SOFLO Swimmer Posts Six Best Times At FSU Spring Meet
WRITTEN BY SHARON ROBB
May 25, 2012
Amber Hunter knows all about work ethic.
The West Broward High School sophomore has been putting the work in and out of the pool and it’s beginning to pay off.
Hunter, 16, turned in six lifetime bests in long course meters during the Florida State Spring Meet earlier this month at the Morcom Aquatics Center in Tallahassee.
“I have been training really hard lately and it’s starting to pay off,” Hunter said. “All the hours and work I am putting in is turning into my times improving. It makes all the hard work worth it.”
Hunter lowered her times in the 200-meter freestyle (2:16.52), 100-meter butterfly (1:07.98), 200-meter butterfly (2:31.46), 50-meter freestyle (29.48), 200-meter individual medley (2:37.74) and 100-meter freestyle (1:03.02).
“It was a good environment and nice atmosphere for a swim meet, I was able to swim pretty relaxed,” Hunter said.
“I was happy being able to compete that well at the beginning of the season being a little out of my comfort zone swimming against older college athletes. It was an encouraging start of the season.”
Of course, it didn’t hurt having teammate and two-time Olympian Alia Atkinson helping her warm-up and warm-down and giving her advice before prelims and finals. They would also watch each other’s races.
“I was happy to do that well since I was in the middle of hard training,” Hunter said. “I was surprised I went all best times. I had some specific goals in mind for some of them. The other ones I just went with it. I was hoping to do better in a few of them but not all of them.
“At the end of the weekend I was getting pretty tired physically,” Hunter said. “In the middle of it I felt really good but I think the last day we were all getting a little tired.”
A few weeks ago, Hunter started weight training twice a week at the gym in addition to her regular dryland training.
“It’s been more physically hard,” Hunter said. “I always did different drylands but this was the first time I am doing heavy weights. Leading up to the end of the summer I think I am going to see a difference in the pool but it’s still too soon to tell. It’s really tough training.”
Hunter has been swimming for 12 years. She followed her big sister’s footsteps and started with swimming lessons in Pennsylvania. When she and her family moved to South Florida she joined the Comets in 2000 and started competing with the club.
When she was younger she was involved with soccer, softball and dance but decided to focus on swimming when she got to middle school.
Hunter knew it was only a matter of time before her hard work investment started paying off dividends.
“I went through the different stages,” Hunter said. “I would do very well and then not so well. I realized after trial-and-error when I train hard, it pays off. It’s just always been my goal to train hard and get better. I just never had an idea of how far I wanted to go with it.”
Hunter is hoping to put in a good summer of training to prepare for the Florida Gold Coast Senior Championships along with the 2012 high school season. Last year she qualified for states on a relay. This season as a junior she would like to go in an individual event in addition to the relay.
“I am excited about the high school season,” said Hunter, who is also sad she is losing one of her relay teammates and friend, Leonie Davies, who is moving to Texas with her family in June. “High school swimming is always a lot of fun. You spend time with your friends and socialize. It takes away from the stress of club swimming.
“Swimming in college is definitely what I am looking for, I would love to get a scholarship,” Hunter said. “I am focusing on academics and swimming because I want to swim in college.”
Also at the FSU Spring Invite, SOFLO teammate Tiffany Oliver, who will be a junior in the fall at FSU, bettered her best times in the 200-meter freestyle (2:04.96), 50-meter freestyle (25.90), 100-meter backstroke (1:09.10) and 100-meter freestyle (56.95). Oliver, 19, is currently training for next month’s U.S. Olympic trials in Tallahassee.
Atkinson was able to lower her best time in the 100-meter backstroke (1:06.81) and 200-meter individual medley (2:17.53) and is now preparing to compete in next week’s Santa Clara Invitational.
Sharon Robb can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org