Soldotna's Eve Green competes in a swim meet earlier this season.
Photo by M. Scott Moon
A measure of the toughness of Soldotna High School senior Eve Green comes in the fact that, despite an allergy to chlorine, Green is one of the state's top swimmers.
"People are always asking me, 'You're allergic to chlorine. Why do you swim?'" Green said.
Green started swimming with the Soldotna Silver Salmon when she was 9 years old. According to Green's mother, Stephanie Green, the allergy was not discovered until the beginning of Eve's junior year.
"We realized every single year, when swimming starts, for the first week of practice she is sicker than a dog," Stephanie said. "She'd take a week off and be fine. She'd get back in the pool and be as sick as a dog."
The Greens have tried all kinds of remedies for the allergy, but it has become something Eve has had to fight through.
"It has always made me sick, and when there is a bug going around, I get it that much easier," Green said.
Despite the allergy, Green has always been able to excel in swimming.
"Eve is really quite talented," Soldotna coach Sohail Marey said. "As a middle school swimmer, I knew she would be a good high school swimmer."
Green made an immediate splash on the team as a freshman. At state, she was on the winning 200-yard freestyle relay team and also took sixth in the 200 freestyle. Her efforts helped the Soldotna girls win their first state title.
"That had a huge impact on me," Green said. "It was fun watching all those seniors go out with a state title."
Soldotna senior Adrienne Marey, who has hung out with Green for practically her entire life, said she saw a definite change in Green's attitude toward swimming in high school.
"You know how it is when you're younger. It'd be time to go to swimming and she'd say, 'Oh my gosh, I don't want to go to swimming,'" Adrienne said. "When she noticed she could be up in the top rankings, she definitely got a more positive attitude."
As Green got more and more serious about swimming, she had to drop some other activities. Green gave up Boys and Girls Club soccer and dancing, although she kept playing high school soccer for the Stars.
As a sophomore at state, Green finished third in the 100 freestyle and fourth in the 200 freestyle. She also helped the 200 medley relay team to second place and was a part of the 400 freestyle relay, which finished fourth but set a school record.
As a junior, Green finished sixth in both the 100 and 200 free. Although she placed lower in each event, Green's times dropped, including a drop of almost two seconds in the 200 free.
"Those two events were just loaded last year," Green said.
Green also has been earning some family bragging rights with her career. Green's father, Doug Green, was a record-setting swimmer for Soldotna.
Marey said he keeps the top 10 times swimmers have collected in each event since the Soldotna program started in 1980. Eve Green now has more top 10 times than her father.
Stephanie Green said the family has definitely been lucky in terms of swim coaches. Steve Johnston was Doug Green's coach. Johnston then mentored Marey, who has been Green's coach since she started with the Silver Salmon.
"He is like a second dad to me," Green said of Marey. "He is a really good coach."
Green said she would like to earn a swimming scholarship to go to college, but what kind of scholarship she earns will depend on the times she posts in the upcoming weeks.
"Even if I don't swim in college, I definitely want to keep swimming," Green said. "It's a good overall body workout."
Green also has shown her toughness playing soccer for the Stars.
As a junior, early in the year she sustained a sprained ankle during a game.
"We took the shoe off and the sock off and the thing was the size of an orange," Soldotna soccer coach Jimmy Love said. "She wanted to sit out and try playing in the second half. I convinced her that wouldn't be a good idea."
During the rest of the season, Love thought he saw Green favoring the ankle at times. Whenever asked about the ankle, though, Green would say it was fine.
"She's a pretty devoted kid," Love said. "When she gets involved in something, she really sticks her mind to it."
Green also does well in the classroom, getting A's and B's. She also made all-state choir this year for the first time.
Green would like to study interior design in college and also would like to continue singing. She would like to go to college in the state of Washington or California.
"Probably the biggest thing you can see she has learned is that when you put a lot of energy into something, there's a big payoff at the end," Stephanie said. "She's the kind of kid that's good at everything she tries."
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