Making Waves

Inside the hectic lives of Dowling swimmers


Chris Pose

The Dowling Catholic girls swim team gets fired up for their upcoming season.

Lily Finstad, Staff Writer

Swimming at Dowling Catholic requires a lot of time and effort, and although they make it look easy, there’s a lot of hard work and dedication that goes into their successful season.


Mary Kate Melcher (12) and Reagan Jensen (12) suggested that it is in fact a full time job.


“Some days of the week I leave my house at 5:30 a.m. and don’t get home til after 9:00 p.m. because of other activities I have,” Melcher said. 


Three times a week, Jensen wakes up and is in the weight room by 6:00 a.m. Following an hour of lifting, Jensen swims until 7:30 a.m. and then officially starts her day at school by 8:15 a.m. Then, the team recovers from a long day at school, prepares for another swim practice, and leaves school at around 6:00 p.m. In total, Melcher and Jensen are in the pool for about 2-3 hours each day. 


“While I’m swimming, I try to think about my technique. Once I get really tired, though, it’s a lot of just ‘Ow i’m in pain and really tired.’ If I ever have a song stuck in my head, that will sometimes pop in, too,” Jensen said.


Swimming, although very enjoyable for both Melcher and Jensen, can be very physically taxing. Melcher has recently struggled with a shoulder injury that sadly cut her 2020 season short. Fortunately, she was able to recover in time for this season and is now back and better than ever with a potential of PR’ing in the near future. 


“There is no better feeling than finishing a hard race and looking at the scoreboard and seeing you got a PR,” Melcher said.


Meets are both exciting and nerve racking for the Dowling swim team as they have an exciting pre-meet routine and constant encouragement from fellow teammates and coaches. Jensen says she gets nervous before races, but for the most part, the nerves are drowned out by the captains’ pep talks and the two honorary seniors leading cheers. 


“Before meets I get nervous sometimes, but usually, I’m excited. Once I get closer to my events I start getting more nervous, though. Meets are a lot of fun though when you’re not swimming and you’re cheering on your teammates,” Jensen said. 


Jensen and Melcher are both very excited to continue their season and are anxious to continue seeing progress in themselves and the people around them. Being a swimmer at Dowling can be time consuming; however, their teammates and coaches do make it worthwhile.


“My favorite thing about swim is my friends, and the feeling of accomplishment after a hard practice,” Melcher said. “I do get tired, but I enjoy everyone on the team and in all the other activities I do. Getting to spend time with the people that make me happy makes everything better.”