Madison Parker, a 7th grade student here at Spanish Fork Jr. High School, is a state swim champ. I caught up with her recently, and this is what she had to say about her experiences.
“Swim is one of the most popular sports in the Olympics. Even though it isn’t very common in Utah, I still do it.
“I started when I was eight years old. There was a city team that swam down at the Spanish Fork pool. I swam there for one summer then decided I want to join club. I swim in Provo now on the Utah Valley Rays Aquatic Team. I am almost finishing my 5th year of swimming.
“I have competitions/meets whenever we are able to. I have little meets here and there, but normally my big meets are either in July or August [and sometimes] in December or March. My meets are everywhere across Utah. I have been to Hawaii, Arizona, California, Florida, and Texas for national swim meets.
“From the beginning of school to the end I practice 2 ½ hours at the Provo Rec Center, six days a week. In the summer, I practice from 5 a.m. to 7:30 a.m., and in the afternoon, I swim from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. So, I am swimming two times a day until Saturday, when I swim from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m., but don’t go back in the afternoon.
“My goal with swimming is the Olympics; right now I am working for Junior Nationals times and Olympic Trials. By 2020 my goal is to attend the Olympic Trials. By 2024 I want to be in college on scholarship and attend the Olympics. Those are most of my long-term goals. My short-term goal is to final at Sectionals which is in Texas in March, and to also get my Junior Nationals times as well.
“I love swimming and it has taught me to push my limits, that I am so much stronger than I thought, and hard work pays off! It is hard but it’s what I love to do.”