Swimmer Emma Murdock achieves dream of competing and studying at NCAA school

Ever since Emma Murdock was a kid, she wanted to swim and study at a university in the United States. Now, Murdock is living her dream as a freshman at Northern State University in Aberdeen, South Dakota, on both an academic and athletic scholarship.

“It’s crazy. I’ve always wanted to do this and to achieve it is mindblowing and it’s something I can check off my list,” Murdock said.

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Murdock, born and raised in Fort St. John, swam with the Inconnu Swim Club for 10 years, before moving to Victoria in 2015 to join the Pacific Coast Swimming program. There, she competed at a high level during her three high school years, qualifying for Senior Nationals in 2016 and 2017.

“I did good at nationals. At Edmonton (2016) I had personal bests, but wasn’t training as much when I went to Montreal (2017) because I was focused on school and getting an academic scholarship,” she said.

All the hard work paid off, as Murdock was recently announced as a recipient of the $5,000 WolfPACT scholarship, for having high SAT and ACT scores. Murdock — a double major student — is studying both psychology and communications. That, along with being on the varsity swim team, has kept her very busy these days.

“I’m very busy and have little free time. But everyone here is very focused, and our swim team has the highest GPA in our conference so I want to keep that up,” said Murdock.

Murdock is a sprinter, and specializes in the butterfly, backstroke, and freestyle disciplines. In her latest meet, on Nov. 2, she finished second in the 200m backstroke and third in the 50m freestyle.

Murdock owes of a lot of her success to her time with Inconnu and is grateful for that experience.

“Being with Inconnu taught me to appreciate everything I have. It’s an amazing club that allowed me to grow, and it helped me be strong, and supported me when the time came for me to leave and experience the outside world. You can’t stay at one place forever.”

Murdock hopes to make the NCAA DII Swim Championships, and says her 100m backstroke and 100m butterfly times almost meet the qualifying criteria.  

Email sports reporter Dillon Giancola at sports@ahnfsj.ca.

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