Summer Sports: Hunter Kim

Jackson Feigin, Staff Writer

In August, Hunter Kim (10) swam at the 2018 Speedo Junior National Championships in Irvine, California, along with seven members of the Badgers Swim Club, the team he swims for outside of school.

Kim swam in four events at the Junior National Championships: the 100 and 200 meter breaststroke and the 200 and 400 meter IM, the event that combines freestyle, butterfly, breaststroke, and backstroke.

He qualified for the championships by achieving a certain time or “cut” in the respective events he swam when competing for both his club team and the school’s swim team, he said. Although he managed to qualify, all did not go as planned. “The meet did not fit well into our training and many of us were out of shape,” Kim said.

Kim is nonetheless glad he attended the competition, he said. He felt that going to Junior Nationals gave him great experience for future meets and allowed him to further bond with his teammates, many of whom he’s only known for the past year.

Despite the fact that he did not perform particularly well, Kim said he has not lost any enthusiasm. “Another Junior Nationals will be held in North Carolina this December, and we hope to place better this time around. Now that I’ve been with my new team for almost a year, I feel more comfortable about the aspects of the team and I will be able to do better in the future,” he said.

Kim also plans to prepare for the next Junior Nationals by working on his walls, the term for turns from lap to lap, he said. “High level swimmers that attend Junior Nationals know how to use walls very well, and to compete with them I must improve.”

Over the summer, Kim had anywhere from six to 12 swim practices a week, each of which typically lasts for two hours. He continued swimming during a two week break from his team’s practices in August. Kim spent five days sightseeing in London, during which time he had the opportunity to visit the 2012 Olympic pool.

“It was my first time swimming in a pool like this,” he said. “Not only was the pool beautiful, but the entire building itself was built to resemble a whale.” He was able to reserve a lane in the pool to swim leisurely for an hour, he said.

“I thought it would be a unique experience to swim in the same pool as such incredible swimming legends like Michael Phelps, Kosuke Kitajima, and Adam Peaty” Kim said. “So many records were broken, and so many of my idols swam in that pool so it was very cool experience.”