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Episcopal Academy swimmer Alex Sumner is Main Line Girls Athlete of the Week

Alex Sumner

The Episcopal Academy senior finished first in both the 100 fly and the 100 back as the EA girls’ swimming and diving team defeated perennial rival Germantown Academy Dec. 19. Last winter, Sumner was Swimmer of the Meet at Easterns, where she swam the backstroke leg of EA’s first-place All-American medley relay team, finished first in 200 IM (All-American) and 100 back (set county and pool record) and second at 400 free relay (All-American). She was All-Delco Girls Swimmer of the Year last winter, and at the Pennsylvania Independent School Championships, she finished first in 200 medley relay, 200 IM, 100 back and 400 free relay. The Cal-Berkeley commit holds numerous pool and school records.

Q: What (in your opinion) has been the best swim of your EA career to date? What was the key to your success that day?

A: I think my best swim so far for EA was my 100 back at Easterns where I broke the pool and meet record for the first time. I will always remember my whole team cheering for me in that race, which is what I think pushed me to do so well.
Q: What aspect of your swimming have you been working on the most recently?
A: Recently, I’ve been swimming a lot of backstroke to improve in sprinting the 100. I’ve also been trying to swim some more freestyle to build up my distance base for when I swim the 400 IM.
Q: What is your most vivid memory of EA’s win against GA Dec. 19 – can you share it with us?
A: I enjoyed being with my team and getting pumped up in the locker room. Also, cheering for my friends during the meet, especially in the 50 free where all the girls had really great swims.
Q: Can you walk us through a typical day, or cycle, of training?
A: On a day that I have doubles, I will swim for about two hours in the morning from 5:30-7:30 a.m. and then again at night from 6:45-9 p.m. On other days, I will swim from 4:15-6:30 p.m. after school then go over to the gym for about an hour.
Q: What pool did you first swim for? What is your favorite swimming venue, and why?
A: I’ve always swam for my coach, Charlie Kennedy, at Suburban Seahawks Club. Other than my home pool, I think my favorite swimming venue is probably the Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center in Charlotte, N.C. or the Natatorium in Indianapolis, Ind. I love the pool in Charlotte because it’s a really pretty pool and I’ve had some of my favorite meets and best swims in Indianapolis.
Q: Who have been your biggest swimming mentors, and what was the most important thing each of them taught you?
A: My biggest swimming mentor is definitely my coach Charlie Kennedy. The most important thing he has taught me about the sport of swimming is to always have fun. Also, he always pushes me to be a little better everyday by reminding me that in order to get faster, I always have to get out of my comfort zone and try something new.
Q: Tell us a little about your pre-meet preparation the day of a meet.
A: On a meet day, I always have the same breakfast of eggs, a bagel with peanut butter, apple juice and fruit. I also always do the same warmup of some easy/moderate swimming to get loose and pace 50s. Before my races, I usually listen to music or talk with my friends.
Q: What (to you) has been the highlight of your swimming career outside of EA?
A: For me, the highlight of my swimming career so far was my 200 back swim at Junior Worlds this summer. That was one of my best races so far, but more importantly, I got to race besides one of my best friends and be part of an amazing team.
Q: What attracted you to Cal-Berkeley? What would you like to major in at college? Is there a particular career path that interests you at the present time?
A: I was attracted to Cal Berkeley because of their renowned academics and swim team. I really liked the coach at Cal (Teri McKeever) and her training philosophy, and I felt that I fit in well with the girls on the team. I think I want to major in some branch of biology or chemistry and perhaps become a surgeon or anesthesiologist.
Q: Do you participate in any other extracurricular activities at EA? What sparked your interest in these activities?
A: I don’t have much time outside of swimming and the normal school day, but I participate in my class community service events and I’m planning our school’s dance marathon. I like getting involved by doing service because I think it’s important to give back to others.

Fun facts – Alex Sumner

Favorite book: Emma, by Jane Austen.

Favorite TV show: Scandal or Friends.

Favorite movie: Superbad.

Favorite pre-meet pump-up song: “Anything by Lil Uzi Vert.”

Favorite place to visit: Avalon, N.J. or San Francisco.

Favorite pre-meet meal: Pasta.

Person I most admire, and why: “My coach Charlie Kennedy for everything that he has done for me to help me achieve my goals, and for also teaching me to be a good person outside of the pool.”

Siblings: younger brothers Zach and Gabe.

(To be selected as Main Line Girls Athlete of the Week, a student-athlete must first be nominated be her coach.)

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