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Student Spotlight: Academic Athletes

written by Kat Dietz and Hector Hernandez
published on 5/2/22

New Century may be known for academics, but we also have athletes! We interviewed three, but there are many more. The three featured in this article include Gatlin Bryant, Miara Knight, and Wren Bryant.


Gatlin Bryant swims for Lee High School and was a finalist in sectionals and advanced to the State competition.

How did you make it to state?

Getting to state was difficult yet rewarding. There were a lot of hurdles that I had to jump through to make it there. I took them one at a time and worked very hard and it paid off.

What was the competition like?

State was very overwhelming. There was a lot of sitting and waiting and hopping up to get ready to swim when needed. I knew I wasn’t the best there, yet it was still an accomplishment to be there.

Why do you enjoy swim?

I enjoy swimming because of how you can be on a team, but it’s still an individual sport. The feeling right before you jump into the pool, to every thought you have in the water till you tag the wall. It’s just amazing.

How long have you been swimming?

I’ve been swimming since I was nine years old. I started doing it over the summer, then transferred to doing it yearround. I started playing other sports and went back to only swimming in the summer.


Miara Knight is in her 2nd year at New Century.

Which school do you play for and what sport?

Columbia and basketball

When did you become interested in basketball?

I started playing when I was 5 years old, and I was on the Redstone Arsenal team.

Have you had any major accomplishments or awards?

My team won the state championship in middle school, and I have been team captain for multiple years.

Why do you like basketball?

It’s fun and it distracts from everything else.

Do you also play for other teams?

I play travel ball during the summer, AAU. We travel to different tournaments in different states.


Wren Bryant rides horses. 

How did you get into riding horses?

“I’ve always loved horses after my mom got me into them. The first lady I took lessons from would participate in the shows the saddle club did and I would go watch, until eventually she let me use one of her horses, and I began competing. I kept riding her horses in the saddle club events until I got my own horses and now go to more places. Going to enough saddle club shows qualifies you for the state competition, so I’ve also gone to that in the past few years.”

Do you compete?

Yes! Usually throughout the summer into the fall.

Where do you compete?

I compete at the local jackpots, rodeos, and for the saddle club.

Where do you practice?

I practice at the small farm my grandparents bought in Owen’s Crossroads.

What’s the highest accomplishment you’ve ever received?

So far, my biggest accomplishment was winning fourth in the state in an event called Stake Race.

New Century isn’t only focused on academics. We have talented athletes who are involved in a variety of sports. Being able to participate in a magnet school and an athletic activity is one awesome things about our campus.