Photo by Ethan Heasley/Curtesy Photo
GLHS Swimmer Dives into Fiji
For most athletes, being a part of a national team is a dream. For junior Lola Mull, this dream has become a reality. Mull had the opportunity to travel to Fiji and swim for the Junior National USA Swim team. To qualify for this team, swimmers first have to qualify for the National Championships in Irvine, California. Lola Mull traveled to Irvine in late July, where she exceeded even her own swimming expectations.
“I tapered and trained for my races there, expecting to drop a couple seconds, and I would have been absolutely thrilled with that,” Grand Ledge swimmer Lola Mull said. “My meet went far better than I thought it would, and by some chance I was top two for the 18 and under women’s 1500m freestyle, which means I made the Junior National USA Team.”
The next step was to travel to Fiji and compete in the Jr. Pan Pacific Championships on behalf of the USA Junior National Swim team.
“Traveling to Fiji was something I never thought I’d be able to experience,” Mull said. “I’ve never even been out of the country so it was definitely something I had to learn how to handle, but being with Team USA and their coaches made it easy.”
Lola swam in four events, one of which was the women’s 1500m freestyle. The freestyle event took place on Aug 26, 2018 at 5pm (FJT). Mull placed fourth with a time of 16:40.03, just 30 seconds behind the first place finisher and the all time record.
Not only did Lola compete with other swimmers from different countries, but she also had to juggle her school work on top of that. The championship event took place from Aug 23 to the 26, which meant Lola had to miss the start of her junior year.
“When I was in Fiji, I was with the team all the time,” Mull said. “Even if it’s just in the hotel room. You’re constantly doing something team or swim related, so you really don’t get any time to do homework.”
Lola not only had AP summer homework to finish, but she also had to get all the work she would be missing at school.
“I got everything I needed beforehand,” Lola said. “I did everything I could before I left, but all my teachers were so understanding of everything that I kind of had just been working as diligently as I could at night.”
Lola has been swimming for as long as she can remember, following a line of relatives who are also swimmers. Mull currently swims for the Grand Ledge swim team and the water polo team, as well as swimming for the Mid Michigan Aquatics Hurricanes. For now, Mull plans on focusing on training for high school season and working hard to drop time at state meets. To see Lola and the rest of the GL swim team, visit grandledgecomets.org to see the schedule for the swim season.