When swim season started, freshman Melanie Martinez didn’t know how to swim.
“I went to extra practice before the season started,” Melanie said. “And then after that, I told coach that I wanted to get into swimming, and she said, ‘yes.'”
The lessons have paid off for Martinez.
The North Dallas boys and girls swim teams will be competing in a meet Thursday at Sprague Pool, followed by the District 12-5A meet on Jan. 19 at Loos Natatorium.
“Her dedication has really blown me away,” said swim coach Stephanie Page. “And I found out that she rides the bus every day to get home, and it takes her over an hour. It floored me really, that she would be willing to do that and stay late at night.”
Page summed up Melanie’s progress in one word: “Amazing.”
“She did not know how to swim ever,” she said. “She came to me at the beginning of the year, and was like, “Coach, I want to swim but I don’t know how.’ I gave her a paper to go take swim lessons, and she came to me, and told me that she was going to the swim lessons and she felt good about it. Then she came to practice, and I couldn’t believe it that she had never swam before. She really has the dedication.”
Melanie, who also plays soccer, has enjoyed her time on the swim team.
“It’s good. Everybody accepts you in the group, and you don’t feel left out,” Melanie said. “You don’t feel like “Oh my God, I have to be in a specific group.’ You just feel like we’re all together.”
Melanie said she enjoys the comaraderie on the team.
“Yes. It’s like having big brothers and big sisters,” Melanie said. “It makes it more easier when everybody is swimming together.”
Melanie, who attended Rusk last year, had three reasons why she wanted to swim.
“I just wanted to go because I’d rather do something for me, my health, and for my skin than being at home alone,” Melanie said.
“It’s clearing because I had a lot of pimples,” Melanie said. “It’s clearing up.”