Senior Bernadette Murphy placed 17th in the girls 100 freestyle and 22nd in the 200 free Friday at the Orlando YMCA, as the only West Shore swimmer to advance to the state level.
“I am so ecstatic to have the opportunity to compete at states again,” Murphy said.
During the season, she swam with the West Shore team, but throughout the year she also competes with her club team, Space Coast Swimming, at Satellite High school.
“Our practices are usually pretty intense,” Murphy said. “We average over 6,000 yards every day combined with dry-land, running, or weight-training, which gives us a competitive edge.”
Before each of her events, Murphy has a special warm-up.
“I slap my legs and arms before I race because its supposed to bring the blood to the surface of your body and warm up your muscles,” she said. “But sometimes I do it too much and leave hand prints on myself.”
As a senior, this is Murphy’s last opportunity to swim with the school team, which she said makes this year “bitter sweet.”
“I am super-stoked to go off to college,” Murphy said. “But I am really going to miss the team. Some of my favorite high-school memories have been made with my teammates, especially this season. Plus, this year has by far been the best season for us yet. Our girls’ team was undefeated, and we were district runner-ups.”
Murphy said she plans to compete in college.
“It would be a dream come true for me to continue swimming for another four years,” she said.
Sophomore Elena Abascal said she’ll miss Murphy.
“I remember the first time I met her,” she said. “I was really nervous about my next event, but when she heard I was, her first words to me were: Go make me proud.”
By Nick Baker