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.

Just Posted

Kelowna suspect charged in string of bank robberies

RCMP have charged a 58-year-old man with three counts of robbery

Blasting begins in Mission Hill area

The blasting in West Kelowna will begin March 21 and end March 27

Mission Creek Greenway gets pruned

Vegetation pruning will continue until the end of the month

Boil Water notice rescinded for West Kelowna Estates

The notice was put in effect March 14

Calling all spunky lawn bowlers: Charity event expanding in Kelowna

On the Lawn returns for another year, and it’s growing

VIDEO: RCMP ask kids to help name soon-to-be police dogs

13 German shepherd puppies will be born this year

EDITORIAL: The quest to assign blame

Instead of sympathy, some have worked to distance themselves from these attacks or to assign blame.

High number of commercial vehicles taken off road disappoints

Trucking association notes enforcement checks target problem trucks, lobbies for mandatory training

‘Considerably large’ tractor tire fell and killed 3-year-old girl on B.C. farm

Delta’s deputy fire chief said crews tried to helicopter girl out after a tractor tire leaning against a barn fell onto her

B.C. nordic skier travels to Russia for biathlon

Tayla Koerber skied for Team Canada at the international event

Compassionate response to New Zealand shootings resonates

City of Salmon Arm offers condolences and support for Muslim community, at home and abroad

Nearly 40% of British Columbians not taking their medications correctly: poll

Introduction of legal cannabis could cause more issues for drug interactions

Mining company fined $70,000 after two workers killed in B.C. truck crash

Broda Construction pleaded guilty to failing to provide safe workplace at Cranbrook rock quarry

B.C. argues it cannot stop Trans Mountain, but it can protect environment

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says only Ottawa has the authority to decide what goes in trans-boundary pipelines

Most Read