Summer Hill swimmer Addie Hayes entered the summer swimming season without much expectations or pressure to accomplish anything.
Hayes completed her freshman year of high school last month and qualified for the state meets in swimming and track during the 2018-2019 school year.
Still, there weren’t many high expectations of dominance over the summer swim league, just a budding, friendly rivalry.
Hayes couldn’t wait to return to Summer Hill to compete against her teammate Mary Mustard. The friendly competition between Hayes and Mustard has pushed Hayes to improve each of the last three summers.
“I actually didn’t think about it [results] that much,” Hayes said. “I really like to compete with this girl on my team who is amazing. She pushes me. I tried my hardest to start out strong and maybe get good times.”
The mindset of attacking the summer swim season paid off for Hayes in the Barracudas’ season-opening event last Thursday.
Hayes won the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 1 minute 3.88 seconds. She also earned wins in the 50-yard freestyle (27.42). Hayes was also a member of the winning 200-yard freestyle relay team (2:02.75), 200-yard medley relay team (2:18.32).
Her performance has made her this week’s Oconee Physical Therapy & Sports Rehabilitation/Oconee Enterprise Athlete of the Week.
Hayes has tabbed herself a competitor and she has been for much of the last few years. Before falling in love with swimming in recent years, Hayes swam as long distances in triathlons.
In a way, triathlon pushed Hayes into the pool. She enjoyed the feeling of being in the water during triathlons. The running and biking portion of the events weren’t her favorite.
“It’s really tiring to swim for such a long distance and then have to bike and run a long distance,” Hayes said. “It’s nice to know you’re done after you get done swimming.”
Though she is young to the sport, Hayes is one of the older swimmers in the Barracudas’ lineup. Even as she continues to learn the sport herself at the high school level, she shares what she can with the young swimmers in the club.
“It’s nice because you get to help teach them,” Hayes said. “You get to help coach and help them be a stronger swimmer. You were once in that place and you know how it feels to be that little.”
Oconee Physical Therapy & Sports Rehabilitation/Oconee Enterprise Athlete of the Week is chosen by the sports staff of The Oconee Enterprise. You are welcome to email nominations to firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday at 10 a.m.
Oconee Physical Therapy & Sports Rehabilitation can be reached at www.oconeept.com