At the early age of 7, eighth-grader Sumner Chmielewski saw her older sister, tenth-grader Laine Chmielewski, try out for the swim team and wanted to follow in her footsteps. Now, with seven years of swimming under her belt, Sumner continues to devote her time to the Sarasota YMCA Sharks swim team.
Over the years of her swimming career, Chmielewski has accomplished many feats. Not only has she won several high-point awards at swim meets but she also recently attended YMCA Nationals in Greensboro, N.C. from April 3 to April 7. Chmielewski was selected to attend the USA Swimming 2018 National Diversity Camp. “I was super excited when I found out I was accepted for the camp because I know I will be able to learn a lot and meet new people,” she said. The camp takes place from May 3 to May 6 and will be hosted at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. Chmielewski was one out of 48 swimmers nationwide selected for the camp, where she will be able to train with different swimmers in the USA and world class coaches.
Chmielewski has an intense practice schedule with training both before and after school. She trains about 20 hours a week and swims an average of 5000 to 7000 yards.
“[My team and I] spend so much time together at practice that we have bonded a lot. They push me to be better and work harder,” Chmielewski said.
According to Chmielewski, along with her teammates, the coaching staff at the Sharks is always looking out for her. “Sumner is a relentless worker and extremely coachable. This is a successful combination,” Chmielewski’s coach Sherwood Watts said.
With all of the accomplishments Chmielewski has made, she already has plans for the future. Since the 2018 short-course season: fall, winter and spring season is coming to a close, Chmielewski has started to switch gears to the long course season: summer season. She hopes to make cuts for the Junior Nationals meet in California held in late July.
As of now, she plans on swimming throughout high school and college. “When I swim, I feel strong and I love pushing myself beyond my limits everyday, ” Chmielewski said.