“My goals are all based on records, so now my motivation is to break my own records”
-- the “Sweet Assassin”
Photos and text by Steev Riccardo
Emily Dawidczyk has been setting and breaking records in both outdoor and indoor track since she was a freshman at Oxford High School. The good news is that she is still only a junior, good news for Oxford that is, bad news for everyone else.
Dawidczyk, or “the Sweet Assassin” as we like to call her (sweet off the track and an assassin on it), grew up in Oxford with her parents Patricia and John, who were both athletes in high school (Mom ran track and Dad played soccer). Her older sister Maggie, who also ran track and played soccer for Oxford, was instrumental in paving the way for the future athlete as well.
“When I was young and used to go to my sister’s soccer matches, I would run on the field and they would have to carry me off,” said Dawidczyk, who started playing soccer at a very young age and has gone on to play three years with the Pirates, this past year, a junior, as a Captain.
She began running on the indoor track team as a freshman for “fun” because “she loved running fast and sprinting.” This passion led her to the 300-meter dash and her very first competitive matches.
“My sister had held the record for the 300 meters but Noelle Richards (ex Oxford star now at WPI), broke it and my sister told me that I had to get the record back under our name. I ended up breaking my sister’s record when I qualified for States and I thought I can do this.” She went on to win at her first Division 4 state meet and realized then that this “was a big deal.”
During her sophomore year she was out sick with mononucleosis and missed most of the indoor season, and upon returning had only limited time to train. She still managed to win the 55-meter hurdles in the Districts when she was well enough to train but wasn’t quite well enough to compete in the 300 meters. It was still a remarkable feat.
She was healthy again by the time outdoor track started but suffered a lower back injury. She skipped the SWCL (Southern Worcester County League) meet but made it back for the Districts and ending up winning the 200 meters.
A trend was certainly developing, as Dawidczyk was not going to let anything stop her. That sophomore season she went to the State meet and won the 200-meters qualifier but had to be scratched from the finals because her back started acting up again. It was still a successful campaign for her despite the injuries.
“This year was really important to me, people start to look at you when you are a junior, it was a lot of pressure and I was hoping that I wouldn’t get hurt. I trained hard and I tried to be healthy and I focused more on the 55-meter hurdles.” She still wanted to get “her” SWCL 300-meter record back that she had lost while she had mono. She succeeded and then put some icing on the cake by grabbing the SWCL record in the 55-meter hurdles as well.
This week she started her junior season in outdoor track by winning both the 100 and 200 meters in a meet against Millbury. “I think we could be pretty competitive this season as a team; for me, my main focus is 200 meters. I want to win States again,” she said.
She has also paid attention to her peers at the school and has good camaraderie with the other female athletes. “The field hockey team had a great run this fall. I know I can go to them, it’s nice to know that you are not alone, it’s great that there are girls here that know the athletic situation. It’s always great to look up to them.”
She credits the Oxford youth programs but also believes “it depends on the person, if you find something that you like to do you want to work at it, I think it’s more personal, but you also feed off of everybody else. The coaches are also huge influences.”
One coach who she had as a freshman was Timothy Craig. “He was an inspiration to me in my freshman year and from then on I could always share my feelings with him. He is my math teacher this year, which is kind of interesting, I respect him a lot and I respect the way he treats me as an athlete.”
When she is not on either the soccer field or running track, Dawidczyk is also a member of the National Honor Society and the Student Council.
She is also involved as an associate with the “Best Buddies” program, which is something that is close to her heart, especially since her sister Abby, who is a senior at Oxford, is a special needs student.
“I don’t like seeing people look at those kids differently. I understand the importance of why they need to be treated equally and they need friends too. I think it’s important that everyone gets involved and I try to get people involved. I can see with my sister what kind of an impact it has.”
It’s been a great run so far for the “Sweet Assassin” but it’s also far from over and the future looks awfully bright.
- Sunday, 15 April 2012
- Posted in Categories: : Sports