- Written by Sharon Robb
High School: Douglas
College: Florida State
Emily Greenwood is so passionate about swimming that she wrote her college essay about the major role it’s played in her life.
“It’s taught me a lot about dedication,” Greenwood said. “You can’t expect good results unless you put in the time.”
Greenwood has been dedicated ever since she took her first lessons at the International Swimming Hall of Fame in Fort Lauderdale eleven years ago.
Then it was her first swim team, a recreation team in Coconut Creek where she swam with friend and former club teammate Linea Cutter, now a freshman at Nova Southeastern. As a sixth grader she joined the Coral Springs Middle School team.
But it wasn’t until she joined the Coral Springs Swim Club at the Coral Springs Aquatic Complex that she realized what true passion for swimming was all about.
“My passion grew when I came to Coral Springs,” Greenwood said. “The competitiveness and training brought out the best in me. Coach Dana Holmquist recognized the talent I had and started me out with proper training. Bruno was a great coach and Chris Jackson is amazing.”
Greenwood dropped competitive cheerleading to focus on swimming because “swimming was definitely No. 1,” Greenwood said. She competed in the backstroke and freestyle.
Her club training led to her success throughout her high school swimming career at Douglas, where she competed all four years, qualified for the state meet her sophomore, junior and senior seasons and was named team captain her junior and senior years.
Greenwood said her biggest accomplishment was breaking a minute in the 100-yard backstroke (in 58.6) her junior season. She cracked the mark during the high school state meet. Even more satisfying, Jackson was there watching.
“It was such a big deal for us,” Greenwood said. “I was the first girl that Chris ever coached that broke a minute. He was so excited. I was so excited. It showed me what I could do and it helped me push myself even more.
“I love club swimming but all my big stuff happened in high school, all my defining moments in swimming. I made finals in every race I swam. Chris was always there supporting me.”
Swimming also played a key role outside the pool for Greenwood.
“Being on a team in high school helped me feel more comfortable, it was a big deal for me to be part of the school,” Greenwood said. “When I was practicing with Coral Springs it helped me with time management. I spent so much time in the pool I learned to manage my time properly so I could focus on school work, too.”
Greenwood plans to major in biology at FSU and hopes to be a cosmetic chemist. “I am definitely a girly-girl and I wanted to combine my girly-girl side with my nerdy side,” she said.
She would also like to continue swimming while in college for a recreation or club team.
“Now it’s more academic for me,” Greenwood said. “I don’t think I would be the same person if I didn’t swim. I can never imagine my life not getting into a pool every day. It’s been a big thing in my life. I can’t imagine not smelling chlorine or getting wet every day.
“I could have the worst day ever but when I get out of practice I feel great. I am relaxed and decompressed. I can’t function without it. I am excited about college. Everything in my life is really good right now. I am nervous because I am not a fan of change but change happens. I am not going away too far to school. I know when I come home for visits, I will go to the pool.”