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Southwest Orange Wednesday, Jul. 15, 2020 2 months ago

Sports Spotlight: Hayley Clark

Hayley Clark has been a member of the Windermere Lakers Aquatics Swim Club for four years
by: Troy Herring Sports Editor

Hayley Clark has been a member of the Windermere Lakers Aquatics Swim Club for four years and has become a staple in the pool. Most recently, she garnered a big honor as she was named to the 2019-20 NISCA Girls High School Swimming All-America list in the 500 free.

When did you first get into swimming?

As a little kid, I (had) always been super energetic and wild and stuff, so my parents put me in swimming, and I just absolutely fell in love with it. Then around 9 years old, I got into competitive swimming and joined a swim team.


What is your favorite part about swimming the longer races?

I feel like I love swimming distance because I’m able to keep a strong and fast pace for a long time, and I get into a rhythm. I just keep going, and I’m able to stay focus the whole entire time. 


Since you started swimming, what’s been the biggest change you’ve seen in yourself?

I definitely think the biggest change would have to be my mindset toward swimming. I definitely feel like my mindset has gotten stronger, and I’m able to have a way better positive attitude toward things — I feel like positivity has really helped me through the whole sport of swimming.


Is there a highlight moment or achievement that stands out to you?

I feel like having the opportunity to be a part of that Southern Zone Select camp and this upcoming camp in December called the Diversity Camp that I also got selected for. Also, other opportunities like the USA Open, junior nationals and other open-water events that I also qualified for.


What is your swim routine like now during the middle of this pandemic?

We recently got back in the water June 1, and we have been having social-distancing practices where we are all 6 feet apart, but we’re still able to practice two times a day.


Is there anything you’re trying to work on during the summer?

If we’re able to have high-school season, I’m definitely working toward that to get back in shape … and to improve my times and placings.


How did your freshman year of swimming at Windermere High go?

It was a lot of fun. I would say that it was one of the best times of my life to kind of come together as a whole team and just have a lot of fun and not worrying so much about your times and everything. It was just kind of like a team-bonding experience.


When you’re not swimming, what do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

I really enjoy hanging out with my friends, and I really enjoy longboarding and watching movies. I like “The Quiet Place” — it’s a really good movie.


If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?

I feel like I would go to Hawaii, because I feel like it’s a really cool and unique place to be. I heard the beaches are really pretty, so I’d go there.

Troy Herring is the sports editor at the West Orange Times and Windermere Observer. He is a graduate of the University of Mount Olive (BS '12) and the University of Alabama (MA '16)....

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