The Berkley High School girls swimming and diving team, seen here at the Oakland Activities Association’s league championships, finished one of its better seasons in November.

The Berkley High School girls swimming and diving team, seen here at the Oakland Activities Association’s league championships, finished one of its better seasons in November.

Photo provided by Bryce Scully


Berkley girls swim team eyeing big goals for next season

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published December 8, 2021

 Alana Horwitz, Bryce Scully, Molly Hamilton and Lucy Pugh are four underclassmen on the Berkley High School girls swimming and diving team who are looking to lead it to future success.

Alana Horwitz, Bryce Scully, Molly Hamilton and Lucy Pugh are four underclassmen on the Berkley High School girls swimming and diving team who are looking to lead it to future success.

Photo provided by Bryce Scully

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BERKLEY — The Berkley High School girls swimming and diving team recently finished one of its best seasons and has high hopes going into next year.

At the beginning of November, the Bears competed in the Oakland Activities Association’s league championships, where three underclassmen qualified for the state meet later that month and which featured a strong performance from its seniors, said coach Scott Shelton.

Sophomore Bryce Scully won the 100-yard breaststroke and 100-yard butterfly races, while freshmen Alana Horwitz and Lucy Pugh qualified for states in their respective races, the 200 individual medley and 100 breaststroke for Horwitz and the 50- and 100-yard freestyle for Pugh.

The team’s 200 medley relay of junior Molly Hamilton Horwitz, Pugh and Scully and 400 freestyle relay of senior Maya Maurice Hamilton, Pugh and Scully also qualified for states.

Shelton, who is in his sixth year as coach of the Bears, said that this was the team’s best season in his time and best since 2009, as well as the first time they had three swimmers at the state meet since he’s been with the school.

“They had a great season,” he said. “They got faster all through the season. A lot of hard work went into it. We had best times — everybody on our team had at least a season-best time; most of them were lifetime-best times at the OAA meet. So it was quite an accomplishment for them.”

The team consists of 14 seniors. Shelton noted when the class first came in four years ago, it was the fastest class that the school had seen.

“During their career, they really matured and became really great leaders,” he said. They just had the best meet of all our girls, they had the best meet of the team, the seniors did, at OAAs. They swam unbelievable lifetime best times there,” he said. “I always like to … see seniors perform like seniors, and they in fact did. They stepped up both in a leadership role and a swimming role all through the season, and it gives me goosebumps to even talk about their OAA meet.”

At the state meet, which took place Nov. 19-20, Scully tied for fifth place in the 100 breaststroke, making her All-State, and placed 10th in the 100 butterfly; the 200 medley relay team finished 16th.

Scully said she was really proud of how the team performed this season, and proud of herself.

“I’m really excited for the next two years,” she said. “I felt like I accomplished something this year and that all my hard work paid off, which was really a good feeling.”

Overall at the state meet, the Bears placed 24th out of 32 scoring teams, their highest finish since 2009.

Scully, 15, of Pleasant Ridge, recalled being very excited heading into the season because of the fast freshmen who came into the school, and the thought of next year has her excited because of the potential of what the Bears could do.

It’s her hope the team can win the OAA league championship next season.

“The team was so close this year that it can be even more closer next year,” she said. “There’s a lot of new freshmen that are coming in next year that are also swimming year-round and are really fast, so I think we’re going to be even more successful than we were this year.”

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