Athlete Profile: Grace Hoeper Making Waves

City High swimmer Grace Hoeper achieves her fifth state qualifying time in the 500 freestyle

John Weigel, Opinion Editor

As the swimmers crouch on the block, compact and prepared to race, the official asks for silence during the start. “Take your mark,” the suspense builds quickly; at once the starting light flashes followed closely by the blare, the race has begun. 

Grace Hoeper, a sophomore at Solon and swimmer for City High, earns her fifth state qualifying time in the 500 free at the City-Dubuque Wahlert dual meet at Mercer on Tuesday, September 20th. After already obtaining qualifying times in the 50 free ranked 2nd, the 200 free ranked 6th, the 200 individual medley at 6th, and 1st in state for the 100 butterfly as of now, Grace qualified in the 500, currently ranked 12th place in the event. 

“It’s really fun. I feel like when you’re young, and you’re doing this well, it’s just so much less stressful,” says Grace, “There’s no, ‘this is my last time’ it’s just ‘I can go out, I can race, if I don’t do well. There’s always next time.’”

Grace is ready to swim fast for the rest of the season, while trying to create a supporting atmosphere on the team.

“I think the only big challenge that I’ve had this year is trying to build a team and really make something where everyone is cheering for everyone and where we’re all happy to be here together, putting together this team.”

Setting an example of leadership as the youngest team captain in the history of City High swimming, Grace also leads City High as the highpoint swimmer.

“At first, I was definitely a little scared and just unsure, but I feel like as the season has progressed, I really got up to the challenge… I feel like everyone’s been so supportive, and I feel like the team has really helped me come into that leadership position.”