Girls’ Swim Team Crowned Middlesex League Champions

Toshio Yuki and Veronika Moroz

The Lexington High School Girls Varsity Swim Team capped off their undefeated regular season at the Middlesex League Championships on Oct. 27, winning their first title in ten years. 

After a season full of adversity last year, the returning girls were determined to bounce back. 

“Last year we were definitely a lot slower, but this year we got really hyped and we also have a lot of fast freshmen and sophomores that just joined,” Juliana Hilderbrand, a junior on the team, said. 

However, the journey wasn’t always smooth; in addition to their rigorous school schedules, team members had to endure early morning practices at 5:30 a.m. every day for three months.

“I think that the hardest part was girls would be sleeping past their alarms and missing practice because they were so tired …  or [having] a lot of people getting sick. We’ve had a lot of struggles, but we got through them,” PJ Gruskin, a senior captain, said. 

Nonetheless, the team stuck together and encouraged each other at all times, which Gruskin believes contributed to their success. 

“It’s such a hard-working group of girls. They’ve kept a smile on their face and keep showing up, so I have so much respect for them …We had one meet where all these girls were trying to make the cut times. The pool was so loud. Everybody made it and I know it’s just because of the endless support that they got when the team found out they were trying to make the cut time,” Gruskin said. 

Even out of the pool, the team continued to engage in team bonding, including team spirit days. 

“The most chaotic one was sharks and minnows. During second block, I walked by three different sharks, who probably all saw me, but I managed to evade them by hiding,” Natalie Schroeder, a junior on the team, said.  

Their most notable victories include ending their twelve-year losing streak to Acton-Boxborough on Oct. 23 and defeating the Winchester team to take the Middlesex league title.

“It was down to the wire, but throughout the entire meet [we were] tied. It was our last relay, so everyone’s freaking out because we didn’t even know we were going to be this close—it never occurred to us. And then we ended up winning. It was awesome. It was great,” Gruskin said.

At the end of the meet, the girls celebrated their win like a team as well.  

“We were getting hyped up by our coaches and then we started hyping each other up. We all clumped together holding hands… screaming so loudly and jumping up and down,” Hilderbrand said. 

For many of the girls on the team, especially the seniors, the culmination of team dinners, long bus rides, and working hard together to win a championship made the season so memorable. 

“I think senior year just doesn’t compare. The way the team is bonded, and also [that] it’s the first time the swim team has won league in 10 years. That’s just incredible. I wouldn’t trade that for anything else,” Gruskin said.