Catholic Has Given Messina the Ideal Student-Athlete Experience

Catholic Has Given Messina the Ideal Student-Athlete Experience

By Jimmy Cassidy

WASHINGTON, D.C. - It's no secret that senior swimmer Emily Messina loves sports.

She has competed with her teammates in the DuFour pool for four years. She has worked for the University's athletic department to gain experience in the industry. She even made her senior thesis a documentary film on women rising through the ranks of the sports profession.

Messina has chosen sports to be a huge part of her life, and that won't change after graduation, as she recently accepted a full-time job offer to be the creative services coordinator for the Lynchburg Hillcats, the Class A-Advanced affiliate of the Cleveland Indians in the Carolina League.

Now, before her final collegiate competition at this weekend's Landmark Conference Swimming & Diving Championships, the New Hope, Pa., native can look back on her four years at Catholic as an ideal Division III student-athlete experience that has allowed her to compete at a high level in a sport she loves while having time to excel in the classroom and gain professional experience to start a career path. 

Messina has swam the butterfly and freestyle events for the Cardinals under head coach Paul Waas. One can find her name alongside the school record in the 200-meter butterfly after she finished second in a time of 2:09.42 as a sophomore at the 2017 Landmark Championships. She also finished third in the 100-butterfly that same year.

Swimming six days a week was obviously not enough time at the DuFour Center for Messina who quickly got involved in the athletic communications office as a student worker. There, she has helped the University's sports information efforts in a variety of ways, including her passions of announcing and broadcast commentary.

Messina's voice should be familiar to Catholic student-athletes and fans watching from home as she has served as a public address announcer and play-by-play broadcaster for many of the Cardinals' home events.

Her work as a student gave her hands-on experience and dovetailed nicely with her studies as a media and communication studies major with a focus in production. When challenged with deciding on the topic of her senior thesis film project, Messina combined her production knowledge and sports passion to create a documentary film highlighting women in the sports industry working for the Washington Nationals. "A New Age" was shot, produced and edited by Messina, and she got to learn from some women shared their advice and inspired her.

Messina, and the women's swim team, were recently featured on WUSA9's morning show, Get Up DC!, where she spoke about her passion for the sports industry as part of National Girls And Women In Sports Day on February, 6. There she talked about working in a male-dominated industry, confidently asking "Why not us? There's a job out there. Somebody is doing the play-by-play, so why not me?"

Ahead on her degree requirements, Emily will begin work in March for the Hillcats. In her role, she will continue putting her skills to use, making social media graphics, producing media content, assisting with public relations and assisting the broadcasting team.

Talking with WUSA9, Waas noted how special of a student-athlete Messina is for his program and Catholic athletics.

"I know in five, 10 or 15 years, I'm going to be recruiting off the story of Emily and saying 'You can be the next Emily Messina.'"