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WestSide Stories: Hunter High student-athlete breaks 20-year-old school swim record



WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah  – A Hunter High School swimmer managed to shave off more than a second of time in the 100m backstroke, breaking the 2001 school record.

“It was 52.29,” said student-athlete Angel Nunez about his time. “The previous record was 53.79.”

Training six days a week for several hours a day, Nunez said it’s been a childhood dream to outperform previous attempts.

“I really wanted to break a record since I was like 6 or 7,” he said. “I’ve been swimming for like 12 years now, almost 13.”

Nunez said he grew up swimming in Venezuela, moving to Utah about three years ago.

His family supportive of his sport, and also swimmers themselves.

“My dad pushes me every day to practice, to work harder,” Nunez said. “My whole family actually. My mom swam, my three sisters swim too. So yeah, I’m the last one.”

Hard work is paying off for the high school junior.

“I’m really thankful to hold the school record,” Nunez said. “A lot of hours in the pool, a lot of pain.”

“Swimming takes a lot of time, staring at a black line on the bottom of a pool,” said high school swim coach Tres Huff.

Huff said Nunez is one of 40 Hunter High swimmers, and he’s proud of Nunez for breaking records that are “meant to be broken.”

“What he can do and challenging him to surprise me day in and day out, that’s one of the most rewarding things about coaching him,” Huff said.

Breaking and setting new records hold hope for the swim team.

“It means we’re improving. It’s not like we’re stuck in the same place,” Nunez said.

“It’s a sense of pride. Being able to show up to these bigger meets with some of these schools that have bigger teams and be competitive, that’s super important and helps grow the program,” Huff said.

Looking ahead to his future, Nunez is setting his sight on success.

“For next year, I want to break most of the records of the school,” he said. “I want to go to college on scholarships. I want to go to Washington DC for internationals.”

1998 is the last time Hunter High’s swim team won a state title. The swimmers continue to work hard and hope to set more new records.

“My team is improving a lot, so I’m happy about that,” Nunez said. “For next year, I hope they can break some records too. Maybe win some state medals.”

“Ultimately, we’d like to win a state title, but if we could just get people winning events, that’s a start,” Huff said.

To win state titles, Huff said the school needs to double the size of their swim team. In the late 90s when the school won, they had close to 100 swimmers.

While winning is their goal, Huff said students on the swim team also excel in the classroom and in the community.

“Being on the swim team goes beyond their success in the swimming pool,” Huff said.

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