Diving Into Competition: Freshman Mary Grant qualifies for state swim


Photo courtesy of Mary Grant

Freshman Mary Grant takes a photo at her first swim meet. She is the only freshman on the team.

Mary Thompson, Contributor

A girl with a blue swimsuit and a white swim cap with a stag on it steps up to the block. The water is still. The starter calls out, “Take your marks.” The swimmers swing their arms onto the block. The starting horn sounds, and she dives in. 

Freshman Mary Grant, the only freshman on the swim team, qualified for state at her first high school swim meet. 

Grant has qualified for state in five events. She qualified in the 50 meter freestyle, 100 meter freestyle, 200 meter freestyle relay, 400 meter freestyle relay, and 200 meter medley relay.

“I was proud of myself just because I hadn’t swam very much yet, but my relays did well and my 50 individual did well,” she said.

Grant has been swimming for her country club swim team, Kansas City Country Club (KCCC), since she was 7 and participated in club swimming at 9 and 10. She said that high school swimming is different.

“High school swim is definitely more competitive,” Grant said. “All the times are way closer and faster.”

She said participating in KCCC swimming made her more interested in joining the Miege team. 

“I’ve been swimming country club swim for a while, and I enjoy swimming,” Grant said. “I just thought it would be fun, and I like being part of different teams.” 

Grant said when she is waiting to get on the blocks she feels very nervous, but when she steps on the block she is calm.

“When I finish a race, I am very relieved partially because I’m nervous and ready to be done,” she said.

As the only freshman on the team, she has gotten to know many upperclassmen and sophomores through the swim team.

“I knew some of their names and a little bit about them before I started swimming, but almost all of them I didn’t know before swimming, “ she said. 

After high school, Grant is planning on becoming a swim coach for her summer swim league if she isn’t busy.

“I definitely would be a swim coach if I have time in the summers when I’m older,” Grant said. “I think it’d be fun. I like working with kids.”

Grant said that the community of the swim team is close with a friendly and welcoming atmosphere. Even though she is the only freshman on the team, it hasn’t stopped her from enjoying the experience.

“It would be fun if there were other freshmen, but all the girls are so close,” Grant said. “It doesn’t affect how fun it is really.”