Entering high school as an athlete, many freshman enter their sport with high hopes — maybe one of those dreams would be to set a school record. Those dreams seem far from reach most of the time and are usually broken during an athlete’s later years in high school but, for sophomore Amy Vober, this was not the case.
Going into the meet, Vober had no expectations of breaking the 10-year old school record in the 50 yard freestyle, her best event. Previously, Vober’s best time was 26.33. Shattering all expectations set by herself and coaches, Vober dropped 1.71 seconds and demolished the school record of 24.93 and swam a 24.62.
The time made Vober second in the district and automatically qualified her for the district meet the following weekend. The moment was surreal for the sophomore sensation.
“After my race, when I looked up at the board and saw not only had I won my heat but I had broken the school record, I was in shock,” Vober said. “It did not feel real until I looked over at my coaches. They were jumping in excitement just as in shock as I was.”
In her second event, the 100 yard freestyle, sprinter Vober shaved 3.38 more seconds off of her former personal best for a time of 54.87 that also put her in 5th overall and set her up for the district meet.
“During the swim season, I had very high expectations of myself and I was determined to reach those goals,” Vober said. “I put in 100 percent effort in every practice, which I would have never gotten through without the help of my teammates and coaches. The morning of sectionals, I made sure I had the right mindset and was determined to reach my goals. The time came and I definitely exceeded those expectations.”
Vober was not alone on her quest to shatter records. At the sectional meet, Isaac Lumley came with fire in his eyes and a goal he wasn’t ending his season without meeting: the OHSAA swimming state meet. An incredibly competitive pool of qualifiers beat Lumley out last season very narrowly. Although setting a school record, it just wasn’t quite enough last year.
Lumley started his meet strong with a time of 21.75 in the 50 freestyle. Keeping the momentum going, Lumley achieved a personal best and reset his own record in the 100 freestyle with a time of 47.23. Lumley easily qualified for districts along with 10 other teammates.
In the 50 the next weekend, Lumley improved to a time of 21.40 and in the 100, a time of 47.05. The times were a great improvement from the previous weekend, and Lumley was set to swim the following Friday at CT Branin Natatorium in North Canton for the state meet; the first swimmer for Stow to be able to qualify in years.
For the next five days, Lumley was put onto a strict training schedule leading up to the state meet. He was completing his sets alone with coach Dan Reese as the only state qualifier.
“Traning by myself was pretty intense and kind of lonely at times, but I knew it would pay off in the end,” said Lumley.
At the state meet, Lumley struggled to drop time from his bests but that is common among many who reach the state meet. In the 50 freestyle, he swam a 21.65 and a 47.06 in the 100 freestyle. Although not reaching finals in the 50, Lumley had a second chance to swim on Saturday evening in the 100 in a consolation heat; his time was an impressive 47.31.
“States was an incredible experience. My times weren’t what I was hoping for, but I was pretty tired by the time I got there; as were many other swimmers,” said Lumley.
Vober and Lumley will have their times up in Akron General Lifestyles’ pool on the record board. The sophomore will be back next year to viciously defend her name, and up and comings will set their sights on these new times for years to come.