Player Profile: Stephanie Blankley
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The Voice: How long have you been swimming and what got you interested in it?
Stephanie Blankley: I’ve been swimming since I was 8 years old, so it’s been almost 10 years. I started on a summer team because my parents needed to occupy me with something, but then I actually liked it and decided to continue swimming year-round.
The Voice: Do you swim outside of Pres?
SB: Yes, I swim for Morgan Hill Makos, which is my local club team.
The Voice:What’s your favorite stroke? Which was the hardest for you to learn?
SB:I like freestyle best and I swim it at probably every meet. I’m more of a distance swimmer, but I like to sprint a little, especially during high school season. The hardest stroke for me is breaststroke (I still can’t do it properly).
The Voice: What about swimming do you enjoy? What do you least enjoy?
SB: I like the camaraderie that comes with the team. We spend so much time together that they become my best friends. I probably least enjoy the morning practices and the amount of training necessary to get faster.
The Voice: Approximately how many hours a week do you swim / train?
SB: I practice two times a day during the week: 1 hour in the morning and two in the afternoon. Two of those mornings are dry land while the rest is swimming. Then we have another two- hour swim practice on Saturday, so that comes to about 17 hours of training in a week (not counting meets).
The Voice: Are you planning on swimming in college? If so, what about it are you looking forward to?
SB: Yes! I will be swimming for Harvey Mudd College on the combined team Claremont-Mudd-Scripps that practices at Claremont McKenna College. I’m really looking forward to the intense team spirit that comes with college sports. Also, I think it will be fun to make new friends and branch out for swimming. Harvey Mudd itself is about the same size as Pres, so it’s nice that the swim team forces me to be around people from the other neighboring colleges.
The Voice: What is one of your fondest memories from swim?
SB: One of my favorite memories was at CCS last year when our 200 free relay team got the state cut. It was such a great experience to be able to race at that level of meet and I couldn’t have been more proud to be a panther at that moment.
The Voice: What’s your best tip for getting water out of your ears?
SB: My go-to method is just shaking my head until it comes out. But if that doesn’t work (or you don’t want to look like a maniac shaking your head), you can use a few drops of a rubbing alcohol/white vinegar mixture to help get it out.