From team rituals to cheering each other on during meets, Hurricane High swimmer Aumarie Beagley loves team spirit. Seeing her eyes light up as she talks about her experiences, it is not surprising that she adds an enormous amount of spirit to the team herself.
“I am so loud!” she says, adding that even when everyone else is cheering and yelling, she can still be heard over the crowd. Partly because of this, her freshman year she was awarded the Trident Spirit Award, and her sophomore and junior years her teammates voted her “best cheerleader.”
While Aumarie swims for Hurricane High School, she is also a part of the Trident team. The Trident team is made up of three schools: Hurricane High, Pineview, and Desert Hills, who all practice together at the Washington City Recreation Center. One might think that it would be difficult to combine three schools that compete against each other into one practice team, but Aumarie says it works beautifully.
“Last year our team code was, ‘We are the Trident family,’ and we really are like family members.” Aumarie loves that any school rivalry that may exist disappears when the swimmers meet for practice. “We can be having a football game, such as Desert Hills vs. Hurricane, and we can all go and cheer for our separate teams, but then we come to practice later that night, and it’s no big deal.” She says, “Some people might be like ‘Oh we won; but then we’d get in and swim, and it just wouldn’t matter.”
At meets, the team members from all three schools warm up together and show their support for each other, which Aumarie loves. She says, “Before we warm up we do this clapping thing. It starts out slow then we get faster and faster and faster. We go silent at the end, and then we all yell, ‘Go Trident!’.”
For Aumarie, practicing with the Trident team means traveling a half hour from Hurricane to the Washington City Recreation Center. Instead of practicing right after school as many other athletes do, she arrives at the pool around 8pm. Between school and practice, she focuses on her studies, so by the time she returns home at 11:00 PM, she is famished. “I like peanut butter and tortillas,” she says, noting that some people might find this a little odd.
This busy schedule would be a challenge for any high school student, but Aumarie’s school load is heavier than most. Included in her high school schedule this year are three concurrent enrollment courses through Dixie State University. Even with these classes, Aumarie is able to maintain a 4.0.
“I think when you have a sport, it helps you because you have to focus your time.” She says knowing that she only has a certain amount of time to study helps her plan ahead, so she doesn’t have to cram at the last minute.
Aumarie plans to continue her education after high school pursuing the physical therapist assistant degree at Dixie State University. Her interest in the discipline was piqued last year during her sports medicine class. “We had a unit of physical therapy, and it just really stood out to me for the ways that you can help people,” she says, glad to have found a place in the medical field where she can feel comfortable and helpful. “I’ve always wanted to help people, and I always felt the medical field was the best way, but the medical field usually involves sick people and blood, and I don’t really like that stuff. With physical therapy, it’s not the sick people, and the wound’s already sewn shut.”
Aumarie’s helping heart is already at work as she mentors younger swimmers. She is a volunteer coach for the Hurricane Tiger Sharks where she passes on her knowledge and positive attitude. She knows how important a good coach is, as she has been blessed with many wonderful coaches herself.
She credits a lot of her success to the amazing coaches she has had since pursuing swim, and when asked to name a mentor, she has a difficult time narrowing it down. “There are so many!” she says. “When I joined the Hurricane Tiger Shark team, I didn’t know how to swim at all, so that first coach was the one who taught me how to do everything.”
Other great coaches have helped Aumarie build upon that foundation. “Coach Josh taught me even more on how to become faster,” she says. Currently, one of the biggest influences toward Aumarie’s swimming success is Coach Dani Caldwell. “She is amazing,” Aumarie says. “I can ask her, ‘Can you watch me even for just a half a length of a pool? That’s like maybe 15 yards, and–this is how great she is–she can tell you within that time what you’re doing wrong, or if you’re flipping your hand a little weird. She can tell you from that one little movement what is causing you pain.”
“When I joined the Hurricane Tiger Shark team, I didn’t know how to swim at all, so that first coach was the one who taught me how to do everything.“
Having such great coaches has helped Aumarie come a long way. She began swimming the summer before her freshman year and ended up being the only freshman on the swim team. She is now a team captain and had the distinction of being the only senior on the Hurricane swim team to have participated all four years. In addition to super coaches and hard work, Aumarie’s mom, Lori Lamb, credits the swim community with helping Aumarie succeed. With both herself and Aumarie’s father working when Aumarie took up the sport, it was difficult for them to get her to practice. Lori is grateful for all the other swim moms who helped out, even going out of their way to take Aumarie to the middle school after dropping all the other kids off at the high school.
When Aumarie first became interested in swimming with the Hurricane Tiger Sharks, Lori and Aumarie’s father did all they could to support her, but they were unable to provide her transportation. “She would ride her bike from here to the pool and back,” Lori says, adding,
“She’s just determined! Her determination is also evident in the strokes she has mastered, with the difficult butterfly stroke being her favorite. “It’s faster than freestyle,” she says. “Once you get good at it, it’s the fastest stroke, but if you’re not so good at it, it’s fairly challenging. It’s one of the hardest strokes, but once you’re fast at it, it’s fast.” She puts her skill to use in her favorite relay, the individual medley, where she swims the butterfly leg, of course.
Aumarie seems to be used to swimming the difficult events. “Last year I did the 500, which most people don’t like, and I did the 100 fly.” In addition, she swam the 200, in the 200 relay, and the 4X100 relay.
Aumarie is looking forward to another great swim season. As one of the three team captains and (as she says) one of the loudest kids on the team, she is sure to help the Tridents carry on their tradition of team spirit. • HSSI