By Jon Styf
With swimming, cross country, a full slate of Advanced Placement courses and choir this fall, it could easily be overwhelming.
As swimming coach Mick Homan said, “She never complained once in the years I’ve worked with her.”
Hunt has a plan and she sticks to it.
This summer, she mapped out a plan of which meets she could make, which days she would double up between the swimming and cross country teams and which she will miss.
Each week, she maps out a similar plan for practices based on which competitions she’ll be at.
And then, each morning, her alarm goes off at 4:30 a.m. and she goes to work.
Sometimes it’s a long run, sometimes it’s a swim at Spring Lake Aquatics Center and sometimes it’s lifting.
“You can just count on Robyn taking care of what she needs to take care of,” said Sailors Cross Country Coach Kyle Mireles. “In that regard, she’s a super easy athlete to coach. You know that what you tell her to do, she’s going to get done. She trusts her body and we trust her in that regard.”
If Hunt has a swim meet or practice in the afternoon, she’ll start the day with a run. If it’s cross country after school, she’ll start with a swim. And, if she’s just feeling worn down or tired, she’ll go lift.
The real challenge for her coaches can be preventing Hunt from overdoing things.
“The hardest part for both of us is to tell her when to slow down and rest for big meets,” said Homan, who after 33 years with the program will leave the school to become an assistant coach at Aquinas College after the season. “Trying to get her to slow down, rest, take it easy. When she gets that extra rest in swimming, she wants to run about 10 miles. If it’s rest in cross country, let’s go swim 6,000 yards.”
The muscle groups and paint points are somewhat different between swimming and running, with the pounding on her knees running and the importance of upper body strength in swimming. But the cardio workouts can also be similar.
“I really don’t do much taper,” Hunt said about the amount of reps she takes before events. “For swimming, we started taper this weekend for the conference season. I will do the swim practices that are a little easier but, on top of that, I’m still running.”
Hunt has goals in each sport as the seasons wind down. On Wednesday, she is hoping to repeat at the OK Green Conference meet against stiff competition from a pair of runners from Zeeland before looking to qualify for state out of the Region 1 Division 1 meet on Oct. 30.
In swimming, she’s hoping to break the school record in the 500 freestyle after coming just three seconds short. She also swims the 100 butterfly, 200 freestyle and 200 individual medley.
That’s not even mentioning her work in the classroom, where starting next trimester she will have AP Calculus 2, AP Language and Composition, AP Physics and AP microeconomics on her schedule.
Hunt said that her parents are “super supportive” and “drive me literally everywhere” even though she has her driver’s license. It helps her keep organized, get her homework done and have some downtime. All so she can stay on top of her commitments.
“Being a teacher, you look for great students,” Mireles said. “Being a coach, you look for great athletes. Those faces absolutely stick out and Robyn is just one of those people that, every day, you consistently know she is giving you her best, whether it be in the classroom or in competition. That’s all we can ask for. It’s a real joy to coach her.”