Athlete of the Week: Amanda Skinner

by Alissa Stieha
Staff Writer

Junior Amanda Skinner holds six school records in both individual and relay races. Coach Kyle Dunaway has high hopes for this season on her quest for a chance at nationals.

Transylvania’s swimming and diving teams compete at the highest level, aiming for shattering the longest-standing school records. They compete in the Bluegrass Mountain Conference against programs that are known as “power houses.”

Yet each time they compete Transy never lets the tough competition get to them. For these men and women of Transylvania the importance is on lifetime bests, school records, leadership and building the team for next year.

Junior swimmer Amanda Skinner is no stranger to shattering records and winning meets. She holds six school records, three from individual races and three as a member of relay teams. Last year she was .03 seconds away from making it to the NCAA nationals — to which only 16 athletes from each race are selected to go. She believes this is her year.

Coach Kyle Dunaway states that his goal for Skinner is “to get her to the NCAA meet.” Right now she’s at her career best and her recent meets have proven her desire to get to the level necessary for nationals.

Skinner focuses on the team and what she can do to improve herself as well as her leadership on the team. She is a co-captain alongside long-time swimming partner junior Lindsey Anderson, and the team of five women sets its sights on one thing: to beat the men.

“If I don’t beat the boys at practice, I don’t feel like I’ve succeeded,” said Skinner.

Laughing with pride, Skinner added that her team of five recently went on to beat another team of 30.

Dunaway noted her growth in her leadership role.

“She improves team dynamics through leaderships both vocal and by example,” said Dunaway.

Skinner said she encourages her teammates to be “dedicated inside and outside the pool deck.” The team knows her for pursuing her goals and pushing them to do the same.

“We have to push each other during practice,” Skinner said.

Her strongest and favorite races are the 200-meter breast stroke and the 400-meter individual medley, but her relay teams are also surpassing school records.

“We know we walk away with an extremely successful year because Amanda and her teammates have the chance to break double-digit school records,” said Dunaway.

Skinner holds pride in her team and in herself, pushing herself to achieve the goals that she set early on in her swimming career.

“Come to swim meets. Cheer us on. Paint up,” Skinner said.

These swimmers are on their way to going down as the best in the 28-year history of Transy’s swimming and diving program based on records broken and meet records, and Skinner is leading the way.

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