Seniors leave their mark on Northwest swim team


Six of the seniors honored at the swim team’s annual Senior Night. The team held the celebration at the Bryan YMCA.

For most students, senior year is full of many “lasts”: the last first day of school, the last school dance, the last time in the student section. But for seniors Jordan Hillard, Claire Jacoby, and Riley McCallister, one of the hardest “lasts” is their last season on the Northwest swim team. The four girls have swum for Northwest all four years of high school, as well as for the Oak Ridge Swim Club. 

“It’s very bittersweet,” Hillard said. “The swim team has brought me so many great friends and memories.”

Although the swim team has had a successful season, it came at a cost. The team practiced every day at the Bryan YMCA, where many endured chemical burns due to the water. The high chlorine levels in the pool caused many of the swimmers to seek medical attention.

“The lifeguards at the YMCA said nothing was wrong, but I had to go to the doctor because I got chemical burns under my eyes,” Jacoby said. “My doctor had heard of something being off (with the chlorine levels) at Bryan YMCA, but the team never really got a concrete answer as to why it was happening.”

Despite these burns, the team still managed to make the best of their season. Hillard, Jacoby, and McCallister all accredit interacting with their teammates as one of the best parts of their time swimming. 

“A lot of people carpool since (the Bryan YMCA) is downtown,” Jacoby said. “The carpools and Northwest swim have brought me and my friends so much closer.”

Concluding their final season, the seniors were honored on January 9th in the swim team’s annual Senior Night. 

“Senior night is difficult to do because of how loud it is in the pool,” McCallister said, “We recognize each swimmer, their favorite team memory and their future plans after high school.”

Moving forward, the swim team hopes to continue their tradition of success, despite losing many seniors this year. The team has their sights set on a future conference title, a feat they have been working tirelessly for.

“I hope that the team can remain close and connected,” Jacoby said. “I know they’ll continue to work hard in the future and hopefully get another conference title soon.”