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Athlete of The Week


Swimming to states



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Sami Stelpflug in her meet against Lake Orion. Photo by Wendi Reardon (click for larger version)
September 05, 2012 - Junior Sami Stelpflug made a splash into the new season after finishing last year as All-American on the Clarkston Girls Swim team.

She qualified for the state meet on Aug. 23 in two events - the 500-yard freestyle and the 200-yard medley relay with teammates Amber Hallman, Natalie Vela and Kathryn Culver; and qualified on Aug. 28 in the 100-yard breaststroke.

"It's nice to get it out of the way," Stelpflug said. "I am really concentrating on my stroke and technique right now. Really perfecting it so it makes my time faster that way the time states comes I can give my competition a run for their money."

Her favorite events to swim in are the 100-yard breaststroke and the 200-yard IM.

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"I like the breaststroke it is one of my best events," she added. "The 200 IM you get to swim everything. It is a really tough race but I like the challenge."

She is excited about her season with the Lady Wolves because of the new swimmers and talent already on the team.

"Last year at the county meet we ended up third which was amazing for everyone," Stelpflug said. "We have a lot of people stepping up this year. I really want the team to prove itself. I want to get a lot of people up to the state level. Also, get a relay team to be All-State and All-American. We have been good the last couple of years and it should be really fun."

Stelpflug began swimming when she was 7-years-old. She was hanging out with friends and they had to go to their Seawolves swim practice. Stelpflug's parents weren't home yet so she tagged along.

"They showed me around the pool," she said. "I stayed on the side and watched. The coaches talked to me and they were really nice. I joined a few weeks later. I have been swimming ever since."

The swim bug was contagious as her younger sister, Megan, and her older brother, Kenny joined.

"I came home one day and said Kenny I am better than you at something. He said, 'that is not okay,'" she laughed. "Then he joined."

Sami added it is nice to have her siblings there for mental and moral support.

"If I am having a rough practice, you will always have friends there but it isn't the same as having family there," she said. "If something is going wrong I can talk to them 24/7 because they are always with me. It is really nice."

She would like to continue swimming in college. When she is not swimming or doing homework she is hanging out with her friends or photographing nature or her dog.

"He is my little model," Sami said. "I always take pictures with him."

Wendi graduated from the University of Michigan-Flint with a degree in communications. She wrote for the Michigan Times college paper and Grand Blanc View before joining The Clarkston News in October 2007.
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