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Spartan Swimming/Diving Team Provides Strong Support System

By Ashley Spence, MHS Junior

Ever since I was a little girl, I loved to swim. Gliding through the water gives me a sense of freedom and joy. When I enrolled in fifth grade, my aunt suggested I join the Milton Hershey School Spartan Swimming/Diving team. The encouragement I received from her, my coach, and my peers pushed me to do my best in the water and in the classroom.

I am proud to be the first female MHS swimmer since 2004 to earn an individual spot in the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) District III championship. But for me, swimming is a team sport, and I wouldn’t succeed without my teammates.

The Spartan Swimming/Diving team’s culture is unlike any other team I have been on. My coach makes sure we feel connected to each other, our sport, and the community. She treats us like family and reminds us to support each other just like a family would. When I attend swim meets, the sportsmanship my team showcases stands out among other teams. It makes me proud to be a Spartan.

Spartan Swimmers pose for a picture next to the school's new pool.

I also appreciate the support I receive from my family in Florida. My aunt who encouraged me to swim loves to watch my meets through the school’s livestream, cheering me on from thousands of miles away. It doesn’t matter that she is watching from Florida; in her mind, she is poolside.

I don’t just swim for myself. I swim for my coach, my teammates, my MHS community, and my family in Florida. Their encouragement pushes me to give it my all during practices and meets. If my positive spirit and sportsmanship begins to lessen, I know I can turn to my support system for clarity.

The new MHS pool has made this season especially exciting.

I am excited to represent MHS at the District III Swimming Championships on March 3 and 4, 2023 at Cumberland Valley High School. As an MHS junior, I am also excited to use the lessons I learned from my experiences this year to work even harder next year and be a leader to younger Spartan swimmers.

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