When Sarasota Y Sharks swimmer Danielle Valley, 16, competes, "All I think about is beating the person next to me, getting my hand on the wall first," she says. Coach Steve Brown says Danielle has three winning assets: a high pain threshold, "mind-numbing" consistency, and—most important—she hates to lose. Heading to the Olympic trials in Omaha, Neb., this month (fresh off her wins as Florida’s high school champ in 200-yard and 500-yard freestyle), Danielle will test her limits in the 400-meter and 800-meter freestyle. "I want to do it for myself, but also for the team [Y National champs for seven years running]," she says. "We all push each other."
This article appears in the June 2012 issue of Sarasota Magazine.