Making Waves 


Micaela Perezous, Madison Speilman, and Mackenzie Speilman are athletes at Potomac Falls who recently received recognition for their excellence in swimming.

A trifecta of female swimmers at PFHS recently received recognition for their excellence in swimming and their outstanding academics. Junior Madison Speilman and sophomores Mackenzie Speilman and Micaela Perezous recently all received the Potomac Valley Swimming Athlete Scholar Award as a result of their hard work and dedication. 

In order to be eligible to receive the award, they had to maintain a 3.5 GPA as well as achieve an average event standard in a minimum of five events for their chosen age group. The times had to have been obtained at a USA or Potomac Valley swimming sanctioned event, which the girls worked tirelessly to prepare for. For Mackenzie and Perezous, this was the first time they were eligible to receive the award due to the lengthy application process requiring the applicant to be a sophomore at the time of application.

This recognition is a testament to years of hard work from all three swimmers. Mackenzie has been swimming competitively since she was seven years old, and this award is just one example of how much her dedication has paid off. 

“This award is really important to me because it shows the work I put into swimming, and school,” said Speilman. “It has motivated me to push myself harder academically and physically. I will continue to use the motivation I gained through this award to hopefully improve.”

In order to receive the times required to receive this recognition, swimmers were subjected to early mornings and daily practice in order to reach the level they’re currently at. For Perezous, this includes practices six days a week on top of competitive meets every Saturday during the high school season. Many swimmers, including Perezous, compete in a club swim team alongside high school swim, meaning they participate in rigorous practices both before and after school hours. 

“Swimming is quite the commitment,” said Perezous “ but I think it’s a very honest sport as well; if you put in the work at practice, you’ll generally see yourself improve at meets.”

For many swimmers, awards is just one of the ways high school swimming has been a rewarding experience. It also provides an opportunity for the support of a team and an environment where swimmers can build lifelong friendships.

 “The Potomac Falls team is truly my family. High school swim is unlike any other form of swim I have done, while we are all swimming our own individual events we all come together to be able to win,” said Madison. “Being the only girl in my grade on the team can be a little tough at times, but knowing that I will always have my team there for me is something I would never trade.”