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One last hurrah

November 15, 2018

La PORTE — For Abigail Roberts, this season is a culmination of countless years in the pool.

The senior swimmer has worked tirelessly on her sport, perfecting her craft. The La Porte stalwart is looking to make her last go-around donning the orange and black swimsuit a memorable one, while pacing the team to an unforgettable campaign.

“This year, being her senior year, she’s really driven to do well,” Slicers girls coach John Doty said. “She ended the season on a very high note last year, breaking her mom’s record. It was the perfect timing for that, because she’s looking for schools, and schools are looking at her, and everybody’s talking. She knows what it takes. She knows what she’s got to do to get to where she wants to be.”

In last year’s sectional, Roberts earned the La Porte girls 50-yard free record (24.51). She shattered her mother’s mark, Slicers assistant coach Hope Harris, who set the record 30 years earlier.

This campaign, Roberts’ primary strokes will be freestyle, likely the 50-yard and 100-yard freestyle, besides maybe competing in the 200-yard medley relay.

Roberts is extremely eager for the new year, and views her role on the squad as having a large responsibility to be a guiding hand for the younger swimmers.

“I see myself as a leader this season,” Roberts said. “Last year I was a captain. And there’s just some things I want to work on and get better at, to just help lead this team, because we have a lot of young girls. I just want to make sure that, since this is my last season, I leave this team in a really good place at the end of the season. And that I make sure that I can help build and help to grow the younger girls.”

Doty has had a front-row seat to Roberts’ maturation as a swimmer over pre-season practices.

“There’s just a focus,” Doty said. “She’s always been focused. But this year, since the season has started, she’s just super focused. She is nothing but business. That’s helping her focus on her stroke during sets. Her turns just look amazing. She’s always had good turns. But since the season has started, I don’t know what happened, it just clicked, and they’re beautiful.”

Roberts has followed an extended line of family members who have participated in swimming.

Roberts’ mother, La Porte assistant coach Hope Harris, swam when she was a kid. Plus, Roberts’ two uncles on her mother’s side swam as kids. In addition, her father, Jason Roberts, swam as a kid, in high school, and for some of college. And Roberts’ aunt on her father’s side swam throughout high school and college.

Roberts said her whole family pretty much swam, so it kind of made sense for her to do so. She started swimming when she was 8 years old after her brother joined Duneland Swim Club. Then, Roberts took a little hiatus from the sport in middle school, however, she returned to swimming in high school and has thrived.

“I just love the sport,” Roberts said. “It’s always been kind of destiny for me to do it, since everyone I know has pretty much swam.”

At the same time, Roberts is an exceptional student. She carries a flawless 4.0 GPA and takes three advanced placement classes. Her AP classes are English, Government and Calculus, and she’s in the highest-level Spanish class as well.

“Academics have always been a big thing for me,” Roberts said. “Starting in middle school, I’ve just kind of thrown myself into my schoolwork and it’s been something I take a lot of pride in. Throughout high school, I always knew I wanted to graduate with a 4.0 and be in the running for Valedictorian. I’ve just always done my best to push myself as hard as I can.”

In terms of other extracurricular activities, Roberts is heavily involved in numerous organizations. She participates in Student Council, Girls Reserves, Student Advisory Council, Leadership La Porte County, National Honor Society, Tri-M Music Honor Society, she’s the Spanish Club President, she does dance, she teaches at her dance studio, and she has a part-time job.

“I like to keep myself busy,” Roberts said. “I’m a very driven person.”

With regards to her future, Roberts is aiming to attend Butler University and attend their six-year Physician Assistant Program.

“I’ve always been really interested in the medical field and sciences, but I’ve never really wanted to go to Med School,” Roberts said. “So I really hope to go to Butler, and possibly, swim. But Butler has really good academics that have always interested me.”

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