Swimming phenom juggles busy academic, athletic schedules

By Mandy Mitchell - bio | email

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Hunter Bagnal's schedule is enough to make anyone stop and take notice. He's in the pool before the sun comes up and hitting the books well into the night.

"I practice 5:00 to 7:00 everyday," said Bagnal. "We do three mornings a week from 5:15 to 6:45."

That's about 22 hours a week or almost a full day in the water.

Hunter won the region title this season in the 100 fly and the 500 meter free style and swims year round as part of Carolina Aquatics, but even more impressive than his accomplishments in the pool are his accomplishments in school He is a Scholastic All-American carrying a GPA of over 3.5.

"Above swimming above everything else," said Bagnal of his academics. "I tell my coach sometimes that I can't practice due to exams or homework. Academics are number one."

Hunter is also the senior class president. The one thing that's hard to figure out is when the guy sleeps.

"I enjoy every second of it," said Bagnal. "I think it's great to be able to be at an event and be like I put that together. I would love to be part of student government in college too."

His coaches have taken notice.

"He's a very well-rounded kid," said Coach Lee Hutchins. "Well-educated. He cares a lot about his friends. He will always stick up for his friends."

Copyright 2010 WIS. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.