CAMBRIDGE -- It seems the Monument Mountain girls swim team can thank its freshman standout for more than scoring points all season.
Emma Wilber, while she has been counted upon to accomplish that, has bolstered the Spartans’ roster and scored many more points by recruiting her older sister Maeve into the sport. It didn’t take much coaxing either.
"One day, my mom was like ‘I don’t have any ride for you, so you have to go to practice with Emma,’ " Maeve Wilber said. "[Emma] was 5 when she started swimming, so I was 7. I was just sitting in the bleachers watching, and I was like, ‘I like swimming.’ Then I just joined. It just happened."
It wasn’t long after that their mother’s words helped spur Emma along in the sport.
"I think when I was about 8, my mom was like ‘Oh, you’re butterfly’s so good,’ " Emma said. "And she was always telling me it could be really good. So I just thought I could do something with it, and it would be fun."
Emma has a couple of rare traits that help her and the team be successful. Typically, freshmen are quiet and reserved, sometimes even hesitant to chime in with a one-liner. Not her.
"[She’s] got a little bit of sass. It’s a good kind of sass," fellow Spartan Caroline Bissaillon said. "We’re all so super close from swimming all year round together, so we’re all kind of like one big unit.
The other may have the Spartans thanking Emma a lot more in the years to come.
The youngest of four stands a self-proclaimed 5-foot-1, while Maeve docks an inch. In swimming, where height and wingspan help determine how much water a swimmer can move, she’s the exception.
She made state meet debut on Saturday and performed well. She bettered her seed time in the 100 butterfly, dropping more than a second off her seed time to finish 19th overall. She fell off a little in the 200 individual medley and finished 26th.
"It’s kind of crazy because she is barely 5 feet [tall], and she’s insanely fast. I don’t get it," Maeve said. "I think it’s just she was meant to be a swimmer, but a short swimmer. I think she just works really hard like Rowan [Rice] said and really wants it."
Some of her successful trip to states can be traced back to the time she spent swimming at the club level, routinely competing in front of large crowds and in heat-style races.
But like many freshman, there were still lessons to be learned in her first varsity season.
"Mostly team and how important they are to you because they’ve been through everything pretty much," Emma said. "It’s ben nice because we started, then we had rough patches and then we have really good days like [Saturday]. So it’s nice."