Junior Amanda Willenbrock Joins FHN Swim Team


By Anna Hollinger, Photographer

 From the track to the pool, junior Amanda Willenbrock decided to join the girls swim team for the 2019-2020 season. Willenbrock has been a part of the cross country and track team since her freshman year and she has always known that running would be the sport she would do in high school. She joined the swim team from the help of her friends already on the team that persuaded her to do it ,and her dad, who used to be a swimmer.

“ I joined mainly because I have always enjoyed running ever since I was a young kid,” Wilenbrock said. “I asked a friend about it and he inspired me to do it and knew I wasn’t good at any other sports. Some of my friends are on swim and had a lot of influence on me joining.” 

Joining a new sport during  junior year of high school can be difficult, especially if it’s a whole new concept to grasp and learn. Since Willenbrock has had a good background for endurance type sports, once she was able to get the basics and techniques down, she gradually got better and has even gotten caught up with her teammates who have already been on the team.

“Swim has really helped my endurance and leg strength and if I haven’t done cross country and track, I wouldn’t be as good as I am right now, because running has helped me learn how to find my pace,” Willenbrock said. “Swimming is so much more enjoyable than running, since there is so much less stress on the body and you just glide through water.”

Swimming and running have similar characteristics, due to the fact that it’s more on endurance and trying to learn how to go fast in short distances, and how to pace yourself in long distances. Like track, swim has many different events to compete in whether it’s long or short distance and even team events.

“My favorite event to swim is the 200 relay, because you do it with three other people and you each swim a 50,” Willenbrock said. “I like that it’s more of sprint swimming that I like, instead of doing the 200 event by myself, because you have to find a pace and I like going as fast as I can.”

Willenbrock’s coaches have taken notice on how well she has done so far this season considering she started later than most of her teammates. They have admired her dedication and hard work to get where she is today.

“She’s been an absolute surprise of how far she has come during this season knowing it’s her first year,” Coach Josh Galati said. “She has great work ethic and has even been able to make it into the B lane, which is one of the higher lanes and she has surpassed others who have swam before her.”