Aquatic Excellence: Wall Swimmer Tops In County
Wall High School sophomore breaks all-time county swim record
This time, Spotlight On Wall catches up with 15-year-old Wall High School sophomore Danielle Griggs, a swimmer who is turning heads with her speed in the pool.
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Full Name: Danielle Maureen Griggs
School: Wall High School
Class Rank: Sophomore
Accomplishment: Friday night, Jan. 11, I became Wall’s first two-time Monmouth County Swimming Champion. I broke the 100-Freestyle county record and qualified as a High School All-American.
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1.) If you could, please tell us what happened at the Monmouth County Swim Championships.
Going into the 50 Freestyle event, I was nervous, but confident in my training. My coaches always taught me to believe in my coaches, my training, and myself, so that is what I did. I was looking to do my best time and hopefully get some points for my team. Winning the 50 Free boosted my confidence for the 100 Free, but I knew it would be a tough race. I was up against talented swimmers in Monmouth County, and every race against these swimmers requires your best swimming. My coach pointed out the 100 Free record to me before my swim because he believed I was within reach. I gave it my all, hoping for a personal best. It was a great night because I proved hard work and rigorous training really does pay off. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without my coaches or teammates. They are the ones who take my training to the next level and I am so thankful to be a part of this team.
2.) You were also named Most Valuable Player at the event. How did that come about?
All of the Monmouth County High School coaches who are at the meet vote on the MVP. Placing first in two individual events usually qualifies a swimmer for MVP.
3.) Now that you’ve accomplished that, what’s next for you? Do you have other swimming goals?
At this point in the season, the competition only increases. All competitive swimmers are training hard for both their high school meets and club meets. My goals are to continue to train hard, keep striving for personal best times, earn some points for my team, and have lots of fun working towards all of these goals.
4.) When did you know that you were a swimmer? Did you take lessons as a little kid?
I have been swimming since I was five years old. Through the years, I have tried various activities including ballet, soccer, softball, piano, and swimming. I always made time for these activities, but I seemed to excel in swimming. As I started to increase my practice time in the pool, my swimming times continued to get faster. I also was spending more time with my swim team and they became my second family. Finally, in 8th grade, I realized if I wanted to take my swimming to the next level, I would have to give up other things. That was one of the best decisions of my life. Swimming is an individual and team sport and I love the unity I achieve with my teammates.
5.) Swimming is often touted as a “lifetime sport,’’ meaning something you can do no matter what your age. Do you see yourself as a lifetime swimmer?
Definitely! When I have to miss a few days of practice, I am not a happy camper! Swimming helps alleviate my stress and I know I will be swimming for as long as I can. Swimming keeps me healthy and I get to eat whatever I want, including chocolate chip mint ice-cream (shhh… my coach doesn’t know that). The greatest part about swimming is getting to see all of my best friends every day at practice. No matter what mood I am in before practice, my team always keeps me laughing. They help me train hard and accomplish my goals, and they always make it fun for me in the process. Sometimes we drive our coach a little crazy and these are the memories that I will never forget. After hard practices, we always come together and congratulate each other on making it through tough sets. We feel so accomplished after each practice and it keeps us motivated to keep working hard.