Jenny Stark putting education at the top of her priority list

Dave Kearsey
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Jenny Stark of Deer Lake is a member of the MUN Sea-Hawks travel swim team.

DEER LAKE  Jenny Stark will continue to make waves in the pool because she has reaped so many rewards from it, but laying the foundation for success in the world is priority right now.

Stark, a Deer Lake native, was a member of the Sea-Hawks travel swim team until she decided to take a break from the pool to concentrate her attention on her exams just before heading home to spend the holidays with family and friends.

She kept up with a hectic pace of swimming and studies in behavioural neuroscience from September to November, but then it was time to hit he books to prepare for her exams.

“I  know it will probably put my spot on the travel team in danger, but my grades went up 10 per cent so it was definitely worth it,” Stark said of her decision to put her competitive swimming on hold.

Stark was a consistent performer with the Deer Lake Dolphins before joining the Sea-Hawks last year.

However, life got a little more challenging with a heavy workload in both her studies and her training.

“In my first year I had my school work and my swimming at an equal level and I was doing fine with both giving the same amount of time to both,” she said. “But, as my courses got harder and with neuro courses it’s a lot of material to remember, I just realized I couldn’t keep swimming on the same level as school or I’d fall out of school and then I can’t do swimming.”

Anybody’s guess

She plans on getting back in the pool with the Sea-Hawks after the holidays, but she doesn’t see herself finding her way back on the travel team. She will just keep involved in the sport by swimming in Newfoundland swimming meets against club teams such as the Dolphins and the Corner Brook Rapids for the time being.

“I knew I would have to quit swimming eventually. It’s just more worth it to get good grades,” she said.

Whether or not she actually swims with the travel team at big meets is anybody’s guess really.

“I guess it depends on how many team are on the team when I go back. We lost a lot of people this year so there might be a spot there for me I’m not sure,” she said.

Education clearly has been a priority for her so it’s a safe bet she will do what’s best for her. No matter what happens, she will always enjoy swimming because it has been a real positive on her life growing up.

“It teaches you discipline and it teaches you that if you work hard for something you will get it,” she said.

Swimming has provided her with a lot of fun and friendships along the journey so she has no regrets about the hard work she has punched over the years. She also feels she got the maximum benefits from the sport from both a team and individual perspective.

“It teaches you to co-operate with others and work as a team, as well as acknowledging your personal goals and how you got them, and I think that teaches you a lot in life,” she said.

Stark was happy to spend the holidays with her mom Allison and 10-year-old sister Seonaid. Santa obviously thought she was nice all year long because he brought a smile to her face when she discovered a new set of skis under the Christmas tree this year.

She loves the white powder so Marble Mountain was one of her favourite destinations during the Christmas break.

“I got a lot of skiing in so that was nice,” she said.

Organizations: Sea-Hawks, Dolphins

Geographic location: DEER LAKE, Newfoundland, Marble Mountain

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