Gulf Breeze High Swim Team Dives into Districts


Photo contributed by GBHS Swim Team

Gulf Breeze High School swim team is working hard and leaving their mark in swimming history

Hayden Brown, Guest Writer

   2021 has breathed a breath of fresh air into Gulf Breeze High School athletics. With Covid-19 becoming less of a concern for the schoolboard, some of the athletic restrictions that were in place last year have been lifted. Now, the Dolphins will be able to travel further and worry less about Covid restrictions. With this new found freedom, the school’s fall sports have started. These include football, volleyball, cross country, dance, marching band, cheerleading, golf and swimming.

   While the travel restrictions being lifted is an amazing opportunity for the team, unfortunately, there will only be two home games during the regular season. The school’s “home” pool is actually Cecil T. Hunter Swimming Pool in Pensacola, Florida.

   The dolphin’s last meet was the Santa Rosa County Championship at Hunter pool. At this meet, both the boys and girls team placed first out of all teams competing. This is the team’s tenth year in a row winning this competition. With this win, the dolphins will move on to the district championship on Oct. 29.

   Two of last year’s seniors, Maren Mackey and Kaylea Oliver, were selected to receive scholarships to compete in college. Mackey is attending the University of Idaho in Moscow, Idaho, while Oliver is swimming at the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York. With these valuable assets gone, the rest of the team had big shoes to fill. The team is now lead by many capable captains: Aiden Morgan, George Bach, Trinity Devaney and Kalea Davis.

   The dolphin swimmers not only have to go through the regular challenges of being student athletes, they must also adapt to the unique hardships that come with competing in your sport. While Gulf Breeze High School has the usual amenities, such as a football field and basketball court, there is not a school swimming pool. This means that the team must practice at Cecil T. Hunter Pool in Pensacola to practice every weekday from 6:00 to 7:30 in the morning. Swimming is a unique sport, since it is the only pool-based sport at GBHS. However, swimming practice incorporates practice strategies from land sports, as well as exercises unique to swimming. According to junior Andrea Contreras, the team practices by “focusing on many things, such as form, speed, endurance and breath control.”

   One such swimmer ready to step up to the challenge is junior Amelia Hoitt. Hoitt spe-cializes in the 100 meter breaststroke, and has been on the team since her freshman year. This season, her goals are “to improve and make it to regionals.” Regionals will be held on Nov. 3 at Chiles High School in Tallahassee, Florida. Gulf Breeze has a strong history of making it to this point in the postseason, it’s likely Hoitt will be able to achieve her goal this season. So far, Hoitt feels that her best meet was the meet against Navarre High School, Pace High School and Booker T. Washington High School. This meet was held on Aug. 24 at the Navarre YMCA.

   Another member of the team is junior Andrea Contreras, a two-year member of the team. She has been on a high school swim team since her freshman year, but did not join the dolphins until she moved here her sophomore year. She specializes in the 500 meter freestyle, because “I love longer distance events that focus mostly on endurance.” However, this isn’t the only race she participates in. “My best event of the season so far has been my 100 breastroke because I recently beat my personal record!” Contreras was also a competitor at the Santa Rosa County Championship, in which she swam the 50 free and the 100 butterfly. She beat her personal record for both events at this event, and will swim both of these races at the district championship on Oct. 29.

   The Gulf Breeze High School swimmers’ season has only just begun, but it is filled with promise. Coach Katherine Edwards has coached an amazing team with potential to advance far into the post season, despite losing several talented seniors. The district swim competition this year will take place on Oct. 29 at Booker T. Washington High School at 5:00 pm. Hopefully, the dolphins will be able to move on to regionals, which will be held at Chiles High School in Tallahassee. Moving into the postseason, this year’s dolphin swimmers will, undoubtedly, leave their mark on dolphin swimming history.