SCHOLAR ATHLETES: Permian’s Augesen writing her own success story

Maggie Augesen started playing the piano in the sixth grade.

She originally wanted to study biology in the future, but her newfound interest in music led her to literature.

Over four years at Permian High School, Augesen balanced her interests of music, literature and swimming well enough to finish in the top 2 percent of her graduating class.

She took up swimming the year after she learned piano and had a strong showing in the sport.

Augesen was a team captain for the Permian swim team for two years and qualified for regionals four times.

Early morning swim practices meant Augesen had to move her schedule around to accommodate her extracurricular activities and classes.

She would stay up late some nights to finish her homework assignments and keep up with any swim meets and practices.

Augesen is planning on following her interest in literature to her next stop, Texas Tech University.

The swimmer will major in English Literature with the goal of becoming a teacher and publishing books at some point in the future.

She won’t continue her athletic career at Texas Tech because the university doesn’t have a competitive swimming team.

Augesen won’t go too far from the sport, as she will look to get into coaching with one of Lubbock’s private swimming clubs.

Permian swim head coach Rob Rankin said he and assistant coach Katie Groneman are excited to see their team captain pursue career choices similar to theirs.

Rankin and Groneman coached Augesen on the Permian swim team and the latter was also the student’s English teacher.

“We just feel really proud that she is choosing to do things that we have done,” Rankin said. “She will do well at both because that’s just who she is.”

Augesen wants to follow a path into teaching because of the respect she has for those who have taught her and what they work through on a daily basis.

“I know a lot of my teachers and my coaches have been a huge influence in my life,” Augesen said. “I want to be able to do that for someone else.”

After spending so much time with her coaches and teammates, Augesen considered the Permian swim team part of her family.

She spent most of her swimming career with the same people, noting that her favorite memories at Permian include every bus ride and swim meet she got to enjoy with her team.

Augesen’s leadership skills and positive attitude stood out to Rankin in the time he got to coach the student-athlete.

The combination made Augesen exceptional in swimming and in the classroom.

“She is one of those kids that no matter how hard or tough it gets, she maintains the right attitude,” Rankin said. “That’s fairly rare these days.”

The head coach appreciated how Augesen was always willing to help her teammates get through tough practices or meets.

Rankin hopes that resonates with Augesen’s younger teammates and others around the program when she leaves for Lubbock.

He called the swimmer a living, breathing example of what happens when athletes stay focused and keep the right mindset through competition or everyday life.

Augesen mentioned her grandfather and father among her biggest role models, along with her coaches and teachers.

She said her family is nervous, but excited to see her take the next step in her academic career.

“They’re sad that I’m moving out and everything, but I know they’re also very proud of me and they tell me that all the time,” Augesen said. “It’s good that they’re so supportive.”

Although Augesen was small in stature, Rankin said she always overachieved her expectations when she would compete.

She took pride in defeating others who were bigger than her.

“By looking at her, you wouldn’t think that she’s a varsity swimmer who has lettered several years in a row and goes to regionals,” Rankin said. “It’s a good thing for everyone to remember that you can’t really change a whole lot about who you are.

“She swam big.”

>>Follow Chris Amaya on Twitter at @OA_CAmaya



>> Academic Rank: 14 of 792

>> Sports: Swimming

>> Academic bio:  Achievements in Latin competition (Latin and Greek derivatives and vocabulary); Music competitions (Hendrix Piano Camp and Spring Festival for OMTA); Art competitions (VASE, ECISD Show)

>> Athletic bio: Swimming (Team captain, 2 years; Regional qualifier, 4 years)

>> Activities: Swimming; Painting; Piano; Writing

>> College and major: Texas Tech (English Literature)

>> Goals for the future: Become an English Literature teacher and publish books

>> Favorite subject: Art, English

>> Favorite book: Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit

>> Favorite musician: Stevie Nicks/Hozier

>> Role model: My Grandfather (Bappa) and my father. I couldn’t have done it without my family, my coaches (Coach Rankin/Coach Groneman), and all my amazing teachers at Permian High School