Img 9263
Aquatic Swimming Wilson

Wilson Swimmer Sammie Hamilton Breaks Huntington Beach Pier Swim Record

The562’s coverage of water polo & swimming is sponsored by the Aquatic Capital of America Foundation.

Whether in a pool or in the ocean, all Sammie Hamilton does is swim fast–and break records.

The Wilson High junior has already had a prolific career with the Bruins, but she’s also taken her talents to the open water. Last Saturday, Hamilton set a new women’s record at the 72nd Annual Huntington Beach Pier Swim, breaking Casey Duckworth’s mark set back in 2012.

Hamilton’s time in the half-mile course was 8:52, breaking the previous record by an impressive 23 seconds. She said the record-setting performance was even more exciting because her entire club team from Novaquatics swimming was there to cheer her on.

“It was really great because only one of my teammates was in my race; the others were in a different age group so they got to watch my race,” said Hamilton. “They got to be on the pier and kind of follow us and run around while we swam. It was really nice, I could see them cheering for me while I was swimming.”

While this was far from Hamilton’s first foray into open water swimming, it was her first time competing in the Huntington Beach Pier Swim.

“I do have a lot of open water experience so it wasn’t as bad for me, but there were challenges,” Hamilton said.

The biggest of those challenges appeared when she was coming back around the pier and almost to the shoreline. Because the women’s race was the first of the day, there were still surfers out in the ocean. Unfortunately for Hamilton, she nearly collided with one of them during the race.

“There was a wave coming up right behind me and (the surfer) was headed straight towards me,” Hamilton explained. “I had to stop and I turned around and he was coming straight for my head, so I had to duck underwater and go straight to the bottom. Luckily he went right over my head. I thought he was gonna hit me with the fin of his board, it scared me so bad. Thank God he didn’t hit me.”

Support The562’s Year-End Fundraiser!, organized by Mike Guardabascio

Another school year in the books! The 2022-23 sports season was one to rememb… Mike Guardabascio needs your support for Support The562’s Year-End Fundraiser!

Looking ahead for Hamilton, she’ll be competing at the Junior National Championships in Irvine at the end of July, and she’s excited to make her college commitment over the summer as she prepares for her senior year at Wilson.

“I’m taking my last couple official visits over the next two months, so hopefully in less than three months I’ll be committed,” Hamilton said. “As of right now I haven’t made a decision, but hopefully soon. I’m really just trying to get it out of the way for senior year so that I don’t have to worry about it.”

Hamilton said she hopes to win a CIF championship and swim at the State meet next spring, and is also targeting another school record with her teammates in the freestyle relay.

In April, Wilson won its second straight Moore League girls’ swim championship led by Hamilton’s individual wins in the 200 free and 500 free, along with her role as the anchor on two first-place relays. Last month she was a fourth-place finisher at the CIF-SS Championships in the 500 free while finishing sixth in the 200 free.

As she’s proven throughout her career, it’s unwise to bet against Hamilton’s ability to accomplish her goals. Even if there is a surfer in her way.

Tyler Hendrickson
Tyler Hendrickson was born and raised in Long Beach, and started covering sports in his hometown in 2010. After five years as a sportswriter, Tyler joined the athletic department at Long Beach State University in 2015. He spent more than four years in the athletic communications department, working primarily with the Dirtbags baseball program. Tyler also co-authored of The History of Long Beach Poly: Scholars & Champions.