---- — By Shawn Wood
For The Daily Item
MIFFLINBURG -- For an independent swimmer, Adriana Grabski, a junior at Mifflinburg, is quite a busy person.
The 17-year-old honor roll student, gets about one month off during the year.
The rest of the time, she spends working out and competing, always pushing herself to do better.
After breaking two state records in the 100 and 200 freestyle events which stood for 15 years, Grabski was named The Daily Item's Swimmer of the Year for the second straight year.
Grabski's record-setting time in the 100 was 49.57-seconds and 1 minute, 47.05-seconds in the 200 at Bucknell University during the PIAA State Swimming and Diving Championships in March. Bloomsburg's Stef Williams was the previous record holder.
"The main thing is the time drop, especially in the 200," she said of the difference in her performance from last year to this year. "At Nationals (YMCA) last year I was at 1:51 and this year I lowered it to a 1:46."
She credits getting into weight-lifting as one of the keys that has helped her lower her times.
"Our program was a lot more challenging this year and a big help was weight lifting," she said. "You are working every muscle in your body as a swimmer and although it doesn't show at practice, my kick is the strongest part of my swimming."
At the YMCA Nationals at the Greensboro Aquatic Center in Greensboro, N.C., this month, Grabski continued to shine. She finished fifth in the 50 after qualifying fifth out of 243 qualifiers. She finished second in the 200 finals.
"I looked back on the video and I was ahead for a majority of the race and Meghan Small from York (a 14-year-old), she really brought it in the end," she said. "I was hungry for the 100 and I went out and won that event."
Grabski swam the anchor leg of the 200 Medley Relay along with Caitlin Foley (Lewisburg). Katie Saloky (Central Columbia) and Elizabeth Grazio (Central Columbia) at the Nationals for the Sunbury Y. The team finished third in the finals with a time of 1:42.54, which was under the national record.
In winning the 100, she bested her state record time with a time of 1:46.93.
As for her plans to break her own records in her senior year, she offered this response: "I do have an idea of what I want to accomplish, maybe I'll try a different event," she said. "The 500 intrigues me. It's always nice to try something new."
As an independent winner, Grabski is limited to participating in two events
Grabski started swimming when she was five and is interested in nutrition or sports medicine as she looks towards college.
"I want to continue in the sports atmosphere," she said. "Athletes have an interesting mind-set and a motivation. Whatever field I do, it will be a long-term career. I'll continue to have talks with my coaches and set a game plan for my senior year."
The day after she got back from the YMAC Nationals, Grabski went on a three-mile run.
"You don't stop training or lifting or cross-training, you really don't stop," she said.
There's no reason to believe that whatever events Grabski chooses to compete in next year, chances are, the state record will likely fall.