Make a Splash: Mackenzie Speilman’s Road to States with the PFHS Varsity Swim Team


A closer look at what it took for Mackenzie Speilman to qualify for states as a freshman swimmer, and the people she credits for her successes.

On Feb 17, six members of the Varsity Swim team traveled to Stafford, VA for the VHSL Class 5A State Championship. Amongst these swimmers were seniors Jimmy Anderson and MaryAnna Nguyen, and freshmen Claire McMahan, Mackenzie Speilman, Soliel Antognoli and Micaela Perezous.

Individual events went to Anderson who swam a 50y freestyle in 22.26 sec and scoring of 3.00 points, while McMahan swam in her 100y breaststroke at a 1:08.57; scoring of 3.00 points which placed her in 14th. Perezous swam a 100y freestyle time of 54.58 sec scoring of 4.00 established her as 13th in the state.

In the 200y freestyle relay, Nguyen was joined by Perezous, Speilman, and Antognoli. The team claimed a ranking of 15th to 11th place in the state with a 1:42.60 min and a 12.00 point scoring.

“I [was] super excited to go to states. My teammates and I were jumping and screaming with pure joy when we saw our placement,” said Speilman.

Luckily for Speilman, it seems as though her accomplishments in swimming have stemmed from her years long passion of practicing in the lanes both inside and outside of school.

Speilman has been swimming since she was seven years old; she swims for SNOW swimming and during the summer, for the Cascades Rapids. Her mornings begin at 4:30 am to get two hour practices in before school.

“I was extremely proud of my 100 Fly this season. I ended up dropping a total of four seconds. I worked on my fly each morning, trying to cut my time and reach my final goal,” said Speilman.

She ended the season with a time of 1:01.98. “I was so happy to see my work paid off.”

Speilman hopes to further her record by hoping to reach under 1:00:00 in her coming seasons on the swim team. 

Above all, Speilman is grateful to have created such strong relationships amongst her peers and coaches on the team, specifically fellow swimmer Perezous. 

“One true friend and mentor during swimming has been Micaela Perezous. She is someone who is always there for you when you need her, and never fails to put a smile on your face. We’ve trained with each other for many years, and she is by far one of the best teammates I could ever ask for,” said Speilman. “She’s helped me grow mentally with the sport, and kept me going during some tough sets. We’ve been through a lot, but I’ll never forget how great of a friend she is to me.”

Speilman has high hopes for her future as a swimmer at PFHS, and she knows nothing quite like the camaraderie she’s experienced thus far. 

“Being on the PFHS swim team is an experience I’ll never forget. The team bond is unbreakable, and each person is there to cheer you on.”

*updated from original post with corrections to events swam and title errors