At 5:45 a.m., 18-year-old Andrew Unterreiner begins practice at The Summit. He has been a competitive swimmer as long as he can remember.
“We actually kept the first Speedo I ever wore,” Unterreiner said. “I guess we’ll do something special with it since it’s my last year and all.”
His final year comes with a labor-intensive schedule. Besides the rigorous workouts, Unterreiner is participating in Flathead High School’s associate of applied science degree through Flathead Valley Community College. When he dons a cap and gown this spring, Unterreiner hopes to not only receive his high school diploma but also a two-year degree in culinary arts.
“We’re doing gingerbread houses now,” he said. “You would think that would be fun but I’m pretty stressed out about it. I’m doing a Mayan pyramid.”
When asked about the toughness of his schedule – first period at Flathead, second through fourth period in college and fifth through seventh back in high school – Unterreiner has a very grounded response, “It’s senior year. Everybody’s busy. It is almost expected.”
Along with school, Unterreiner is busy refining his freestyle.
“I don’t feel like I’m breaking away,” he said. “It’s more mental than physical.”
Through dedication and working out the details, Unterreiner hopes to make it to the finals at state. “I would definitely like to remember this season as my best one.”
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