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Simmons cements legacy with four state titles

(Courtesy Madeleine Simmons)

Junior Madeleine Simmons acquired her love for the sport of swimming at a very young age. From watching her two older siblings and the swim team at her summer pool practice, she always knew she was destined to compete in the water. However, it was her last-minute decision to join the cross country team for the sake of meeting new people that allowed her to contribute to her first of four WJ state championship wins.

The cross country team is one of the most respected programs in the state with 11 state championship wins, seven since 2013 and two with Simmons on the team.
Similarly, the swim and dive team won back-to-back state championships with Simmons in 2022 and 2023.

“I’ve been a teammate with Maddie in both cross country and swimming. She is incredibly dedicated to all of the sports that she does and she puts her whole heart into everything. She never backs down from a challenge. She takes the most challenging courses that we run and she excels at them. In swimming as well, even when she is put against incredibly good opponents it doesn’t get into her head and she gets to work,” senior cross country and track captain Beth Fogg said.

Along with winning championships, swimming and running have allowed Simmons to create strong relationships with her teammates. The bonds that she has built with her teammates motivate her to train hard year after year. In addition to competing for WJ, Simmons has swam for the club swim team All Star Aquatics (ASA) for over a decade.

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“I enjoy swimming because I love coming to practice everyday and feeling accomplished. My friends from ASA are also my oldest and closest friends, and I love training with them everyday. I also really love competing with a team like WJ because everyone supports each other and the environment is so fun,” Simmons said.

Simmons and senior swim and dive captain Healey Morgan have been swimming together since they were little. The two of them have been on three separate teams together including, Seven Locks, ASA and WJ.

“It’s super cool because we’ve been swimming together since we were like six years old. It’s really cool to have someone that we’ve kind of grown up together and also been able to swim with each other and both develop as athletes,” Morgan said.

Heading into her senior year, Simmons is ready to take on leadership roles for both teams.

“It’s been so special to look up to all of the teammates I’ve had who are older than me, so I hope that I can be someone that younger girls on my teams can look up to next year,” Simmons said.

Simmons recently committed to continue her swimming career after high school at the Division I level for Northwestern University.

“I chose Northwestern because the team and coaches really made it feel like home for me. It’s also my dream school because my older brother goes there and I look up to him so much. I can’t wait to swim there because I know I’ll get to practice everyday with people who are just as excited about the environment as I am,” Simmons said.

This story was originally published on The Pitch Online on May 24, 2024.