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Former HYCAT, GW standout named to collegiate Scholar All-America swim team

By Clint Thomas, Metro Reporter
George Washington High School graduate and former HYCAT swimmer Emily Hageboeck, 19, has been named a member of the 2017 Scholar All-America Swim Team. Courtesy photo
In her recent freshman year at Washington & Lee University, Emily Hageboeck set several individual and team school and conference records. Courtesy photo

Academic and aquatic excellence have led to a national distinction for a George Washington High School graduate who is entering her sophomore year of college in Virginia.

Emily Hageboeck, 19, of Charleston was named to the Scholar All-America Swim Team recently. To achieve the honor, college students must participate in the NCAA swimming and diving championship and maintain at least a 3.50 grade point average in their studies.

An All-America swimmer must place first through eighth in any event in the championship meet, which was held earlier this year in Texas.

Nearly 1,000 U.S. student swimmers and divers were selected for the honor, which is bestowed by the College Swimming & Diving Coaches Association of America. Hageboeck was the only swimmer from the Kanawha Valley chosen this year.

For her swimming portion of qualification, Hageboeck represented Washington & Lee University at the NCAA Division III Championship. She finished eighth in the 200 breaststroke. She swam breaststroke on the 200 medley relay, which placed seventh and also swam breaststroke in the 400 medley relay, in which W&L placed fourth. The W&L women’s team of eight placed seventh overall in the Division III championship, a record finish for any squad from the Lexington, Va., school.

“I swam the 100 Breast, 200 Breaststroke, 400 IM and both medley relays at the Division III NCAA Championship Meet. I am a three-time All-American with my eighth-place finish in the 200 Breaststroke, seventh-place finish in the 200 Medley Relay and fourth-place finish in the 400 Medley Relay,” Hageboeck said in an email from school last week.

“I started swimming competitively when I was 4 in the summer with my older brother and sister,” Hageboeck said in an email from W&L last week. “Once fall started, I joined HYCAT [the Huntington Y Charleston Aquatic Team], and I have not stopped swimming.

“After 15 years of swimming competitively, choosing to swim over other sports has been one of the best decisions in my life. I have learned to work for what I want not only in the pool, but also in life and to achieve goals that I never thought were possible.”

Hageboeck said her training with the University of Charleston-based HYCAT established a solid foundation for her current and ongoing aquatic success. “As a member of HYCAT,” she explained, “I competed against swimmers from around the country. As a part of HYCAT, I learned time management so that I could excel in the classroom and in the pool and how to set goals and work towards the goals.”

Hageboeck graduated from GW in 2016, compiling an exemplary athletic resume through each of her four years there.

“As a part of the GW swim team, I was a member of the All-State Swim Team, which is the top six swimmers at the state meet, all four years in high school,” she said. “GW won all four years, which ended a run of runner-up finishes my freshman year. I won the 100 Breaststroke three years, from 2014 to 2016, and set the state record in the 100 Breaststroke my sophomore year in 2014. I was on the 200 Medley relay that set the state record in 2014, which we broke again in 2016. I also swam on the 400 Free Relay that set a state record in 2013, and broken again in 2016.

“I was captain my senior year. I was on the All-Region Team and All-Conference Team as a part of the GW swim team all four years in high school and was selected to the MSAC Scholar All-Conference Team my senior year.”

Hageboeck has achieved her academic qualification for the Scholar All-America Swim Team while studying Accounting and Computer Science at W&L.

“I chose Washington and Lee for its academics. I wanted to be a part of a collegiate swim team that cared about swimming as well as being focused on their school work. I knew that I could make an impact on the swim team by being surrounded by other athletes that care about their school work. At Washington and Lee, I get to swim with exceptional student athletes,” she said.

“As a Division III athlete, balancing swimming and academics is very manageable. My coaches run multiple practices a day so that I can take any class I want. If I have a lecture for class, my coaches understand that I have to miss practice and they push us to do well in the classroom.”

Along with her academic and athletic endeavors, Hageboeck is involved in a sorority and volunteers as a peer tutor at W&L.

She has already set school and conference swim records. “After my freshman year at Washington and Lee, I hold the school record in the 100 Breast, 200 Breast and 400 IM individually. I am also a part of the 200 Medley Relay and 400 Medley Relays that hold school records. I hold the conference record in the 200 Breaststroke and 400 IM individually as well as swimming on the 200 Medley Relay and 400 Medley relay that hold conference records,” she said.

She earned Swimmer of the Week for the Old Dominion Conference and W&L Athlete of the Week honors last season, as well, but, she said, the records are only one element of what motivates her in the water.

“I swim competitively because I enjoy being in the water and with my friends,” Hageboeck said. “I like seeing my improvement over time as my times drop in my events. Swimming has given me a chance to prove to myself that I can achieve goals I never thought possible.

“Becoming a Scholar All-American was one of those goals. As a Division III athlete, I have the opportunity to excel at swimming and academics. I knew I wanted to go to the NCAA championship meet for as long as I can remember, but I would never sacrifice my academics and my life after college to get there. This is why I chose to go to Washington and Lee.

“The NCAA championship meet was located in Shenandoah, Texas, this year. This opportunity that I was given this past winter has given me inspiration to know that I can achieve anything that I put my mind to. If you would have asked me a year ago if I thought I would be a three-time All-American and Scholar All-American, I would have thought you were crazy,” Hageboeck said.

Rob St. Jean coached Hageboeck at HYCAT for nearly four years. “Emily has been involved in our age group program here at HYCAT for over a decade,” St. Jean said. “She was a delight to know and coach. She was a hard-working swimmer who never gave up during practice, and she continued to push herself to excellence daily. She was a great team leader that encouraged all of her teammates to work hard.”


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