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Senior Spotlight: Dusky was a 'generational talent' for Napa High swimming
Senior Spotlight

Senior Spotlight: Dusky was a 'generational talent' for Napa High swimming

From the Senior Spotlight: A celebration of Napa County student athletes series
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With the cancellation of the spring season for high school sports, the Napa Valley Register is recognizing senior athletes who have had their careers come to a premature end due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Today we focus on swimming talent Emily Dusky, a New Technology High School student who competes for Napa High. Dusky has been one of the top swimmers in the area since her freshman year and was looking to make her third trip to the CIF State Meet this spring.

Sports:

Water polo and swimming.

Years on varsity:

Three. I did not do any sports my junior year, and played only polo my senior year.

Fun fact:

I love creating art, I love making new things. Often I find that I will have an idea, but the end result is completely different due to trial and error, new ideas, new experiences, etc. I always feel connected to what I make, and have a hard time letting it go.

By the numbers:

Qualified for the CIF State Meet each year she swam for Napa.

What was your reaction to the spring season being canceled?

Personally, I don’t think it’s affected me terribly yet, other than not being able to have a proper graduation ceremony. Personally, I never thought I needed a big party to feel accomplished in my schooling career. I know that’s not necessarily true for everyone, as I have seen a lot of posts on social media of people really sad about this opportunity being taken away from them. But I’m just happy that the people I know are healthy and living good lives.

What had you hoped to accomplish in your sport this spring?

I didn’t have a specific goal other than to help support my team to do the best I could.

How has coronavirus changed your life?

I actually moved to Colorado to be a live-in nanny because of the coronavirus. I’ve enjoyed it and have found some amazing opportunities.

Have you picked up any new hobbies during quarantine?

Hiking and cooking.

Best memory from high school sports?

The group huddle of water polo girls after our last game. That was such a great memory because I’ve never felt I belonged anywhere, but in that moment I felt at peace. We were huddled together, talking about amazing memories we had with each other on the team. I’m not social really at all, especially with people my age, so it was really heartwarming to feel like part of a group.

What do you miss most about sports?

The exhilaration from racing, the friendships, the coach support.

Summer plans:

I’m going to be in Colorado until July, swimming, hiking, working and adventuring. My bosses have a large property for me to roam, so no socializing during the activities. There’s a waterfall I want to climb but have been too much of a chicken to do it. I’ll also be taking the dogs for walks.

Fall plans:

I’ll be attending South Dakota State and majoring in business.

Coach Will Namnath says:

I coached Emily for the first time this fall, as an assistant for head coach Ashiq Khan for the Napa girls water polo team. I knew about her ability and her past accomplishments, such as twice making the CIF State Championships (in swimming). During water polo, she was impressive from the start of the season. She’s obviously very fast, but also has a ton of instinct for the sport. She is aggressive in the way the sport demands to be played, and is a selfless teammate. Though she had not played for two years, she was crucial to the team’s success, and the VVAL coaches recognized her as first team all-league.

I’ve told her that I think she can play water polo at the collegiate level if she chose to. Her passion is with swimming, and I’m glad to hear she’ll be swimming in college at South Dakota State. She’s the most technically gifted breaststroke swimmer I have seen.

What I liked most about coaching Emily is how much knowledge she seeks and soaks up. It’s what makes her so technically sound. Her club swim coaches have done an amazing job with refining her stroke, and she is passionate about the details of the sport.

I was excited to work with her during swim season. She had the goal to return to the CIF meet for the 100 breaststroke. We’re all disappointed that she wasn’t given the chance to repeat that feat. She has the school record for the 100 breaststroke at 1:02.22, an All-American time.

During our swim season, Coach Chris Page and I learned a lot from Emily, such as drills and set structure. She would sit with us coaches during swim meets and give her observations and recommendations on what we could do to improve. She was a team captain for us, and spearheaded team-bonding activities. She gave so much to our positive team culture this season. As talented a swimmer as she is, I will miss her out her out-of-water contributions the most.

Emily’s a generational talent. I know she’ll continue to make us proud.

Senior Spotlight: A celebration of Napa County student athletes

With the cancellation of the spring season for high school sports, the Napa Valley Register is recognizing senior athletes who have had their careers come to a premature end due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Contact Gus via phone at 707-304-9372 or email at gmorris@napanews.com. Follow him on Twitter @JustGusMorris.

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Sports Reporter

Gus Morris covers St. Helena and Calistoga sports for the Napa Valley Register. Before joining the Register in 2018, he covered collegiate sports for the student publication at the University of Oregon.

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