Wilson makes waves for NSA

Published 8:40 pm Saturday, January 31, 2015

Madi Wilson has begun to emerge as something special for Nansemond-Suffolk Academy’s swimming team, and she is only a freshman.

Her standout performances on Jan. 21 and 24 led to her becoming the Duke Automotive-Suffolk News-Herald Player of the Week.

She qualified for state competition in the girls’ 200-yard freestyle on Jan. 21 with a time of 2:13.44 and also improved her time in the 100-yard freestyle this season.




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Then on Jan. 24, she qualified for states in the 50-yard freestyle by producing a time of 27.72 seconds and also dropped 12 seconds in the 500-yard freestyle.

Describing her reaction to her swimming that week, Wilson said, “I was really excited because not a lot of freshmen usually qualify (for states), and I didn’t think I would qualify this year, but I was really excited when I was able to cut the time to do it.”

She swam for Nansemond-Suffolk’s varsity girls’ team last year and qualified for states in two relays, but the 200 free and 50 free mark her first state qualifications in individual events.

NSA swimming coach Karen Norman said Wilson is “swimming great, and every time she swims she looks better, she seems like she has more endurance.”

Wilson said she is surprised by how much she has improved from last season.

“I have really great coaches and my teammates really help to make me better every day at practice and all the meets,” she said.

Pinpointing why Wilson is so good, Norman said it is “because she’s so competitive, and she works so hard. It’s her work ethic and her competitive spirit, and that’s what it takes for swimming.”

A reason for why she is so good so early can be traced back to how long she has been swimming.

Recalling when she got her start, Wilson said, “I was 3, and I have two older brothers, and they swam summer league, so I was always there, so I started swimming on the summer league team with them, and I’ve done it every year since.”

It has been 12 years now that she has swam with that team at the Marlin Club in Chesapeake. She also gained experience swimming at the Old Dominion Aquatic Club in sixth and seventh grade.

Her experience and discipline have made her an ideal leader for the middle school swimmers at Nansemond-Suffolk, and she said, “I like working with the younger kids a lot.”

Wilson’s athletic abilities also extend to other sports, including softball and field hockey.

She plays softball year around, and Monday through Thursday, each week, she goes straight from swimming practice to softball practice with the Virginia Legends in either Newport News or Virginia Beach.

As for the rest of this season in the pool, she said her goals are “to drop time and do really well at the state meet.”

Wilson said her team, coaches and her brother, Ben Wilson, motivate her to swim her best. Ben Wilson is also a swimmer and recently graduated from NSA.

“He’s been one of the biggest things that’s helped me get this far because he pushes me and so did my coaches and my teammates,” she said.