Carmel High School student Amy Bilquist started on a swim team when she was just four years old. She’s now a state and national record holder and has even qualified for the 2016 Olympic Trials. Read on to find out what’s next for Amy – and what time she wakes up in the morning to make it all happen.
You’re well-known in the swimming community, and many say that you have a good chance at making the Olympic team. What will it take for that to happen?
I have dreamt about it since I was a little girl so it is surreal that I have come this far. To make the dream come true I will need to put in an unbelievable amount of hard work and also have some luck to make the team. I have already qualified for the 2016 Olympic Trials, where I will need to get top two in one of the events I compete in to make the team or make the top 6 in the 100 free to claim a relay spot on the team.
What events do you currently hold records in?
I am an American Record Holder in the 4×50 SCM Freestyle Relay that was at the 2014 SC World Championships held in Doha, Qatar. I hold two Junior World Records as a member of Team USA’s 400 Medley and 400 Freestyle Relays at the 2014 Jr Pan Pacs held in Maui, Hawaii. I have been a part of multiple relays representing Carmel High School that have broken National High School Relay Records. I am the Indiana High School State record holder in both the 50 and 100 Freestyle. And I also hold numerous National Age Group Records with the relays I have swam on for Carmel Swim Club.
You’re set to matriculate at the University of California-Berkeley next year. What made you decide to choose that school over the others that hoped to recruit you?
I chose Cal because I felt like it was the perfect place for me to be. It felt like home when I was there and the team was the perfect fit for me. I need a challenge to keep me motivated and I believe Cal will be a great challenge in both the classroom and the pool.
Who are your greatest inspirations?
My parents are my greatest inspirations because they strive to be the best they can be every day, and I hope to be half the people they are when I leave college. Another inspiration of mine is my age group coach Ryan Kent. He still lives and coaches for my first club team in Arizona but he has taught me some of the most valuable lessons I have learned about life and he has made me tough and given me the ability to handle pain and adversity, and I cannot thank him enough for teaching me those things.
What is a typical day like for you?
A typical day for me is having my alarm go off at 4:55 am and rolling out of bed for swim practice, which is 5:30-7 and then I will change and eat then head to my classes. I go to school then head back downstairs to the pool for another practice from 3:30-6. I head home to eat dinner, do my homework and get ready for the next day and normally get to bed around 10 pm every night.
What are your favorite activities/interests outside of the pool?
I used to play volleyball until I moved here to Carmel before my junior year…but I do not get the chance to do it often. I also love to hang out with my friends and go out to fun places for dinner. I also love to relax because I do not get a lot of free time to just sit back and kick up my feet. I also love listening to Beyoncé’s new songs. She is my favorite artist.
Congratulations Amy on all your success so far! We’ll be watching as you make your bid for the 2016 Olympic team!