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Swimmer turns tragedy into triumph after hit-and-run

Four years ago, she narrowly escaped death after a hit and run driver struck her. Today, Taylor Hunt is an accomplished swimmer who’s making plans to go to college.

On Sunday, 17-year-old Hunt competed in the Jeffco Pineapple Open Swim Meet in Commerce City.

“I just love the sport,” she said between swims. “I thought about quitting a lot, but I couldn’t get myself to come near a pool and not be in the water.”

On December 12, 2008, Hunt, who was 13 years old at the time, was walking to her school bus in Littleton when a car struck her from behind. She suffered multiple fractures and a traumatic brain injury. She has endured many surgeries, therapy, and a lot of pain.

“It was definitely hard,” Hunt said. “I think it’s better that I don’t really remember what happened. I think of it as a challenge, like a bump in the road… I have to push harder than everybody else. I work that much harder to achieve my goals.”

Now, the Columbine High School senior and three-time all-state swimmer hopes to parlay her talents in the pool into a college scholarship next fall.

“Taylor’s a fighter, she’s a big, strong girl,” said Brian Hunt, her father. “She just doesn’t give up and all the times I’ve seen her lift her goggles up to pour the tears out, she gets right back in the pool and goes at it.”

His daughter, who still has major issues with her knees while swimming, finished third in her heat in the 200-yard breaststroke Sunday, just a second off her best time.