Q&A with Emily Lloyd
Sophomore Emily Lloyd and the Virginia men’s and women’s swimming teams head to Virginia Tech Wednesday for the first ACC dual meet of the season. The Cavaliers and Hokies will compete at 6 p.m. at the Christiansburg Aquatic Center, site of the 2012 Atlantic Coast Conference Championships. Lloyd, who hails from Severna Park, Md., recently sat down with VirginiaSports.com to talk about winter training, her growth as a swimmer and her twin sister Sarah, a lacrosse player at Princeton.
Question: How would you describe the season thus far?
Lloyd: It’s been going really well. As a second year, it’s good because I know what to expect. Last year, I was sort of blindsided by everything. That’s also made it go by faster.
Question: What is the team looking to do down at Virginia Tech?
Lloyd: We want to go down there and swim as fast as we have been under this hard training.
Question: How has winter training been going?
Lloyd: It’s been a little bit different for me because I was out during finals and missed until we actually came back at the very end of December. I’ve eased back into it. For me personally, it’s been more mentally challenging instead of physically. I think that’s the case for everyone but just in a different way.
Question: How have you improved in the past year?
Lloyd: Mainly, I’ve just learned so much more about the sport of swimming and how much work it takes. There is so much of a mental power and I feel like I am so much tougher than I was.
Question: What is your favorite event to swim and your best event to swim?
Lloyd: I would say the 50 free is my favorite but lately it has kind of changed and I like the 100 better. The more I swim the 50, the more mentally tough it gets. It’s so fast. My best is either the 50 or 100 – they are both similar.
Question: Last year you were a big part of the relay success.
Lloyd: Relays especially encourage the team dynamic for us. For me, even in high school, relays were always my favorite events. I always did other team sports, too, and I like the atmosphere and being able to share the victory with other people. It’s so much better than when you win something on your own.
Question: Why did you choose to come to UVa?
Lloyd: The team and the location was huge for me, too. Charlottesville reminds me of my hometown and it’s the perfect distance away.
Question: Your twin sister Sarah is also a Division I student-athlete.
Lloyd: She plays lacrosse at Princeton. We did both sports in high school but our freshman year she focused more on lacrosse and I focused more on swimming. She never went to nationals because it was always during lacrosse season so she never really had a big taper meet, she just did it for fun. For me, I played lacrosse in the summer and winter and never did the actual competitive spring season because I was swimming.
Question: What was the recruiting process like for the two of you?
Lloyd: The sports are so different when it comes to recruiting. Lacrosse is so much earlier; I think she committed the June before our junior year and I hadn’t even really started yet. When she would go visit schools, I would just go with her. So I started the process on my own a little early. I would go sit in on meetings with the lacrosse coaches and she would sit in on meetings with the swimming coaches at the same schools.
Question: Were you able to help each other?
Lloyd: Definitely. I remember once instance we were in a meeting with a lacrosse coach and it was the second or third school we had been to that day. You could tell she was exhausted from saying the same things. There was one point she was actually yawning in this meeting. She didn’t know what to say anymore. So I totally took over. She would answer a question and I would chime in and elaborate for her. It can be kind of intimidating talking to coaches when you know that’s where you want to go to school. But if I’m talking to someone who will never coach me, it’s a totally different dynamic.
Question: What do you like to do for fun?
Lloyd: I like to watch TV – a lot of embarrassing shows that I don’t like to admit that I watch. My favorites are The Office, Grey’s Anatomy and Pretty Little Liars. I love to watch the (Baltimore) Ravens every Sunday. And also I like to play lacrosse. In high school all the time I would go outside and shoot around in my backyard. But for some reason it took me until this Christmas break to realize I should bring my lacrosse stick to school with me.
Question: Have you thought about a major yet?
Lloyd: Yes, I am going to be a SWAG (Studies in Women And Gender) major. I never knew what I was going to major in before last spring when I took a SWAG class that I really enjoyed. It was the first time I actually liked a class in school. So I’ve been taking more of those classes, I do well in them and they are interesting to me.
Question: What are some of the SWAG classes that you have enjoyed?
Lloyd: The class I took in the spring was Gender and Consumption in the 20th Century. It was all about the political things that happened in the 20th century and how they are related to gender roles. I also took a class this fall called Women in Sport and it was a great class. I wrote a research paper on whether or not men and women should be coached differently.