Matthews to strut her stuff with Team Nova Scotia
AMHERST - Emily Matthews is set to put her skills up against the best of the best in eastern Canada and Maine this weekend when she competes with Team Nova Scotia at an all-star competition at UNB.
Matthews, the 15-year-old daughter of John and Jan Matthews of Amherst, will be swimming in three freestyle events and two relay events including the 4x50 freestyle and the 4x50 medley.
"It's going to be a lot of fun because I know and have swam against a lot of the people who are going," Matthews said while preparing to practise at the Cumberland YMCA pool. "Being in a new age group it's going to be a bigger challenge because I will be swimming against 18-year-olds who are stronger, faster and have been training longer than I have."
Despite the challenge, Matthews, who is in Grade 10 at Amherst Regional High School, is looking forward to the meet and is entering competition with the goal of swimming as strongly as she can and not being disappointed if she doesn't do as well as she normally does.
For the past five years, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Maine have selected all-star teams based on results from the winter swimming season. These teams meet every November with each team having six male and six female swimmers in three age groups.
This is Matthews' fourth trip to the meet, having first competed in 2004 as a 12-year-old while her mother is a coach with Team Nova Scotia.
"I know that the competition is usually stiff but it's more like a fun meet in that you swim for bragging rights than it is a competition for a championship," she said, adding her previous experience there should help her.
Events such as this help her work on faults and she's hoping to improve her technique
"It's not sloppy, but it could be better," she said. "When you swim against the older swimmers, you're usually swimming against swimmers who were at the top of their game a year ago and are in university. That makes it difficult."