Freshman swimmer makes splash

Butler freshman swimmer Amanda Wagner has found great success this year in the pool.

Photo by Heather Iwinski

“Amanda is a great kid,” said Maurice Stewart Butler swim coach. “She’s been a tremendous asset as a member of the team.

“I thought that she transitioned to Butler University very well, and she is greatly respected by all her teammates.”

Wagner broke her sectional and school record in the 100-yard breaststroke in high school.

“Breaststroke is unique,” sophomore swimmer Stephanie Shoults said. “Each person has a different style of how they do it and hers is very quick. I don’t know how she does it, but she’s incredible. She’s very gifted in that respect.”

At Butler, Wagner holds a team season best 1:07:67 in the 100-yard breaststroke, which she said is her favorite event.

“I definitely see her as one of our top breaststrokers in the program,” Stewart said.

Wagner is a pharmacy major, which she said was a big part of her decision to attend Butler. But Wagner also said she knew she wanted to swim in college.

Wagner said pharmacy isn’t bad yet because she is still in her core classes and those are manageable.

“She does well in the classroom for a first semester in a very difficult major,” Stewart said. “She battles through the athletics and the academics.”

Both coaches and teammates credit Wagner’s work ethic for her success this year.

Photo courtesy of Butler Sports Information

“I definitely see her as a leader in the program from a standpoint of she has a good work ethic and she practices with purpose,” Stewart said.

Wagner said she has enjoyed the time out of the pool as well. She said her team is like a family, and she really enjoyed the squad’s trip to Fort Lauderdale.

“I really like it here,” Wagner said. “We’re all really close, so it’s really nice to have people to go to talk to.”

Wagner earned a first place finish in the 100-yard breaststroke in 1:10:37 at a tri-meet at University of Illinois at Chicago. She also contributed to a first-place finish in the 200-meter freestyle relay, and a third- place finish in the 200-meter medley relay.

In November, Wagner helped the team earn second place in the 400 free relay at a meet at Youngstown State. In the same meet, Wagner also placed second in the 100-meter breaststroke.

Shoults said despite being a quiet person, Wagner also displays a humorous side.

“She’s kind of in the background, but she’ll surprise you by saying something really funny,” Shoults said

Wagner said it takes awhile for her to warm up, but she can be funny.

“Once I get to know people I kind of get out of my shell,” she said.

The swim team has its last meet of the regular season Saturday at former Horizon League opponent Valparaiso.

Following Valparaiso is the Atlantic 10 Conference Championships, which take place Feb. 20-23 in Geneva, Ohio.

“She’s always done her best in practice in and out of the pool, and I know she’s very driven, which is a great trait to have” Shoults said.

“I’m very blessed and pleased to have the opportunity to work with her,” Stewart said. “I know she’s going to do very well at the (Atlantic 10) Conference Championships this year.”Bu

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