pond, but I think she’s going to help them a lot. They were after her, very high on her and really kept pursuing her.”

Initially, her heart was set on the Naval Academy. Dain Bomberger, a 2012 Warwick High School grad and a current Midshipmen, was set to pen a recommendation for Schouten. But a nut allergy and the Naval Academy’s nine-year commitment swayed her in another direction.

After visiting both Annapolis and the University of Delaware in September, Schouten’s recruiting journey took her to Loyola in October.

It turned out to be a great fit.

“Swimming-wise, I wanted a team that was determined to win and everyone wanted to swim,” she said. “And school-wise, I wanted a small school where a professor would know my name. At Loyola, there’s only 20 people in a class, so that’s what I was looking for.”

Asked how important it was for her to swim in college, Schouten said, “It was very important. I can’t imagine not swimming … With Loyola, it’s Division-One, which was my goal, but it’s also in the Patriot League and that’s where I think I’d do best.”

“(Emma) certainly did her homework over the course of the last year,” Daum said, “and she’s the third Schouten to swim in college. So she had a lot of help from brother (Colin), sister (Maddie) and parents (Erik and Jacqueline). So I think she researched it thoroughly and it all seemed to click for her.”

At Loyola, she will join a Loyola team which took seventh with 187 points at the Patriot League Championships last February, where senior Theresa McKallen barely missed the school record of 2:21.52 in the 200 breast, placing 12th in 2:21.53.

With the Patriot League Championships rotating annually between the Naval Academy and Bucknell University’s Kinney Natatorium, a pool in which Schouten, has competed the past three seasons at States, she will have a comfort level there.

“It’s going to help me &tstr; it won’t be a home pool advantage, but I’ll know that (Bucknell) pool well enough to not be afraid to swim in it,” she said.

Coach Brian Loeffler has indicated to Schouten that she will swim in breastroke events, along with perhaps some Individual Medley and sprint free.

Although the Warwick star is a three-time L-L champ, a District champ and a two-time State medalist in the 500 freestyle, Schouten is hoping to focus more on sprint free events and of, course, the breaststroke this winter.

“Breaststroke has always been (my favorite),” she said. “My favorite event, because I do club also, is 200 breaststroke, so I’ll be able to do that in college … it’s not (offered) in high school. I just find breaststroke so much more relaxing and I can just find that pace and stick to it.”

In the weeks and months ahead, though, Schouten is looking to find a better pace on her turns.

“They feel like they’re so simple,” she said, “but mine in breaststroke aren’t as fast as they can be and I want to be able to fix that before I go (to Loyola) so it’s just one less thing I have to worry about in college.”

Changing things up in her events should also pay dividends at the State meet, where the 500 free and 100 breaststroke are held just 10 minutes apart on the same day of competition.

“I think my 500 free these past three years has been holding me back from doing better in the breaststroke,” Schouten said.

Now that Schouten has given her John Hancock to Loyola, there is no danger of the college search holding her back this winter either. She is free to focus on her senior season and proving herself in the 100 breaststroke.

“I really wanted to early sign – that was my goal,” Schouten said. “It’s just a huge stress relief to go into my season and not have to worry about also training and having to figure out where I’m going to go next year.”

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