52.7 Breaststroker Craig Emslie Verbally Commits to Tar Heels for 2016

Craig Emslie, a sophomore at Indian River State College, has made a verbal commitment to transfer to University of North Carolina in the fall of 2016. “I chose UNC not only for its outstanding swim program, but also for its excellent Business school and phenomenal team spirit.”

Emslie is from Cape Town, South Africa, where he attended Rondebosch Boys’ High School. He chose IRSC “because of its facilities and its reputation for producing many other outstanding South African swimmers,” Emslie told SwimSwam.

At IRSC Emslie adapted quickly to the short course yards format and wound up winning both the 100 breast (54.48) and 200 breast (1:58.67) at the 2015 NJCAA Swimming & Diving Championships. He was also runner-up in the 50 free (20.39). Emslie was a member of IRSC’s national record-setting 400 medley and 800 free relays, as well as their first-place 200 medley and 400 free relays.

Emslie crushed the NJCAA record in the 100 breast this fall at the 2015 Georgia Tech Invite in November; his third-place finish of 52.77 was over 1.1 seconds faster than the previous national junior college mark. Emslie’s top times include:

  • 50y free – 20.23
  • 100y free – 43.52
  • 100y breast – 52.77
  • 200y breast – 1:58.67
  • 200y IM – 1:53.45

Emslie will be a welcome addition to the Tar Heels’ roster; his best 100 breast performance would have scored second at last year’s ACC Conference Championships, while his 200 would have landed him in the C final.

“It took me quite a while to adapt to SCY, hence, my coach and I placed emphasis on my turns and under waters.

The Georgia Tech Invitational is where I knew I had the opportunity to shine out and set some personal bests. This is where I set a 52.77 in the 100Breast and 43.53 in the 100 Free. The team atmosphere was great and we all backed each other up in every race.

Although I’ve had some swims that I’m proud of, I believe it’s only the start. Currently I’m putting my head underwater in preparation for NJCAA and more importantly, South African Olympic Trials that will be held in April.”

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Swim fan
5 years ago

How many years of eligibility would he have left? What a great addition to that team!

Reply to  Swim fan
5 years ago

He should have 2 years left

5 years ago

Heels taking recruiting shortcuts? Sad

Reply to  Swimmer
5 years ago

Lol you’re an idiot, “shortcuts”, picking up a South African from a junior college where he developed into a better swimmer is a “shortcut” or is it an immediate impact signing that can help their 2/4free and medley relays. Trust me a lot of schools would have loved that shortcut for the fall

5 years ago

Great pick up by the Heels! They need more recruits like this to compete with that red school down the road

5 years ago

This is definitely concerning for NC State swimming, although we’re talented in other areas and have recruited some good breaststrokers, a strong, A-tier breaststroker has been a lacking point for the team recently.

Reply to  NCSUfan
5 years ago

I think Derek Hren finished 2nd at the ACC last year…

5 years ago

“A rising tide raises all boats” JFK
As a former Wolfpack swimmier it’s good to see the ACC getting faster. It wasn’t much fun to watch NC State win all the swims last year … well, it was sort of fun

5 years ago

Well the Wolfpack just threw another punch back to the Heels by signing Zack Warner. 52.5, 1:55.4 breasstroker.

About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

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