Meet IRSC Swimmer Craig Emslie, Named 2016 FCSAA Athlete of the Year
Fort Pierce swimmer Craig Emslie already has an impressive collection of national titles—but it's only the beginning for the South Africa native.
Emslie, a member of the Indian River State College Men's Swim Team, was recently named the 2016 Florida College System Activities Association (FCSAA) Athlete of the Year.
He moved to Fort Pierce from South Africa in 2014. He said he chose to attend IRSC because of the school's team spirit and to follow in the footsteps of other South African swimmers who attend the state college. (Indeed, the swim team draws interest from international athletes, with members hailing from Sweden, South Africa, Curaçao, Denmark and Malaysia.)
While competing in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Swimming and Diving Championships hosted by IRSC this spring, Emslie earned a total of eight national titles—four from individual events and four from team relays.
His performances in the competition list him as the fastest individual competitor to ever hit the pool in the 50, 100 and 200 breaststroke events, according to a statement from IRSC. In addition, he broke a 23-year standing record for the 200 originally held by a United States Swimming American Record holder.
Lauded for his teamwork and leadership, he also earned the title of 2016 NJCAA Male Swimmer of the Year.
These accolades, however, are only the first steps in what Emslie envisions will be a busy few years ahead. He said he sees himself working toward the World Championships next year, and even competing in the Olympics by 2020. He also plans to transfer to University of North Carolina in the fall.
"This is definitely not the end of the road for me; all these titles just motivated me to achieve even more," he said.
(Photo by Robert Holland)