Originally created 03/12/06

Teen glad she chose swimming



It's not too difficult to find Brittany Gobat after school. The Fox Creek High School sophomore usually can be found swimming at one of two places - the Augusta Aquatics Center or the University of South Carolina Aiken's Natatorium.

"That's my sport," Brittany said of swimming, which she practices six days a week.

This weekend, the teen is fulfilling one of her swim-related dreams. She and eight other members of the Aiken-Augusta Swim League are in Nashville, Tenn., competing in the Speedo Champions Series Southern Zone Eastern Sectional Senior Championships.

Swimmers from Georgia, the Carolinas, Mississippi, Kentucky and Virginia are competing in the event, which began Thursday and ends today.

Brittany is competing in the 100-meter breaststroke.

"That's my best event," she said.

Brittany has been swimming competitively since she was 7, when she joined a summer league because a friend was in it. She enjoyed the events so much, she said, that she decided to join the Aiken-Augusta Swim League.

"I like coming to practice. My swim team is like my second family," she said.

And she enjoys competing.

"At times, I'm a little nervous," she said. "But most of the time, I love the race and the adrenaline rush."

In the fall, she competed on Fox Creek's swim team and made it to the state championships, where she placed in the top 10 in the 100-meter breaststroke and the 200 individual medley.

Although the sport takes up a lot of her time, Brittany said she doesn't regret missing out on other things.

"I like seeing myself improve. I think. 'If I can do that now, what can I do next?'" she said. "I like to push myself."

Brittany is working to improve her times in the breaststroke so she can qualify for Junior National competition. She also hopes to win a state championship in swimming in the high school league.

"I just need to be focused," she said.

Brittany said she hopes that swimming will help her get into a good college. She plans to study for a career in the medical field.

At Fox Creek, she is a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the Interact Club and the Spanish Club.

Reach Charmain Z. Brackett at czbrackett@hotmail.com.