Athlete of the Week: Ben Spencer
On Jan. 10 in a meet against Wallenpaupack at Tunkhannock, Tunkhannock Area’s Ben Spencer took first place in the 200 individual medley, second in the 100 breaststroke and helped the 200 medley relay and 200 free relay teams take first place to amass 26 points and break the 1,000 point career mark as a Tiger varsity swimmer.
For his accomplishment, Spencer has been named the Wyoming County Press Examiner’s Athlete of the Week.
Class, age, hometown…Senior, 17, Tunkhannock.
Family…Tom, father; Audra, mother; Jacob, 14, brother.
Other sports I play… Baseball.
Athlete I admire… Philadelphia Phillies second baseman Chase Utley; Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps.
Favorite Movie… “The Pink Panther.”
Favorite Food… Wings.
One word to describe me… Different.
Three people I’d like to have dinner with… Holy Cross swimmer Megan Carey, actor Robert Downey Jr. and actor Sean Connery.
Post-graduation plans… “I’m planning on attending Clarion University to swim and study business management.”
Superstitions or rituals… “I don’t really have any. I just go out there and have fun.”
How did it feel to become one of only six people in the Tunkhannock Area 1,000 point swimmer club? “It is just a great accomplishment. It feels great to look up there and see all the other names and know that I will be too.”
How has competing at the AAU Jr. Olympics last summer helped you with competing for the Tigers this season? “It helped me to get into the bigger 50 meter pool. There’s been a significant difference this season.”
What is the team dynamic like at Tunkhannock? “We’re one big family. Brothers and sisters. We’re all just like one another and we tell each other everything.
How do you hope to finish off your senior season with Tunkhannock? “I hope to win my events at districts and go on to medal at states.”
Who are your biggest swimming role models? “I would say the kids I swam with in my first year on varsity; Matt Kupchunas, Gerald Kanyok and David Novak.
How did you first get interested in swimming? My mom put me in the pool at 12 months old and always let me keep swimming. I just kept at it.
Good company: Spencer joins an exclusive club of only five other 1,000 point swimmers at Tunkhannock. They include Steve VanDuzer (2005), Ryan Pitcavage (2008), Miguel Echevarria (2008), Stefen Venn (2009) and Matt Kupchunas (2011).