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The La Salle Falconer

The student news site of La Salle Catholic College Preparatory.

The La Salle Falconer

The student news site of La Salle Catholic College Preparatory.

The La Salle Falconer

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Athlete of the Week: Emma Graves

Jasmine McIntosh
Junior Emma Graves participates on both the swim team and the softball team for La Salle. She is planning on ending her career as a student athlete after her senior year, but she has really enjoyed competing in these sports for as long as she has.

Junior Emma Graves started swimming her freshman year on the JV team and made varsity her sophomore year. Additionally, Graves has been playing softball recreationally since she was five years old. Her dad was her inspiration to begin playing softball because his love for baseball led to her love for the game. 

In regards to her goals for the La Salle swim team, Graves wanted them to win meets and place well in districts. Her main personal goal was to become a better swimmer overall and get faster times each time she swam. 

For softball, Graves’ biggest goal is to make full-time varsity.

Graves remembers to remain goal-oriented “so I can continue to grow as an athlete and get closer with my teammates,” she said. She uses every chance she gets to work hard and step closer to achieving her goals.

Though her coaches and teams are welcoming, participating in both swim and softball is a very demanding commitment. Swim and softball are during two different seasons so Graves plays one sport at a time, but with practices every day as well as games, meets, and schoolwork, it can be overwhelming at times.

With that, Graves makes as much time for herself as she can. She tries to use her time wisely to get her homework done so she doesn’t fall behind, whether it’s before or after practice or even on the bus to away games.

This past swim season, swim practices tended to start at different times each day, so Graves prioritized the time she had before practice to get as much homework done as possible.

Every day after school during the softball season, Graves has practice which starts at different times on certain days. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, practice starts at 5:30 p.m., which gives Graves time to get some homework done beforehand. On other days, practice starts directly after school and goes on for two hours.

A typical swim practice at the North Clackamas Aquatic Park starts with warm ups followed by a quick team meeting for coaches to tell the swimmer the agenda for the next hour. They usually focus on either speed or distance as their main workout, then have a short cooldown at the end of practice.

A normal softball practice starts with warm ups and agility drills, which moves onto either hitting or fielding, then switching to the other later on.

Swim meet days are a little different than practice days because there are only two other schools that have pools nearby and the rest are further. This means the team has to leave fairly early from school to make it to their meets on time.

On days that Graves and her softball team have a game, they try to get as hyped as possible by listening to music before competing. 

To personally prepare for competitions, Graves likes to listen to music to get her to the right mindset. She gets excited and pumped to do her best and for her team to hopefully win.

In between races at swim meets, Graves likes to talk with her friends and cheer on her teammates.

The athletic community that she is surrounded by is incredibly important to Graves because her teams are accepting of all student athletes regardless of their talent. She feels it’s crucial to know “that everyone can get better and that it doesn’t really matter [because] we’re all at different levels,” she said.

Graves loves her coaches for both the swim team and the softball team. “I feel like they always strive to help us become a closer team, and be able to work better as a group,” she said. They have all helped Graves create a good work ethic as well.

Sports and school take up a large part of Graves’ life, but in her free time she likes to hang out with her friends and work as a lifeguard at the North Clackamas Aquatic Park. A reason she enjoys her job is because swimming is a passion of hers and she loves being able to be in that atmosphere often.

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