In all, there are eight practices in a week during the school year. Yes, they’re tiring, but Wallace is doing what she loves.
Friday, the Davidson Fine Arts freshman competes in Atlanta at the Georgia High School Association State Swimming and Diving Championships. She’s the first girl from the school to do so.
“I’m really excited,” she said. “I know some of the people there, just because they swim year-round, too. I’m kind of excited.”
Wallace posted state-qualifying times in all eight individual events but can swim in only two at the state meet. It was easy to eliminate some options – freestyle is her best – and after thinking it over, it was decided she would swim in the 200- and 500-yard freestyles. She won both events at the CSRA Swimming Championships, finishing the 200 free in 1:59.16 and the 500 free in 5:09.33.
At the state meet, the top 16 times send an athlete to Saturday’s final swims for each event, though only those in the top eight – the championship heat – can swim for the state title.
In the 200, Wallace will try to start as fast as she can and then try to hold off challengers in the last 100. In the 500, it’s about pace.
“She’s got a really good attitude, she works really hard and is competitive,” said Adam Byars, Wallace’s Aiken-Augusta Swim League coach. “She wants to be really good.”
Wallace was a triathlon participant in grade school and was also a runner before she dedicated her time to swimming. The long hours in the pool are a lot to handle – Sundays feel weird because that’s when she rests – but she enjoys it, and today marks a chance to swim for her school.
“It’ll just be a different atmosphere,” Wallace said, comparing the upcoming meet to those she swims out of school. “I’m not representing ASL – it’s my high school team.”