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Sun Prairie's Kynzie Huonker  
By youdian on Apr 07, 2014 02:47 AM
<P>Sun Prairie's Kynzie Huonker driven by memory of her mother</P>
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<P>Friday, Nov.</P>
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<P>"Kynzie doesn't have a limit in swimming," Verona sophomore standout Beata Nelson said. "I think she's driven enough to take it wherever she wants to go."</P>
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<P>Much of Huonker's motivation is drawn from the lasting memory of her mother, Deb.</P>
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<P>This past February, Deb a popular club swimming coach and mother of four died at age 44 after a five year battle with breast cancer.</P>
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<P>Her death has forced Kynzie to grow up faster than any 15 year old should have to. But in that same sense, it continues to serve as the catalyst in Kynzie's quest to realize her immense potential in the sport her mom got her started in.</P>
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<P>At Saturday's Division 1 Middleton sectional, Kynzie seeded second and fifth in the 100 and 200 yard freestyle, respectively will attempt to qualify for her first WIAA state meet only months after contemplating giving up swimming altogether.</P>
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<P>"I realized this is what I wanted to be doing; I want to be doing it in memory of her," Kynzie said. "And because I Youth Steve Mason Jersey love (swimming) so much, it really expresses how much I love my mom."</P>
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<P>In 1990, Deb graduated from Illinois State with a degree in Nutrition and Dietary Science after a successful stint as a scholarship swimmer. It was there she met her husband, Scott, who says her intelligence and selfless personality were her most redeeming qualities even then.</P>
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<P>"She liked challenges," he said, "and that's probably the best thing I can say about her."</P>
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<P>But what Deb also is remembered for is the unique sense of humor she often turned to as an age group swim coach.</P>
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<P>It quickly became apparent that Kynzie would be a natural in the pool so much so that she was allowed to finish her beginners' swim class early because she Youth Ray Emery Jersey already was so much better than her peers.</P>
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<P>"I know at some point in time she'll be a state champion," Sun Prairie coach Nancy Harms www.officialflyersonline.com/Authentic-Steve-Mason-Jersey said. "I know she will."</P>
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<P>Deb worked as a dietitian at three hospitals over a span of 16 years. But when it came time for Kynzie to join a club team, Deb decided to once again get involved in the sport.</P>
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<P>Her first paid coaching gig came about seven years ago with Badger Aquatics Club. She later moved on to DeForest Aquatic Club, where Kynzie still swims year round.</P>
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<P>"(Deb) was www.officialflyersonline.com/Authentic-Ray-Emery-Jersey almost like a mother figure to not just me but to everybody," said Sun Prairie freshman Rachel Powers, one of Kynzie's club teammates at DFAC. "It can be really hard to have a parent as a coach and still treat everybody equally, and (Deb) did such a good job of that. She treated everyone so fairly. It was really impressive to see."</P>
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<P>Even more impressive, though, is the fact that Deb was battling cancer throughout most of her coaching stint.</P>
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<P>Soon after giving birth to her youngest daughter, 5 year old Teagyn, Deb discovered a lump on her chest that doctors initially believed was the result of a clogged milk duct. Ongoing concerns between Deb and Scott eventually led to a return visit, which resulted in a biopsy and a cancer diagnosis.</P>
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<P>By then, the disease already had spread to Deb's lymph nodes.</P>
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<P>Yet throughout her various treatments a grueling process that included chemotherapy, radiation and more than 10 surgeries Deb never left the swim deck, even coaching from a wheelchair in her final days.</P>
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<P>"Kids were very important to Deb," Harms said. "It wasn't about how much she was hurting because you knew she hurt. She hurt bad. At a meet, you wouldn't know it. She'd never complain."</P>
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