Even with the high school swim and dive season over since November, Juneau-Douglas junior swimmer Auri Clark continues to train and work hard in the pool.
Clark finished sixth overall in both the 100-yard butterfly and the 200-yard IM in this year’s state meet and was recently named girl’s team captain for the Glacier Swim Club, but she said she is able to balance a full swim schedule with school while still having time to play music and stay active outdoors. She said she considers the 100-yard butterfly to be her strongest event and has high expectations for the girls going into next season.
With the high school swim season over what kind of swimming are you doing?
“Right now, I’m doing club swimming, which is pretty much all year round. In high school, the biggest meet that we have is state, but club swimming goes all the way up to nationals. I won’t be going that far, but I do hope to make it to the Senior Sectional Championships, which is the western regional competition.”
Do you play any other sports?
“I ski recreationally but I’m not competitive in any other sports besides swimming.”
What about swimming has made you stick with it?
“Everyone on the swim team has been doing it for so long, so we’re kind of like a family. It’s fun traveling with people that you already know, and then it’s a really good way to meet people from other parts of the state. It’s also a great way to get exercise and it’s something to do outside of school.
“I tried a bunch of sports when I was younger and I guess swimming was just the one I enjoyed the most, so I stuck with it. The toughest part about swimming is probably when you expect to make a cut or go to a meet and you don’t get it, and you have to persevere through it.”
What’s your swimming schedule like right now?
“Right now, it’s afternoon practices for an hour and a half every day after school except Fridays, and then Tuesdays and Thursdays we have morning practices from 5-6:30. Then we have three-hour practices on Saturday and Sunday morning. It’s quite a time commitment.”
How do you like to spend your time when you’re not swimming?
“I play violin and piano and I like to hang out with friends, of course. I ski and skate in the winter and I like to go water skiing and hiking in the summer.”
What are your academic interests?
“Science and math are my favorite subjects. Right now, I’m kind of thinking about marine biology. Living in Juneau, Alaska, and being on the coast, I’ve been around a lot of marine biology and I’ve done camps in the summer, which have been a lot of fun. It’s pretty intriguing to me.”
Do you have any plans for after you graduate?
“I haven’t started looking at colleges, yet, but I’m definitely going to go to college for four years and probably somewhere on the West Coast where I can hopefully get a swimming scholarship.”
What are your expectations for next year’s girls’ swim team?
“I think next year we have a good chance of getting up in the top three (in state). I know a lot of other teams are graduating quite a few seniors and we have some good freshmen coming in next year, so I have pretty high expectations.”