The East Elgin secondary school student will further her education
and swim career at the Pennsylvania university
January 3, 2023
By Rob J. Ross
AYLMER, Ont. - Emma Beggs has chosen the pool to be swimming in for the next four years.
The Grade 12 student at East Elgin Secondary school, in Aylmer, has committed to attend PennWest Edinboro University, in Edinboro, Pennsylvania, 30 minutes from Lake Erie.
Beggs will be studying Exercise Science and continuing her competitive swimming career, with the Fighting Scots, a NCAA Division II school, in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC).
"What stood out is how welcoming the school community was," Beggs said. "They have an awesome team atmosphere."
Beggs will be following in the foot steps of her coach, Brooke Colton, an Edinboro alumnus, who did have some influence on the athlete's decision.
"Her stories and experiences there, definitely set it off to me. Knowing that she was successful there, makes me hopeful that I will be successful as well," Beggs said. "She has opened me up to a lot of experiences and gave me a different perspective on swimming."
Colton has been coaching Beggs for three years, alongside long time coach Cathy Ellis.
"Emma is a great all around swimmer. She's one of those swimmers who is able to train themselves," Colton said. "We sat down and made a list what she wanted out of a school. I would have been happy with any where she went, but when she told me it was Edinboro, I was excited."
Exposure in the pool is much larger south of the border, points out Colton.
"Swimming in the States is so different than it is here," Colton said. "You get a lot of recognition. You're never going to get the experience in Canada, that you will when you go to the States. It's an unique experience."
Beggs has been swimming competitively for 11 years with the Ingersoll Speed Sharks.
"I'm a really competitive person I would definitely say," said Beggs. "I just love the thrill of putting in the hard work, training, and seeing it pay off in all the races."
At the 2019 Junior Nationals, Beggs finished with a personal best time in the 200-meter breaststroke.
"That was a really good accomplishment and one that stands out," said Beggs, who has also swam at meets in Calgary, Quebec City and the Eastern Canadian championships.
At the 2020 OFSAA high school provincial championships, Beggs placed 10th overall, in the open girls' 100-metre I.M. (individual medley) and 14th overall, in the 100-metre breaststroke.
"OFSAA 2020 was a great experience and I loved every second of it. I'm really hoping to qualify again," said Beggs, daughter to Don and Nancy, and sister to brothers Jack, Cody and Tom, who all live on a farm east of Belmont.
The current high school season is underway with the Thames Valley Region Athletic (TVRA) championships, the first step towards OFSAA, scheduled for Feb. 8-9, at the London Aquatic Center.
The past two high school swim seasons were cancelled because of the pandemic and practice time and meets were limited at Ingersoll.
"It was hard, especially being from a small club. We lost out on a lot of pool time compared to the big clubs. It was a challenge. I've missed out on some meets, because of COVID for sure," Beggs said. "Doing the signing to an university, gives me that hopefulness to have continued success, that I may have missed out on due to COVID."
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