By Sharon Robb
February 18, 2015—Madison Johnson was inspired by the sport of swimming when she watched the Summer Olympics for the first time on television.
“I really liked it and it looked like fun,” said Johnson, who started swimming when she was seven-years-old.
“My mom wanted me to get some exercise so she signed me up. I started in California and then New Jersey.”
Johnson, 13, a seventh grader at Pembroke Pines Middle School, started swimming with the South Florida Aquatic Club this past summer.
She is a member of the Senior Development group coached by Bianca Muniz, a former collegiate record holder.
“I did dance and softball but I wasn’t very good,” she said. “I really like swimming and SOFLO is my favorite team by far. I would like to stay in swimming and swim in college.”
She swam backstroke in California and New Jersey but is now swimming the 50, 100 and 200 butterfly, individual medley and breaststroke events.
“I like the butterfly because it’s fun and makes me feel really good when I do it because it’s the hardest stroke,” Johnson said.
She already has her JO cut in the 50 butterfly and would like to get the 100 fly and 50 breaststroke cuts.
“We didn’t have JOs in California and New Jersey,” Johnson said. “It’s a cool meet. It makes me work harder to get my JO cuts.”
Muniz has been impressed with Johnson’s progress in the pool.
“When she came in she skipped the Bronze and Silver group and her endurance wasn’t all there,” Muniz said.
“After a few months, she started to improve especially in her last meet. Her times have dropped a lot and she is swimming all best times.”
Muniz also appreciates her work ethic.
“She is one of my most dedicated kids in the 13-14 group, she comes here on Saturday mornings,” Muniz said. “She is still very young, but I see her potential to do really well.”
The Nike Swimmer of the Month award, chosen by the SOFLO coaching staff, is awarded each month to the swimmer who excels at both swim meets and practice sessions.—Sharon Robb
Sharon Robb can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org