Shannon Burrow

In the Weston-Wayland dual meet, freshman Jacey Hinton broke five records.

Outstanding freshman swimmer Jacey Hinton rises to the top

At the beginning of her favorite event, freshman Jacey Hinton can be found stretching and mentally preparing for the start of the fast-paced 50 freestyle. Swiftly diving off the board, Hinton hits the water and shoots forward to sure victory.

A household name on the WHS swim team, Red Tide, Hinton’s name is plastered all over the record board in the WMS pool. In her short time on the team, Hinton’s achievements include qualification for All-American consideration in the 50 free and being named outstanding freshman performer at the Bay View Invitational Meet.

“She’s been our top performer in the pool with an undefeated season, and out of the pool she’s brought so much energy,” head coach Claude Valle said.

Valle noted that swimming at such a high level as a mere freshman is unbelievable and her ability to support her teammates is just as impressive.

“In a stretch of just ten minutes you can see her cheering for, and being supportive of, a friend or teammates, and then getting into the zone and blasting out another amazing performance in the pool. Her ability to toggle focus and get ready to go, in all conditions, is uncanny,” Valle said.

Hinton holds a high standard for herself and has a focused work ethic in and out of the pool.

“When I experience a setback I find out what I did wrong, fix it, and work hard to not make the same mistake,” Hinton said.

In addition to being a standout swimmer, Hinton has an infectious personality that can be seen in all aspects of her life.

“I have seen Jacey go through setbacks and I have seen her overcome these obstacles. She has not only grown as a swimmer but also as a person,” sophomore Ekaterina Kiehm said.

Junior Deema Haidar immediately clicked with Hinton at the start of this year’s swim season, sharing her sense of humor in and out of the pool. Although the two have only known each other for a limited amount of time, Haidar is inspired by Hinton’s work ethic.

“She brings a spark of inspiration and motivation to almost everyone because we see how hard she works being on a club team as well as Tide, and seeing how much her work pays off motivates everyone to work that much harder,” Haidar said.

In addition to her dominant role on the WHS swim team, Hinton swims on her year-round club team, the Gators Swim Club. Kiehm and Hinton’s dual participation in both teams makes their friendship that much stronger.

“We are always together from 4:30 am to sometimes 9:00 pm at night. We have this inseparable bond that comes from our passion for the sport,” Kiehm said. “We are always there for each other through thick and thin and that’s why I love our friendship.”

Assistant coach Jim McLaughlin noted that her effort does not go unnoticed by her teammates and the coaching staff.

“Swimming incredibly well, she makes it work with everything she does. It’s hard to balance all those things,” McLaughlin said.

As Hinton’s freshman season comes to an end, she is looking forward to a strong performance in the postseason and hopes to solidify herself as Weston’s top freshman girl swimmer.

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