Amalie Fackenthal, ’18, and junior Rebecca Waterson have represented SCDS both in the pool and in the classroom through their recognition as All-American swimmers.

All-American swimmers are recognized for their good grades, as well as some of the best swims of 807 girls and 815 boys across the country. Fackenthal and Waterson are two of the 14 swimmers in Sierra Nevada Swimming to obtain this honor.

In order to get recognized, swimmers need both an unweighted GPA of 3.5 or higher and need to have swum a Winter Junior National cut during the past year. Waterson and Fackenthal, who represent SCDS and DART (Davis Arden Racing Team) have the grades, the times, the great story to tell, and now the recognition  as well.

Fackenthal has four All-American times in the 100 freestyle, 50 freestyle, and the 200 freestyle and medley relays.

Fackenthal has loved the water ever since she was four. She was thrown into the pool a couple of times, and she said that she was told it was already obvious that she had a good feel for the water. She joined a rec team when she was six, and then officially transferred to DART Swimming when she was nine.

“When I joined USA swimming, DART was the first team I joined, and I never switched because I loved it so much,” Fackenthal said.

When Fackenthal received her recognition in high school she said that she was honored.

“The recognition is just something I strive for every year because it’s a good reminder that if you’re super good at sports but your grades aren’t that great, then everything you’ve been working toward doesn’t matter as much,” Fackenthal said.  

“This recognition is a good reminder for me to see how I am doing in life and a reminder on how important it is to balance both school and swimming.”

According to Fackenthal, with all recognition comes great effort, dedication, and determination, which is not always easy to sustain.

“The most challenging thing for me on the swimming side was finding the motivation to go to practice on the hard days, and especially going to practice when I didn’t want to,” Fackenthal said.

“On the academic side, it was hard to not succumb to peer pressure, hard to resist going out when you have a test to study for the next day, or when people make a joke about it being super lame to study for a test, but you do it anyway because you know that’s what’s best for you,”

While working toward this recognition, Fackenthal learned many valuable life lessons as well.

“Swimming had taught me two things: time management and to never give up on what I want,” she said.

Now, Fackenthal is swimming at Stanford.

“I honestly don’t think I would be the same person I am today if I didn’t swim.” Fackenthal said. “Swimming requires a lot of dedication, but it’s so rewarding in the end,”

Rebecca Waterson has three All-American times in her 100 butterfly and the 200 medley and freestyle relays. She first started swimming in 2011, when she was 8 years old. She has been swimming for DART, the same team as Fackenthal, for three years.

Like Fackenthal, Waterson felt incredibly honored and proud of this accomplishment.

“I was excited and proud to see my accomplishments in the pool and in school being recognized,” Waterson said.

Waterson also explains that this process was challenging and required much effort.

“I’m very dedicated to practice and my academics,” she said. “But it’s always a challenge to balance schoolwork and training, but I’ve seemed to make it work,”

Waterson is still swimming at DART and working toward her goals.

“Swimming is fun, exciting and interactive – I love it,” Waterson said.

—By Hailey Fesai

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