14 February 2007

Making Waves

Alicia Aemisegger took up swimming as a third grader mainly for the social benefits of being on a team. "I was eight and I just moved into a new town and my mother wanted me to swim to make friends," recalled Aemisegger. "At the time I could barely finish a lap. I still had so much fun, I got really close to my teammates."

Coming under the tutelage of legendary Germantown Academy swim coach Dick Shoulberg in fifth grade, Aemisegger blossomed, transforming herself into a swimmer who was soon lapping the competition. Aemisegger qualified for the U.S. nationals as a freshman at Germantown and a year later came within .03 seconds of earning a spot on the U.S. national team in the 400 individual medley.

Deciding to come to Princeton University this past fall rather than to perennial swimming power U.S.C., Aemisegger has made waves for the Tigers right from the start, setting program records in the 400 IM, 200 butterfly, and 1000 freestyle in her first few meets.

This weekend, Aemisegger will aim to add some more titles to her resume as the Tigers host the Ivy League championships, which begin Thursday at DeNunzio Pool. As she looks forward to her Ivy championship debut, Aemisegger said the bond she has developed with her new teammates has been a key factor as she has rewritten the program's record book.

"We're family; it's so nice, I can't imagine a better group," said Aemisegger, who is ranked third in the U.S. in the 400 IM and will be competing in the World University games later this year as she continues her drive to earn a spot on the U.S. team for the 2008 Summer Olympics. "Everybody is so understanding and supportive of what I'm doing. I love it; it makes you want to do better for the team."

For the full story by Bill Alden of Town Topics, please click here.