By Cameron Winston
A stellar swimmer and water polo player is two things Emily Martin proves to be when she is in the water. An athlete that has competed since she was five years old, Martin has enjoyed a competitive and successful journey in the pool.
A state and conference champion, as well as a record setter are only some of the things that occupy her resume this year in both sports. The women’s water polo team has had a great deal of success in six of the last seven seasons, and was finally able to capture the prized championship this season. She is a dominant 6-foot-1 athlete which helps give her an edge at the 2-meter position against her opponents.
In a display of her dynamic swimming ability, Martin recently contributed in helping her team stop a long successful Orange Coast College winning streak of 10 straight Orange Empire Conference Championships. She competed in both the 100 and 200-meter breaststroke, while setting a school and conference record in the 200. Her record time was 2 minutes, 27.3 seconds, beating her opponent by seven seconds, and beating Tori Cree’s record that was set in 2015 with a time of 2:29.76.
“Last year I did butterfly and free,” Martin said “And this year was my first time doing breaststroke, so that’s why it was so weird to me that I broke a record. I just thought, Wow! I’m good at breaststroke? I get nervous before races, and I just go out and try to have fun, and not try to think about it so much. If I think about it, beating my time, I just get more nervous every time I think about it. It’s just like it doesn’t matter what I do, so I just hope I kind of do good.”
This will be her last season donning the orange and black colors for the Tigers, but Martin looks to continue her water polo career at UC Santa Barbara where she has been offered a scholarship.
She looks back at some of her favorite moments and what she loves about being at RCC, and talks about winning both a state championship for water polo and winning the conference championship as some of her favorite memories of the season. The people and friendships she has made at RCC is also another thing she loves and will miss.
“It’s fun to see how far you’ve come, and how you’re improving along as well as your team,” Martin said. “Seeing how your friends are doing, and racing each other, and pushing each other to improve.”
Confidence is one of the biggest aspects that coach Doug FinFrock and his coaching staff preachs to the team that Martin has lived by and will carry on her next journey to Santa Barbara.
“When I went throughout high school I got kind of slower, and I thought that same thing was going to happen here,” says Martin. “Like my first year I was going to be at my peak, and after that was going to go downhill.” That did not happen at all, it just so happened she got even better. “I never want to quit this sport. I just want to continue to get better.”