November 24th, 2010

"20 Key Questions" With Summer Stephens

Sarah Newell

CSN Staff Writer

"20 Key Questions" With Summer Stephens
photo courtesy of Summer Stephens

SHA senior swimmer takes on the Questions

Each week, will be getting to know a new student-athlete from the area by asking him/her a series of 20 key questions - some in-depth, some lighthearted - that will provide insight into the thoughts and personalities of the boys and girls who are doing great things on and off the local courts, fields, tracks, and courses. Below are the "20 Key Questions," brought to you by Key Financial Mortgage LLC.

Sacred Heart Academy senior Summer Stephens, who recently signed a National Letter of Intent the University of Florida, is a natural leader in and out of the pool, and her future coach in Gainesville recently supported that fact.

"The most exciting thing about this (signing) class is that they're all class-act people," UF swimming Head Coach Gregg Troy said. "They're all very much team players. They're all state champions that are used to putting their hand on the wall first. You have men and women that are used to winning and have high expectations. It speaks well for the future of the program here at the University of Florida."

Stephens maintains a 3.8 GPA in the classroom, and last year she led SHA swimming to its first state title in six years, following duPont Manual’s five-year dominance in state competition.

Stephens has had plenty of accomplishments on a national level, as she competes year round with the Lakeside Seahawks. While she says that placing Top-16 at Junior Nationals this past summer is one of her greatest accomplishments, she still places some of her fondest athletic memories around Valkyrie swimming.

Though Stephens recently encountered injury when she rolled her ankle on steps at an Auburn football game, she says she’s feeling better, and its back to business for her senior season ahead. But before she continued her preseason workouts, Stephens took the time to participate in the newest edition of the "20 Key Questions." Her answers are below.

1. What is your favorite pump up music for a swim meet?

I like just about any kind of fast beat hip hop/rap music before a race. Right now my favorite artists are Jay-Z, Nicki Minaj, and Pitbull.

2. What is your ideal meal/snack before a meet?

A banana and peanut butter sandwich.

3. Who is your favorite teacher? Why?

My AP Psychology teacher Ms. Cunningham. She is an awesome teacher and she makes class an enjoyable place to be. I have never left her classroom without a smile on my face.

4. Which athlete do you look up to on a college/professional level?

Tim Tebow. He is not only an amazing quarterback but his team respects him more than some athletes respect their coach. Tim has gone around the world to be a missionary and provide what he can to those who are in need.

5. What is your favorite movie quote?

"We will be perfect in every aspect of the game. You drop a pass, you run a mile. You miss a blocking assignment, you run a mile. You fumble the football, and i will break my foot off in your John Brown hind parts and then you will run a mile. Perfection. Let's go to work" - Coach Boone, Remember the Titans

6. How does your faith impact your approach to sports?

My faith has an impact on the attitude I have about swimming. I believe everything happens for a reason and it is how we respond to those bumps in the road that matters. I try to always have a positive during practice and competition.

7. What keeps you motivated?

I have very high expectations for myself and what I hope to accomplish. I love to race so the thrill of winning is what keeps me coming back to practice every day.

8.   All time favorite board game?

Apples to Apples. Its great to do with friends and hear the interesting answers!

9. Blackberry or iPhone?


10. Favorite Facebook function?

“Like." It was one of the best inventions to Facebook.

11. What is your favorite reality TV show?

Laguna Beach and The Hills.

12. What is your favorite pro team?

New Orleans Saints

13. What is your best quality/characteristic?

I think my best quality would be that I am very strong-willed. I don’t give up easily and I don’t go down without a fight. It makes me hardworking at everything I set my mind to do and a great competitor. 

14. Gatorade or Powerade? Which flavor?

I prefer blueberry pomegranate Gatorade

15. What is your favorite hour of the day?

In the early morning around 5 when I am going to practice and no one else is on the road. I feel as if I’m the only one in town.

16. Best smart phone app?

Spanish Translator

17. Where is your favorite place to volunteer/provide community service?

I am the meet coordinator for Special Olympics and I have loved volunteer with the organization for the past three years. I have met wonderful people that have changed my life for the better and I hope that I can do the same for them.

18. What is one hidden talent that you possess?

I can play the violin. I started at age 4 but my practice started declining when swimming became my main priority.

19. What is one thing you wish scientists would invent?

Robotic cooks so that I wouldn’t have to make my own food. Then again, thats what moms are for anyway.

20. What is your proudest athletic moment?

My proudest athletic moment would be I got to stand on the side of the pool and do the “Single Ladies” dance with my SHA team after winning the state title.


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