Girls’ Swim and Dive, Crushing School and the Pool


Ringgg! Your alarm clock sounds at 4:45 a.m. sharp, you get out of bed and race into the car to pick up your carpool. Once everyone has been gathered, you rush to school at 5:30 a.m. to start practice. Two hours later, the school day begins, and then again, more practice. 

As students, we all know that managing school, a social life, a job, friends, family, and everything in between can be incredibly difficult. Imagine on top of all of that sixteen hours of your week are dedicated to a sport. Waking up at 5 a.m. every morning while managing a rigorous class schedule, and still maintaining a high GPA is something the members of our female swim and dive team tackle everyday. 

Berkley’s female swim and dive team are currently ranked as part of Division 2 in the state and are doing incredibly well this season, just a few weeks ago tying with the number second team in the whole state. This season the girls have had 3 matches, one win against North Farmington, a tie with Lake Orion, and a one loss against Stoney Creek. 

In the race against Stoney Creek, BHS swimmer Lucy Pugh, won the 100 free and BHS’s Bryce Scully was a double winner in the 200 IM and 100 Butterfly. In the win against North Farmington the girls event of 200 free relays took first and second place to cement the win. 

Not only are the girls tackling the pool this season, but they are also maintaining one of the highest average GPAs of all of Berkley’s athletic teams (both male and female). With dedicating 16 hours a week solely to the difficult sport, I wondered what the team’s day to day looked like and how all of the girls still managed to crush school as well as the pool. To answer my questions, I interviewed Bella Maniscalco, Brynne Scully, Maya Maurice, Eden Becks, and Brie Cherrin all who have been swimming for countless years and have been committed to the team for the past four years.

Not knowing much about how the sport worked, specifically concerning the number of practices and meets they had every week, I learned that on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays the team meets before school at 5:30 a.m. to swim until roughly 7:15 a.m. After morning practice and school the team meets again for a few hours. On Thursdays, the team will usually have competitive meets that last for roughly 4 hours. On Fridays, the team meets after school from 4 to 5:45 p.m. for their last practice of the week. All of this time accounts for roughly fourteen to sixteen hours a week dedicated to practice or swimming. 

Given this time commitment, I wondered how it was possible to make time for friends, family, or school. Unanimously all of the girls said the balance was still somewhat difficult even after close to four years of managing this type of schedule. Everyone had told me it got easier as the years went on, stating the difficulty of the swim/school balance was a 10 (ranked most difficult) freshman year and was now a 3 to 4. Brynne Scully told me that her “school swim balance is probably around a 5 or 6 because it’s definitely something I’ve learned to manage, but it’s very challenging to keep yourself motivated and doing well both in the pool and at school.”

When asked about how they managed such hectic schedules and what were their outlets to deal with such stress and exhaustion, often they said it was really their team members who helped them through their rough days. Brie Cherrin stated, “My friends mostly help me with my schedule because we all go through the same thing so it really helps when others go through the same thing as you.”

Senior Brynne Scully said, “I wouldn’t say I have the most crazy social life during swim season because of all the time that it takes up, but the girls on the team end up being one big friend group so we definitely still have friends, balancing them all is definitely hard and sometimes it’s extremely overwhelming because the thing you’re obviously giving up the most is the social aspect.”

All of this information got me wondering if teachers, coaches, and administrators helped the girls cope with the stress of managing sports and school. I reached out to a few girls to hear their thoughts and all of them agreed that their coach definitely helped with the balance of school and the sport. 

Senior Maya Maurice, a captain on the team said “Our coaches let us have time to do homework during practice if we need it, and we also have occasional mental health days where we do things like yoga, meditation, catch up on any work, and the upperclassmen give advice to the freshmen on everything.” 

They said teachers for the most part were typically understanding if work was not completed due to a meet running late the night before, or they didn’t seem angry when taking a snooze on a desk after completing a quiz. 

 Scully said, “I think it can be hard for teachers to understand the exhaustion that we go through, but they are definitely accommodating.”

All in all, every member of the team that I interviewed said their teammates were their biggest resource in coping with stress during swim season. 

When asked  despite all the consistent stress why they decided to stay on the team year after year Brie Cherrin, a swimmer for all 4 years of high school said “What keeps me on the team is the people. If it wasn’t for the people I wouldn’t be on the team because everyone helps everyone out whether they’re having a hard day, or a good day. Everyone celebrates with each other. It’s really awesome how close everyone gets because it’s a very hard sport and a very hard schedule to be on, it’s just awesome that everyone really becomes a family.” 

Our female swimmers are truly impressive athletes not only dominating in their sport, but also tackling the classroom. The team is still early in their season, but are already making waves in the state ranks. We have a lot more to see from these incredible girls in the season to come!