Emma Reaney was born on October 20, 1992 in Lawrence, Kansas to parents Mark and Ann Reaney. As a little girl, Reaney tried plenty of sports, but swimming was the only sport that stuck. She was a natural breaststroker from the start.
Personal and Youth Swimming
Emma ReaneyReaney competed in high school swimming only her sophomore year at Lawrence High School. In that one year she broke five school records in the 100-yard butterfly, 100-yard breaststroke, 100-yard backstroke, 100-yard freestyle, and 200-yard IM. The rest of Reaney’s pre-college career was spent training and competing with Ad Astra Area Aquatics in Lawrence, Kansas.
Reaney graduated from Lawrence high school in 2011 and decided to attend the University of Notre Dame in the fall. She is currently a junior working towards a major in Graphic Design and a minor in Buiness Economics.
Her freshman year, Reaney competed in every stroke, but made a significant impact on her team in the breaststrokes and IM. She had an outstanding Big East Championship meet, winning the 100-yard breaststroke (59.85) and the 200-yard IM (1:56.42). Reaney also finished second in the 200-yard breastroke with a 2:11.42. In addition to her stellar individual performances, Reaney was key on Notre Dame’s relays. She swam the breaststroke leg of the winning 400-yard medley relay, she was a member of the winning and school-record-setting 400-yard freestyle relay, and she was a member of the 800-yard freestyle relay that finished third. Reaney qualified for the NCAA Championships and earned All-American Honorable Mention in all three individual events. She finished ninth in the 200-yard IM with a school-record time of 1:55.67, 11th in the 100-yard breaststroke with a 59.81, and 14th in the 200-yard breaststroke with a 2:09.73.
In her sophomore season, Reaney continued to excel. She was named Big East Women’s Most Outstanding Swimmer after winning six events at the Big East Championships. Reaney took home gold in the 100-yard breaststroke, 200-yard breaststroke, 200-yard IM, 200-yard medley relay, 400-yard medley relay, and 800-yard freestyle relay. At the NCAA Championships the next month, she earned two All-American honors (100-yard and 200-yard breaststrokes) and two All-American Honorable Mention honors (200-yard IM and 400-yard medley relay). Reaney became the ninth fastest woman in the history of the 200-yard breaststroke with a fifth place finish and a school-record time of 2:06.77. She also finished fifth in the 100-yard breaststroke (59.19) and ninth in the 200-yard IM (1:55.06). Reaney played a crucial role in the 200-yard medley relay, 400-yard medley relay, and 400-free relay at NCAA’s as well. Reaney came away from her sophomore season with school records in the 100-yard and 200-yard breaststroke, the 200-yard and 400-yard IM, the 200-yard and 400-yard medley relay, and the 400-yard and 800-yard freestyle relay.
Reaney made history in her junior season by claiming Notre Dame’s first ever swimming/diving national championship. She won the 200-yard breaststroke in a time of 2:04.06, winning the event by over a second and a half and setting school, ACC, NCAA, US Open, and American records. Reaney also earned two other All-American honors for her seventh place 200-yard individual medley (1:56.15) and third place 100-yard breaststroke (57.79). She was named ACC Women’s Swimmer of the Year after her outstanding NCAA meet. Reaney dominated the classroom as well earning ACC Women’s Swimming & Diving Scholar-Athlete of the Year honors,Capital One Academic All-District V At-Large accolades, and Capital One Academic At-Large All-American honors.
After her senior year, Reaney had a huge junior year to follow. She is the most decorated swimmer/diver to ever compete at Notre Dame, of both men and women. As a senior Reaney knew going into the NCAA meet that things could be off due to breaks in her training cycle including the short course World Championships. With more sprint training, Reaney finished 3rd in the 100-yard breast, .11 from gold, and took 4th in the 200-yard breast, which she’s the American Record holder in. Reaney advanced to the championship final even in her 3rd event, the 200-yard IM, where she finished 4th.
National and International Swimming
Reaney qualified for the 2012 Olympic Trials where she placed 13th in the 200-meter IM (2:15.51), 41st in the 400-meter IM (4:52.77), 24th in the 100-meter breaststroke (1:09.90) and 23rd in the 200-meter breaststroke (2:30.93). Her performance at Trials gave Reaney a confidence boost the following summer at the US Open. At the 2013 US Open Championships, Reaney placed 12th in the 100-meter butterfly, eighth in the 200-meter butterfly, fourth in the 200-meter IM, third in the 100-meter breaststroke, and second in the 200-meter breaststroke. Her 1:07.56 100-meter breast and 2:26.65 200-meter breast earned Reaney a spot on the 2013-2014 US National Team.
She had a strong end to the 2013-2014 season at the Phillips 66 National Championships where she finished 10th in the 50-meter breaststroke, fourth in the 100-meter breaststroke, and sixth in the 200-meter breaststroke. Her 1:06.74 100-meter breaststroke earned Reaney the opportunity to compete for the US at the upcoming 2015 World University Games.
2014 World Short Course Championships
In the middle of her senior season, Reaney left the NCAA realm to compete internationally for the U.S. Team. Competing in Doha, Qatar Reaney pulled off two championship final swims — she finished 6th in the 50-meter breast and took home a silver as a member of the 200-meter medley relay, which was Reaney’s first international medal. She also pulled off a 10th-place finish in the 100 and a 14th in the 200-meter breast.
2015 World University Games
After her senior year at Notre Dame Reaney competed at the World University Games in Gwangju, South Korea. The American Record holder picked up a bronze medal in the 50-meter breast, and finished 10th overall in the 100 — her medal was Reaney’s first international medal in an individual event.