Jessica Doyel takes on swimming one last time

Spending time in the water, senior Jessica Doyel has been utilizing her talent for swimming for 11 years.  

At the age of 7, Jessica was hitting the lanes, already competing in a sport that she loves. Swimming helped shift Jessica’s shyness to more of a drive for competing. In the moment of her very first meet, by the end, she was determined to continue her passion as she got older. 

“My very first meet was a backstroke event,” Jessica said. “I was terrified of the bottom of the pool, and I placed second in that heat. I was a super shy kid, but at that moment, I was so upset [that] I started crying and made sure to win the next one. That’s when my coach told my mom that I had the competitiveness to pursue this sport, so here I am.”

Jessica used to be into club swimming, but now she swims for school. She participated in events such as the 100-meter breaststroke and the 50-meter freestyle.  

Swimming as a whole has impacted Jessica in the best ways. Always having practices and meets has taught Jessica time management and has brought awareness to what her priorities are and how to balance them all. 

“Swim has been the biggest part of my life,” Jessica said. “During the season, it has an extremely demanding practice schedule, and that maintains its place as my top priority. With the time commitment and sacrifices it takes to do this sport, I’ve learned the rawest form of self-discipline and perseverance.”

With the time commitment and sacrifices it takes to do this sport, I’ve learned the rawest form of self-discipline and perseverance.”

— Jessica Doyel

Through everything Jessica has gone through within this sport, she has bonded with all her teammates, as not just one of them has something unique, but they each add more to the team as individuals–that’s what inspires her. 

“I’ve seen myself bond with everyone on the team,” Jessica said. “I have learned something unique from each and every one of the athletes.”

Jessica’s teammates are very supportive and have shown their support throughout every long meet she’s had with them. As well as having a chill, relaxed group of people by her side, Jessica’s family has her back as she walks through the hardships and celebratory moments of swimming. 

“My family is my biggest support system,” Jessica said. “That’s not even close to an overstatement. They track all my events, they have been there since the first time I jumped into a pool.”

Jessica couldn’t ask for a better support system than she already has. Her family has been there every step of the way—they have cheered her on all the way to her senior year.

“I truly would not have been able to push through the hardest parts of this sport,” Jessica said. “I don’t know what I would have done if I didn’t have them in the corner rooting for me.” 

Swim has taught Jessica so much, and as she finished her last year of FHC swim, she’s walked away from her life experience through the sport as a tremendous part of her life. 

“Although swim is one of the biggest parts of my life,” Jessica said, “my teammates, coach, and family are an even bigger part and have shaped my character all throughout these years. I couldn’t thank them enough because they are the reason I look back on my swimming career and see that it was all worth it—every bit of it.”