Girls swimming

Chesterton freshman swimmer Amy Socha carrying on tradition of elder sisters

2013-12-25T17:00:00Z 2014-02-05T03:24:04Z Chesterton freshman swimmer Amy Socha carrying on tradition of elder sistersJim Hunsley jim.hunsley@nwi.com, (219) 548-4356 nwitimes.com
December 25, 2013 5:00 pm  • 

Chesterton freshman swimmer Amy Socha isn't all about creating her own identity.

Instead, she's proud to follow in the footsteps of her elder sisters.

"I was kind of nervous, being the last Socha to come to Chesterton," she said. "I was excited that they had left behind a legacy. I just hope to continue (the success)."

Erin Socha is a senior, while oldest sister Milana was a 2010 grad. Erin helped the Trojans place fifth in the 200-yard medley relay in the 2012 state meet. Milana qualified for state both in relays and as an individual. Her best results were a pair of 20ths in the 200 and 500 freestyle in 2008, and she helped the 200 free relay team place third in 2009.

Amy Socha is off to a flying start. She won the 500 free at the Homestead Invitational on Dec. 15 in 5 minutes, 14.38 seconds. She would rank 19th compared to returning swimmers' times in the state coaches preseason poll.

"It seems like every meet we find out something different about (Amy)," Chesterton coach Kevin Kinel said. "She's a tough kid, coming in with a lot of talent. She's got a great work ethic. She's really coming into her and having a lot of fun."

Amy Socha credits major deal of her success to her older sisters.

"Swimming was something to do, because Erin and Milana did it," said Amy, who started the sport when she was 7 years old. "They've always cheered for me and been very enthusiastic. It's so important to me. If they didn't support me, I probably wouldn't like the sport.

"They always have smiles on their faces at meets. When I started to go to meets, I made sure to have a smile on my face."

Amy Socha gains a great deal of enjoyment in the distance events. It's been a long-time love.

"When I was younger, I wasn't any good in the sprints," she said. "Once I got old enough to be in distance events, I was happy. I just kept training harder and harder and liking it more and more."

At this point, Kinel needs Socha in the distance events. That could change in time.

"She's really started to come alive in the 100 fly," he said. "She's a smart kid. She takes what you say and works on the different aspects of the stroke and turn. She does a lot of things right."

Socha isn't about to rest on her early laurels. She's already eying the postseason.

"I'm looking forward to tapering and seeing how much faster I can go," she said. "This is where I wanted to be. I hope to continue this until the season is over."

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