Sloane Sambuco ’16 is a leader in the pool for the Girls Varsity Swimming team. Sambuco, a three-year Upper from Palm Beach, Florida, is a key member of the team and provides solid performances in the freestyle events. Sambuco boosts team morale in and out of the pool with her great sense of humor and strong work ethic. In Andover’s most recent meet versus Deerfield, Sambuco finished in fourth place in the 50-Meter Freestyle with a time of 27.29 and set personal records in the other two heats she participated in: 50-Meter Freestyle Relay and 100-Meter Freestyle Relay.
**What event do you swim?**
I am a sprinter. I usually swim the 50 Freestyle, 100 Freestyle or some Butterfly — so basically anything short distance is my thing!
**What do you focus on when you train?**
I feel like I train best when I focus on quality rather than quantity. Technique is very important when swimming; when every millisecond counts in a race, it is integral that you are making the most of each stroke.
**How did you start swimming, and what do you enjoy about the sport?**
Swimming is a sport that I actually do not have much experience in. Most of the girls on the team have swam on club teams, often traveling to attend competitive meets. I learned the strokes when I was younger at home and practiced on a casual summer team. When I came to Andover, I decided I wanted to try out, despite my lack of training. I was on JV my freshman year, then made the Varsity team my lower year.
I have always loved swimming, but my love for the sport has grown exponentially since I have been at Andover. Being on such a tight-knit team and training everyday is great. Some of these girls I might’ve never gotten to know if we did not do swimming together. I love every one of my fishies!
**You mentioned the team although swimming is an individual sport, can you describe the team?**
The team this year is really close. We have a ton of new girls so there is a whole new fun dynamic. We have a team dinner every night — there are always a million plates on the table because we are so hungry after practice. Whenever I am having a bad day, I know one of my teammates can cheer me up. We build off of each other’s positive energy and have a ton of spirit. If you ever come to one of our home meets, make sure to stay around right after diving to see us do the “seal cheer”!
**You did really well against Deerfield. How were able to lower your time?**
I feel great this season. Each meet so far, I have dropped time! It is an amazing feeling to create new personal records and push my limits. I hope to keep on getting faster. We knew Deerfield was going to be a tough team to beat, but we were ready. We have been training hard and we had a lot of positive energy that Saturday.
**How have you emerged as a leader on the team?**
[Coach Paul] Murphy and I both have a love for Miley Cyrus, so at our team dinner at his house, I surprised him and the team by playing my ukulele and singing “We Can’t Stop.” I think that is how I have emerged as a leader — by spreading energy. During lactates, I love to dance on the sidelines to the music, and during breaks in sets I love chatting and laughing with my teammates.