Senior Havana Layton has declared her commitment to the University of Vermont to compete in track and swim. 

At NHS, she is a standout member of her teams, ranking No. 48 in the state of Florida for swim and reaching three meters for the pole jump. Being a student-athlete has also taught Layton what it is like to balance the relationship between sports and school.

“My experiences on the Naples High swim and track teams have been the most memorable of all of the time I have spent in my sports,” Layton said. “NHS has truly shaped me into the student-athlete I am today.”

As she graduates from high school this year, she sets her sights on college and what it would be like compared to her athletic experience at NHS. Freshman year of college can be demanding and otherwise daunting to some incoming students. 

“Being a multi-sport student-athlete will definitely be a challenge, but UVM offers many resources that can be utilized by athletes,” Layton said. “Student-athletes have regularly scheduled meetings with academic advisors, and there are reserved study areas for them as well.”

Layton chose UVM for the plethora of opportunities she can get from the school and is excited for all the activities and new hobbies she can pick up. Specifically, UVM is situated in Burlington, which makes it close range to various ski mountains. Skiing is a hobby Layton plans to pick up. 

“One thing I am really looking forward to about UVM is all of the outdoor activities that it has to offer,” Layton said. “I am so excited to join the UVM Ski & Snowboard club!”

Furthermore, the opportunity to participate in both track and swim was very appealing to her. 

“The ability to compete on both the swim and track teams was probably the biggest priority in my college search,” Layton said. “UVM was the most affordable option and was able to give me the most scholarship money. I loved the campus and the location in Burlington, and most importantly, I was given roster spots on both the swim and track teams.”

However, just like every other school, there are some downsides Layton has noticed in planning her commitment. Florida is known for its abrupt heat and lack of a conventional winter, and the northern climate will be quite different.

“One thing I am not looking forward to is the freezing cold temperatures in the winter,” Layton said. “I am excited to be able to experience a new part of the country and finally see the leaves change in the fall, but winter will definitely be brutal. At least the pool is indoors!”

As she prepares for her swim season at UVM, Layton has set goals for herself already. She wants to break records and leave a splash in the history of the women’s swim team. She wants to vault 12 feet by the time she enters college, and if not, she wants to reach that personal record in college. 

“One of my goals for my freshman year of college is to break a UVM swim record. I am within a second of the record in both the 50 and 100 freestyles, so I hope to set the tone and break records right off the bat,” Layton said. “On the track and field side, depending on how this season goes, I hope to vault 12 feet. I suffered a season-ending injury last track season, so l am expecting a big high school season this year.”

Besides school and sports, Layton has hobbies that take her outside of the NHS campus. She likes to hang out with her friends, bake and she’s currently in the process of learning how to play the guitar. All in all, her friends are a big outlet for her and have participated in her success.

“I have made so many amazing memories and friends that will last a lifetime,” Layton said.