Meet Rachael Gentry

At the 2012 USAS convention, five young Masters swimmers were awarded a $1,000 grant by the "Swimming Saves Lives" foundation. The five recipients were chosen from a large number of applicants who were asked to write a 150-word essay about swimming and the importance of the sport to their lives. It is the hope of all of USMS that these young people will become involved in the leadership of the future.

One of these winners is Rachel Gentry, a NC Masters swimmer, who is a Public Policy / Psychology double major at UNC Chapel Hill. She swims with the club program. This is her winning essay:

The physical and social benefits of swimming are my favorite aspects about the sport. Swimming is an outlet for me when I feel overwhelmed, and I always go to the pool to gather my thoughts. I love the peace of diving into a pool when everything goes silent, or leaving an early morning workout with muscles feeling like jello. Swimming has been my way of staying healthy, and I have no doubts that I would not be as fit as I am today without swimming. I also appreciate swimming because it has given me my best friends. The swimming community is tight knit. We stick together, because we've been through so much together. There's something about fighting through the burn together to finish a tough workout and helping each other with caps every practice that forms a unique bond. Swimming is a life-long sport that has given me life-long friends.