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Q&A with state champion swimmer Molly Benson

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Q: Last year, girls’ swim had a year for the record books.  You guys went undefeated, winning regionals, metros and states.  Describe how it felt to accomplish so much last year, all in your freshman year of high school.

A: Being undefeated last year felt really rewarding and I was super proud of being part of such a great team.  I think it was also special because the girls hadn’t won metros in a long time and it was a really good experience for my first year.

Q: You don’t always see freshmen come in and make an immediate impact in high school sports, but you were a big part of the team’s success last year.  Was that something you expected to happen?

A: I didn’t expect to have done so well last season, but I did think that my swimming would impact the team.  Before last year, I hadn’t heard of a lot the WJSD swimmers, so after being a part of the team I learned that everyone on the team helped us and that we were a lot faster than what I had first thought.

Q: There were a lot of seniors on last year’s team that have now moved on.  What did you learn from them that you can use throughout the rest of your high school career?

A: Something that I can learn from last year’s seniors is that being on the team doesn’t mean you have to be the fastest swimmer or the best diver, but that you’re supportive of everyone and congratulate your teammates.

Q: You got recognition for your great season last year, as you were included in the very prestigious All-Met list as an Honorable Mention.  What was your reaction to finding out you made the list?  And does getting recognized like that in your freshman year make you more hungry to be even better and get recognized again?

A: Being on the All-Met list as an Honorable Mention was the best news of that season for me.  A lot of other swimmers on that list are swimmers that I look up to and compete with, and it was incredible that I was put on that list with those swimmers.  Being an Honorable Mention last year makes me want to achieve being on the second team list this year.

Q: Where do you see WJSD going from here?  Do you think that this year’s team or future teams will manage to surpass last year’s team?

A: Future WJ swimmers have a lot to live up to considering the seniors that left last year, but I think that our coach Jamie [Grimes] is really good at getting our swimmers to their best.  So I think WJ will continue to win a lot.

Q: Do you have plans to swim after high school, in college?  If so, anywhere in particular?

A: After WJ, I want to swim in college, hopefully for a Division 1 team.  I have a couple of colleges that I want to swim for, like [California] Berkeley, University of Florida, Wisconsin or Michigan.  Those are really fast swim schools though, so I would have to improve a lot over the [coming] years.

Q: What’s your favorite part of being on WJSD?

A: My favorite part of being on WJSD is that I’m close with the swimmers and divers, and everyone feels like one big family.  It’s also nice that it’s a coed team so you can be a lot closer with guys and girls.

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Q&A with state champion swimmer Molly Benson