GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Thursday afternoon, with the sun shining in the sky, a noisy crowd gathered around the swimming pool of the Westchester Country Club, in Rye, for the finals of the county swim conference. Greenburghs swimmer Jazmine Smith, 10, was about to start the 50-yard backstroke race, her second in the day. The bell buzzed and she slid on the water, her long arms arching in the air, her hands flat as oar pads. Standing restless in the audience, her mother Jennifer Smith shouted as she reversed, clearly ahead.
Half way to the end, Jazmine's victory seemed inevitable, yet her mother urged her.
Common, Jazmine. Touch the board!
And so she did, more than a second before her closest opponent.
She had already won the 50-yard free style and would still win the 50-yard butterfly race that day, finishing the finals with the maximum of 20 points. She was the top scorer in the 10-and-under group both at the Westchester County Swim Conference and the Westchester County Swimming Association championships, which took place from July 25 to Aug. 4, in Ryes Playland pool.
Jazmines performance gave a decisive contribution to Greenburghs first place in the county championships and third place in the conference, the best result in the eight years head-coach Jackie Cordero has been leading the team, a season she defined as a coachs dream.
But if the Greenburgh team has several strong swimmers, Jazmine, along with Kymani Senior, top scorer in the 12-and-under group, is definitely one of its stars, and has no problem accepting her merits.
I work hard, I practice a lot, and I just do my best, she said.
But she also recognized that being on top of the age group helped, as it did swimming all year round with the Empire Swimming team, in Tarrytown.
Nathaniel Graves, one of the assistant coaches, said that Jazmine is always asking for feedback on how to improve.
Her level of focus is superb for her age, he said.
Despite her dedication to swimming, Jazmine likes several other things. She practices soccer and tennis and plays the piano too, she said.
She kept her foot on the ground when she talked about her future in the pools.
It all really depends on how I continue to grow as a swimmer, she said.
She is right not to think of the future now, for the celebrations for this years achievements are still ongoing.
Town Supervisor Paul Feiner has already announced that the town will honor each swimmer of the Greenburgh team in the next board meeting, on Sept. 1.
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