By: Kaitlyn Johnson
Conditioning and training the body for a sport can be very difficult due to the heavy load that students face. Freshman River Wright of Attleboro High School (AHS) is one of these young athletes. He pushes himself to decrease his swim competitive times but still keep up his grades.
Wright started swimming at the age of ten. Owen Wright, River’s older brother, was the reason he started. His older brother, who has cystic fibrosis, has been competitively swimming throughout his high school career, which influenced River’s decision to start the sport after moving from Helena, Mont. to Attleboro, Mass. in 2008.
River is part of the AHS 6-2 Boys Swim Team and also belongs to a local swim team, the Bluefish Swim Team. He helped AHS’s team go from eighth in the league, last year, to second in the league by last Feb. 7.
“I value academics more though,” said Wright as he spoke about his future career. For college, Wright plans to go to Stanford University in Calif. He knows getting into this school will be challenging, but is willing to work hard toward his acceptance.
When he isn’t focused on dropping times and putting in work at the pool, Wright is focused on everyday teen activities. Balancing his academic, social and athletic life can be very challenging, but he has his priorities. Wright said, “I put homework before swimming and skip [practice] if I have to.” If he is behind in a class or has a lot of homework, he sits out, always putting school before swim.
Even though he practices on the weekends, they’re more often in the morning, which gives him time to hang out with friends. Also, he has good relationships with the other swimmers, and some of his friends are a part of the team as well. Practices are a time for Wright to see his friends but also a time for hard work.
Although where he goes in his swimming career isn’t the most important, he still has done very well. Wright was Agonswim’s weekly wonder in his age group on December 18-20, 2015.
Wright’s favorite stroke is the butterfly. According to Swim Outlet, “To some people this stroke seems downright impossible,” but for Wright it isn’t.
“Self satisfaction after a race,” is Wright’s favorite thing about swimming; his least favorite thing is how much time it takes up and how time consuming it is. Having two practices every day takes up most of his time, but being proud of his times after a race is worth it. He is most proud of his 200 Individual Medley (IM), a time of (1:52.37), at the New England Senior Championships presented by Greenwood Swimming.