Pace Academy, senior
For Gwynnie LaMastra, “going for a swim” means more than just hopping in the water for a few quick laps.
Since she was 13, Gwynnie has dedicated countless hours in the pool to enhancing her swimming skills. Her hard work has paid off.
She’s a USA Swimming and Scholastic All-American and a GHSA All-State swimmer. She holds six Pace Academy records, including the record in her signature event, the 100-breaststroke, which she has broken four years in a row, according to the school. Gwynnie qualified for the state championship in the event for four years, and finished fourth in the state in 2013 and 2014, Pace said.
In her four years at Pace, she qualified for 30 state championship events, Pace said, and this year swam four events, broke four Pace records and had four top-10 state finishes, Pace said.
As a junior, she won the Jim and Lesley Wheeler Scholar Athlete Award, which is presented to a girl and a boy from each class below senior level to recognize academic excellence, sportsmanship, good citizenship, high moral and ethical standards, and athletic achievement.
She says her love for the sport originates not only from “the feeling of being in the water,” but also from “all the places you get to go to, and all the people you get to meet” through competitions.
John Ague, Gwynnie’s coach of four years, says he has enjoyed watching her work hard to get better at a sport that she loves. Ague is confident that she will “continue to get stronger and develop as a swimmer.”
Outside school, Gwynnie swims for Dynamo swim team. She has had the opportunity to travel and compete all over Georgia, as well as in Florida and Texas.
Last summer, she reaped the rewards of her hard work as she qualified for the Junior Nationals in Orlando, Fla.
Gwynnie said that making it to the Junior Nationals as one of her greatest swimming accomplishments because it helped her see her potential. “After qualifying for [Junior Nationals] I knew I could do so much more with swimming,” she said.
Gwynnie plans to attend Johns Hopkins University, were she intends to join the swim team.
This article was prepared by Ane Wanliss, a student at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School.