by LINDA FRABL | photos by Alex Williams Photography

A Water Skiing Wonder

student_swift1At just 14 years old, Sabre Springs resident Amanda Smith is already an accomplished slalom water skier who is ranked second in California, fourth in the western region of the U.S., and 20th in the nation in the G2 division of USA Waterski. This soon-to-be Maranatha Christian High School freshman first got fascinated by the idea of speeding on the water’s surface after having an inner tube ride behind a ski boat while visiting her grandpa’s lake house as a little girl. She admitted, “The faster I went, the more I smiled. Now, water skiing is my favorite sport!”

Her prowess on water skis didn’t come easily for Amanda, however. She explained, “Water skiing on a slalom course is very difficult and I had to endure lots of wipeouts as I learned how to maneuver around the buoys and get through the whole course without falling. The most challenging aspect of water skiing is never giving up when I don’t ski well.”

Name: Amanda Smith (14)
School: Maranatha Christian School
Grade: 9 this fall
Parents: Charles Smith and Susan Swift
Favorite Place in 92128: I don’t enjoy going to the dentist, but I do enjoy looking out his window at the turtles and ducks on Webb Lake while I’m having my teeth cleaned. After my appointments, we walk down and look at the turtles up close, which is always fun.

student_swift2This can-do attitude has allowed Amanda to succeed in many other endeavors as well. For example, just this last year was Amanda’s very first time playing on both the volleyball and softball teams for her school. Amanda also arrives at school an hour early so she can attend band practice, and she was rewarded with the Most Outstanding Junior High Musician honor. She even earned the Level 3 Certificate of Merit from the Teachers’ Association of California. Amanda proclaimed, “The certificate program required me to demonstrate both technical and sight-reading skills, complete a written test, and play solos on both my flute and piccolo.”

Her favorite activity at school is band, and Amanda, a straight-A student, also favors math, science, and especially her art classes. She stated, “I enjoy expressing myself artistically, and I love to do arts and crafts, draw, paint, and knit.” As for the latter activity, Amanda knits beanies for sick children at the largest hospital in Honduras through her church, Peñasquitos Lutheran Church. She also knits up washcloths for Operation Christmas Child through her school, in which her washcloths are included in a shoebox of hygiene supplies for impoverished children in other countries. Amanda said, “It makes me happy to know that what I’m knitting is benefiting others who need it.” Spoken like a truly good sport.