Molly Hill, with the Kelowna Aquajets, will swim for the New Mexico State Aggies starting next fall. (Photo: Steve Cawley)

Molly Hill, with the Kelowna Aquajets, will swim for the New Mexico State Aggies starting next fall. (Photo: Steve Cawley)

Kelowna Aquajet Molly Hill swimming south

Hill will attend New Mexico State University on a full scholarship

Four days per week, at precisely 5:18 a.m., Molly Hill’s alarm clock lets her know she has exactly eleven minutes to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, eat it and be out of her driveway on the way to a 5:45 a.m. warm-up, ahead of her 6 a.m. swim practice.

These early mornings come with a smile for Hill.

“I love swimming so much that I look forward to the early mornings. I hate missing any practice, and this routine is one I’ve come to really enjoy,” said the 17-year-old Kelowna Aquajet.

Her love of swimming, positive attitude, commitment and time management have earned Hill a full scholarship to swim for the New Mexico State University Aggies next fall.

Her parents, Kelly and Mike Hill, remember a five-year-old who loved the water so much they enrolled her with the Aquajets. She quickly progressed, breaking age category records by the time she was 10-years-old, and completing the Across The Lake Swim at the same age.

Hill remembers it didn’t initially start easily.

“After my first week at the club, they moved me down a category because I wasn’t ready. I didn’t care, I just loved it so much and was excited that I had friends around me.”

RELATED: Kelowna putting pressure on water purveyors to join its system

While her impressive physical stature may lead some to believe she was a natural for the sport, Aquajet head coach Emil Dimitrov believes Hill’s success is rooted in her personality.

“Molly is a workaholic; determined, competitive and intelligent,” said Dimitrov. “She is very coachable and still has so much potential. In a sport that requires intense dedication, she is the perfect teammate. She is caring, understanding, supportive and has helped create a great environment around our pool.”

With limited time off, the KSS student studies hard, and has not sacrificed her academic goals in favour for her athletic ones.

“My plan is to earn a biology degree at NMSU over four years, then take a two-year degree in B.C. in dental hygiene,” said Hill.

“I had braces for a long time. I’m strange in that I’m one of the few people that absolutely loves going to the dentist.

She said one of the reasons she chose to accept the NMSU scholarship was the quality of their biology program, and that the swim team makes academics a priority.”

Hill isn’t the only Kelowna Aquajet to take her skills to the next level. Hill’s friend and teammate Axana Merckx will join the University of Arizona next year, while Georgia Pengilly accepted a scholarship to the University of Manitoba.

“Our Aquajet philosophy is to prepare these athletes for NCAA and CIS opportunities, and I expect several of our other swimmers will be approached with scholarship offers in the near future,” said Dimitrov.

Hill’s current season—before her first university year—is far from over. She remains committed to her personal goals of competing at the junior nationals in Calgary in July, the Canadian swim trials in Toronto in April, and perhaps one day represent Canada at the Olympics. Hill’s focus will be on the butterfly, backstroke and freestyle.

While moving to Las Cruces, New Mexico will be a bit of an anxious adventure for a 17-year-old, Hill is excited to move to a new city, make new friends, learn from new coaches and train year-round in a 50-meter outdoor pool, all the while her parents, grandparents, and community will be supporting her just a little bit to the north.

with files from Steve Cawley

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
.


@KelownaCapNews
newstips@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

City of KelownaKelownaSwimming

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A man wearing a face mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19 walks past a mural in Vancouver on Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
212 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health over the weekend

A total of 490 cases remain active; 15 in hospital

This is the third year Raymond Imbeau and Barbara Kitz have picked up cans in the backcountry and donated the proceeds to COSAR. (Central Okanagan Search and Rescue)
Kelowna couple cleans forests for Central Okanagan Search and Rescue

Raymond Imbeau and Barbara Kitz donated $3,200 to COSAR

Lights will be on display for the annual Candy Cane Lane in Rutland until Jan. 1. - Mackenzie Britton/Capital News
Kelowna’s Candy Cane Lane to celebrate a decade of holiday lights

The event will run from Dec. 1 to Jan. 1, 2021

The video was used for (KGH Foundation - YouTube)
Okanagan filmmaker, poet win at L.A. Film Awards

Spoken word artist Shane Koyczan wrote and filmmaker David Nault produced the commercial

The Mission will be opening a temporary winter shelter starting on Dec. 1. (Kelowna’s Gospel Mission)
Gospel Mission’s winter shelter opens in downtown Kelowna

The temporary winter shelter will be in the former Kelowna Daily Courier offices

A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest weekend of COVID-19 pandemic with 46 deaths; more than 2,300 cases

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides COVID-19 update

Fossil finds at Mt. Stephen. (Photo: Sarah Fuller/Parks Canada)
Extreme hiking, time travel and science converge in the Burgess Shale

Climb high in the alpine and trace your family tree back millions of years – to our ocean ancestors

Join Rob Dinwoodie and bandmates for a Cowboy Christmas, Dec. 11 and 12 at Vernon and District Performing Arts Center. Seating is cabaret style on the stage for an intimate concert. (Contributed)
North Okanagan cowboys go virtual for Christmas

Cowboy Christmas streamed Dec. 11-25

Vernon is getting in the Christmas spirit with many homes decorating with lights and extras. (Caitlin Clow - Morning Star)
Christmas lights tour mapped out by Vernon realtor

More than 20 of the community’s best lit houses make up annual tradition

Kettle bells sit aligned in an indoor fitness studio. (PIxabay.com)
1 COVID-19 case at a B.C. fitness studio leads to 104 more infections, 6 school exposures

According to case data released by Fraser Health, one case of the novel coronavirus carries a big impact

Vehicles drive past a display thanking essential workers in Burnaby, B.C. on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
B.C. changing COVID-19 case reporting as virus spread continues

Manual counting takes more time, leads to errors

Salmon Arm RCMP say some patrons have been harassing local businesses over mask requirements. (Lachlan Labere-Salmon Arm Observer)
Police urge respect after Salmon Arm businesses report being harassed over mask rules

Wearing of masks in businesses and public spaces is currently mandated by the province

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Salmon Arm RCMP officers attended two public COVID-19 demonstrations held in Salmon Arm on Saturday, Nov. 28.  (File photo)
Organizer of Salmon Arm COVID-19 demonstration fined $2,000 by RCMP

Police said some participants weren’t aware of the public health order prohibiting gatherings

Most Read