Swimming : White Left Her Medal at Poolside

Times Staff Writer

Once you’ve won a silver medal in the Olympics, competing in the Sea View League or the Southern Section 4-A swim meets can seem pretty tame by comparison.

University High School’s Amy White did win a silver medal in the 200-meter backstroke in last summer’s Olympics, but she has hardly shrugged off her high school commitments.

Actually, White could have readily ignored high school sports altogether to concentrate strictly on training for the Seoul Games in 1988, but she chose to pursue prep swimming with the same dedication that she has had toward the Olympics.

The results are not surprising. White, a junior, won two events in this season’s section swim meet and is considered an All-American (having times that are among the top 15 best for prep swimmers in the nation) in a total of five events.


More important, White’s presence on the University swim team serves as a role model for both her teammates and rivals. Her contributions to county swimming--both in and out of the pool--have earned her The Times’ swimmer of the year honors.

“Having Amy is a great recruiting factor for us,” said Chuck Morris, who coaches University’s girls’ team. “But it’s also good for her. She gets to swim with the friends she’s grown up with. It’s kind of a break for her.”

That’s not to say that high school swimming is easy for White. If anything, it has become a challenge because Morris asks her to be more versatile than she has to be in her specialized Olympic events.

In the Sea View League meet, for example, Morris had her swim in the 100-yard and 500-yard freestyle to help the team score more points. Even though White won both events, University finished second to Corona del Mar.


In the Southern Section meet, White swam the more familiar 200-yard IM medley, winning in 2:04.7, and the 100-yard backstroke, winning in 58.2, just three-tenths of a second off of her record of 57.9 in the meet.