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Hastings swims her way to the Olympic Trials

MON. | 02-01-21 | SPORTS

     Junior Emma Hastings, a swimmer who has earned four conference titles and a state championship to her name while swimming for the Rampants, and holds over thirty records for East Carolina Aquatics (ECA) Swimming, has now added another achievement to her repertoire. Hastings recently competed in the TYR Pro Series qualifying meet in Richmond, VA. 

     Hastings swam the 800 meter freestyle and met the time requirement of 8:48.09 for the Olympic Trials in Omaha, Nebraska. Swimming a time of 8:47.30


Photo contributed by Emma Hastings

secured her a spot in the trials, which will be taking place from June 13-20. 

     “I was very happy, very excited,” Hastings said. “I could hear my coach screaming when I was swimming the last stretch so at that point I knew I had gotten it.”

    The first time Hastings realized qualifying was a possibility was when she first began her college recruitment process and had many coaches reaching out to her to swim for their team. Hastings recently committed to North Carolina State University, which has one of the top ten swimming programs in the country. 

     “When you get to that level, everyone is fast, almost everyone has the time cut to qualify for the trials,” Hastings said.

     Head Rose swim coach Andrew Pierce has been coaching for four years now, and has coached Hastings since her freshman year. Pierce feels lucky to have a swimmer like Hastings on his team. 

     “She is very goal oriented, and works extremely hard,” Pierce said. “When you look at her you may or may not think right away that she is a natural swimmer, but when she gets in the water it doesn’t take her long to prove she is.”

     Hastings has had to work very hard to get where she is today.  She explained that she has been both practicing with ECA nine to ten times a week and swimming for Rose in the midst of preparing for the trials. 

     “Lots and lots of tough practice, and not fun workouts are ahead of me.” Hastings said. 

     Although Hastings had qualified for the trials in a traditional year, it is now going to look different. On Tuesday, January 26, USA Swimming announced that the trials this year will be cut into two waves. For the goal of having less numbers at the trials due to COVID-19 protocol, there will be an additional cut that must be made by Hastings to swim in the official olympic trial cut. 

     Wave one will be swam by the “slower qualifiers”, the top two finishers will then move on and swim in wave two. Wave two would then be what the fans would call the trials, and the swimmers will have a chance to qualify for the Olympics.

     “It obviously is sad that I won’t see people qualify for the olympics and experience that energy, but I am still excited to compete at the meet” Hastings said.

     She wants to thank all of the Rose community, teachers, coaches and fellow students for all of the support and encouragement she has received through this process thus far as she progresses in her time at Rose and prepares to swim in Omaha come June. 

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