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Kofa swimmer Emily Hieber determined to put family name back on record
Emily Hieber thought she broke a record once held by Jenny Hieber, her mother.
Upon further review, Emily discovered her mom was no longer the record-holder.
Now Emily is on a mission to reclaim the record time in the 100-meter butterfly at Kofa High.
“I just want it to be Hieber again,” Emily said.
A couple of weeks ago, Emily said she finished the 100 butterfly in 1 minute, 3.17 seconds at a swim meet. Initially, she said she got excited because she thought she supplanted her mother's record of 1:03.83 set in 1988. However, when Emily heard someone else had beaten her to the punch, she asked coach Amber Pacewic to investigate.
Pacewic said she went home, checked Kofa's swim records and texted Emily last week that one certain individual swam a 1:01 years earlier.
The culprit was none other than Katelyn Weddle.
Weddle was a two-time state champion in the 100-meter breaststroke and the 2008 state champion in the 50-meter freestyle. She also swam at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials. Weddle currently swims at San Diego State.
“It was my mom for the longest time … until Katelyn Weddle came into high school,” Emily said.
Jenny added, “I was OK with losing it. I would have rather lost it to my daughter. But I held it for a very long time.”
Surpassing Jenny's swim times is nothing new for Emily. She accomplished such feats during her freshman year – when she attended Yuma High, which is not the same as doing it at the school Jenny made history.
“I think it seems really cool like, ‘Wow, I broke my mom's record. From one Hieber to another,'” Emily said. “I thought it was pretty cool, the whole idea of it.”
After Emily received the disappointing news from Pacewic, Jenny said Emily vowed to put the Hieber name atop the 100 butterfly record books by the end of the season. Jenny, though, also said when she finished high school, she owned three other individual records at Kofa.
At the time of publication, it was not confirmed if Jenny still held those records. But even if Jenny still held a few records, why is Emily gunning for just the 100 butterfly?
“I'm really, really good in the 100 butterfly,” Emily said. “I have been region champion two years in a row. I really have no chance in any other event. This is my closest event to break the record.”
And if anyone can topple Weddle's mark, both Jenny and Pacewic said it's Emily.
For Jenny, her belief comes from Emily's natural abilities.
“Oh my gosh. She is so good. She's very, very talented,” Jenny said. “She just gets right back in the water and swims like you wouldn't believe. It's amazing to me.”
For Pacewic, she derives her confidence from Emily's drive.
“When she wants something, she goes after it,” Pacewic said. “And she goes hard.”
The only obstacle Pacewic said she sees in Emily's mission is competition – or the lack thereof.
“Competition pushes her,” Pacewic said. “So if she's got someone to push her, then she will push herself even harder.”