U.S. National Team swimmer Emily Escobedo has announced her retirement from competitive swimming. Next month, she will begin her new career as a special education teacher in an elementary school.
Escobedo, 26, was one of the great mid-major swimming stories in US history. She swam collegiately at UMBC, where as a freshman she became just the 3rd woman, and 4th swimmer overall, in program history to qualify for the NCAA Championships. As a sophomore, she became her school’s first-ever female swimmer to advance to back-to-back NCAA Championships.
Then in 2016 as a junior, she became the first swimmer ever from UMBC, or the America East Conference, to score points at the NCAA Championships when she placed 15th in the 100 breaststroke. A day later, she exploded for a breakthrough 3rd-place finish in the 200 breaststroke.
Escobedo finished her collegiate career in the 2016-2017 season with another 3rd-place finish in the 200 breaststroke. She added more All-America hardware with a 9th-place finish in the 100 breaststroke and 12th-place finish in the 200 IM.
She wasn’t done making school history. She exploded for a 2:23.88 at the 2017 US Open, becoming UMBC’s first-ever swimmer US National Team member.
Escobedo continued to build her career as a post-graduate, qualifying for the 2019 World University Games team. There, she won gold as part of the American women’s 400 medley relay and added a silver medal in the 200 breaststroke individually.
Escobedo then raced for the New York Breakers in the inaugural season of the International Swimming League. At a meet in Budapest, Hungary she became the first event winner in franchise history when she took the 200 breaststroke title in 2:18.73. She finished that season ranked 107th in MVP scoring, which would be the highest rank of her career.
She swam for the Breakers again in the 2020 season, again picking up a 200 breaststroke win. For the 2021 season, she would join the Cali Condors as the team swam to a runner-up finish in the league.
At the 2021 US Olympic Trials, Escobedo finished 3rd in the 200 breaststroke, finishing .89 seconds behind Lilly King for the second spot on the Olympic Team in the 200 breaststroke.
That swim did qualify Escobedo for the 2021 World Short Course Championships, where she won a World title in the 200 breaststroke with a time of 2:17.85.
Escobedo would swim one more meet after those World Championships: the 2022 International Team Trials, where she swam to a 10th-place finish in the 200 breaststroke, about six seconds off her best time. That would be the last meet of her career.
Escobedo married Andrew Farucci on September 18, 2021.