by Caroline Armistead ’22
There are over 700 girls who go to Regis Jesuit High School. All ranging from ages of 14 to 18 with different interests and different friends. But, there is one thing that can bring 10% of the entire school together: swim and dive.
The Regis Jesuit swim and dive team has been around since 2003, and it has quite a reputation at the school, winning over 4 state titles. The team is so big that people who don’t even know how to swim or dive have joined it just for the experience. One of these people is senior, Katie Anselmi ’19.
Anselmi started diving in her junior year due to the lack of people on the team. After learning the basics, she very much enjoyed it and decided to join the team the year after. And because she loved the people, she decided to join the swim team too.
“I didn’t know how to do either, I didn’t know how to dive and I didn’t know how to swim,” Anselmi says on the topic of starting swim and dive. “So with dive I just kind of showed up and Coach Taylor [the dive coach] was amazing and he taught me the very very basics and I’m learning to improve those,” reflects Anselmi. As she continues to describe her experience starting on the swim team she explains, “I just kind of got on YouTube and looked up some videos on how to do the strokes, I got into the water for couple weeks and then went to time trials.”
Anselmi isn’t the only person who feels this way about the team. In fact, the Regis Jesuit Girls Swim and Dive team has a reputation for being the team that people only join because of the atmosphere.
Someone who really knows what this feels like is senior Rachel Hubka, who is one of the captains of the team. “I guess I really love the team like it’s been my highlight of being it Regis the past 4 years,” Hubka says on the topic of why she loves being a captain, “and being a captain for me is just being there for everyone and leading the team as best I can. Making us be one whole team instead of divided.”
Not only is the team fun, but it can also be very challenging. Athletes are in the pool for many hours a week. Anselmi, as a diver and a swimmer, says she is in the pool “for around 4 hours a day.”
With hours in the pool, sometimes starting at 5 in the morning, the team sticks together through every bumps in the road. It can be hard, but everyone agrees that when you have the team behind you, anything can be easy.
One of the big things that the Regis Swim and Dive team is known for is the fact that Olympic gold-medalist, Missy Franklin, swam on it when she went to high school.
Missy Franklin went to Regis from 2009 to 2013, and even went to the Olympics while she was in high school. Although, throughout it all, she stayed with the Regis team for the high school season.
A story from the Los Angeles Times says, “Missy Franklin has gone from swimming for a Olympic gold medal to swimming for her high school team in Colorado. And she is loving every minute of it.”
Franklin had a hard choice to make when it came to high school. She had the opportunity to go professional like Michael Phelps did, but instead she chose education and friendship over that.
Rachel Hubka, the captain from earlier, said this when asked about what she would do if she were in Franklin’s situation. “I would definitely stay with high school, just like Missy did. There is something special that the Regis Jesuit swim and dive team has that you can’t find anywhere else. I don’t have experience with being pro, but we all have each other’s backs and it is super high energy. There is so much love and sisterhood. So I would definitely stay.”
But if anything, the person who knew the most about Franklin when she swam at Regis was her coach. Coach Nick Frasersmith has been the head coach of the swim team since it has been started and remembers a lot from his time coaching an Olympian.
“It was a lot of fun,” Frasersmith states, “It was exciting. She really brought a lot to the program. She was so energetic, so eager to train and just a very positive person. All the stuff you see on the news and so forth, that is truly her. She’s a genuine person.”
Missy Franklin has still left an impact on the Regis swim and dive team. She still has more than enough records on the record board and when asked about how they feel about her swimming her, teammates have said that they think it is so cool. It makes them feel awesome.
Going Pro/Swimming in College
The final step after high school for most swimmers and divers, is going professional or doing their sport in college. Both of these things are extremely time consuming and not many people are able to handle the pressure.
Although these numbers may sound intimidating, for most people now, they are not surprising. In an interview, Josie West, a sophomore swimmer at Regis, says “It’s a lot of hard work, so I’m not surprised at the numbers,” when asked about how she feels about the rate of high school kids who go professional.
Sophomore diver Sara Higley took a different approach when asked. She said, “I mean like it’s kind of crazy just because I know so many good swimmers and divers. It just shows how competitive this world really is.”
Fortunately, there is still hope for kids who want to go swim for college or swim professionally, especially of you go to Regis. Coach Nick Frasersmith says that over 100 kids have swam in college who have gone to Regis over the past couple years, showing that there is still a chance in this competitive world.
In all, the Regis Jesuit Girls swim and dive team has made an impression on everyone. It is a place where people can play a sport and have fun without having to be the best at it. And if they are the best at it, it helps give them a strong foundation for starting a career out of it. From year to year, new Olympian to new Olympian, the Regis swim and dive team will continue to inspire others and be a place where people can come together to have one common goal, becoming a team.