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When Autumn Christner was trying out different sports growing up, she wasn’t expecting to fall in love with swimming. Thirteen years on, she’s setting new records.
“I did all types of different sports growing up, and I didn’t really like any of it. My sister did swimming — that’s what got me into it,” Christner said.
The East Allegheny senior broke a 39-year-old record for the 100-meter breaststroke in a swim meet against North Catholic on Feb. 9.
Christner started off swimming on local teams before joining the varsity swim team in high school. She’s been a team captain for two years.
“All of high school, this was my goal,” Christner said. “You learn to value the journey so much more when you don’t come from winning. If you put in the work, you will get it.”
Head swim coach Doug Edwards has known Christner for five years, and expressed his pride in her accomplishments.
“She’s always the first one in the pool and the last one out. She works hard, is never late, and is a good team leader. It makes me very proud.”
In addition to swimming, Christner is the president of East Allegheny’s chapter of the National Honors Society. She plans to attend California University of Pennsylvania in the fall, majoring in early childhood education.
“Breaking this record has showed me things can be good. I’m so blessed we got to have a season this year. This win is ten thousand times more special because of the pandemic.”
Said Edwards: “Records are meant to be broken.”
Sarah Turnbull is a freelance writer in Irwin. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Originally published February 20, 2021.