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The Voice

Player Profile: Audrey Berner

Sarina Caltagirone, Managing Editor

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Audrey Berner is a current varsity swimmer for Presentation High School and Swim South Bay. She also teaches summer camps and is a private instructor for Swim South Bay. Check out her interview here!

 

The Voice: How long have you been swimming and how did you first get involved with it?

Audrey Berner: I’ve been swimming competitively, year-round since Kindergarten. I did swimming because I had just phased out of tap dance as a kid, so swimming was the next thing to try and I liked it, so I stuck with it. There wasn’t like a real reason it was just fun to try as a kid and so I never stopped.

 

The Voice: What inspires you to keep swimming?

Audrey Berner: It’s very rewarding to set a goal for yourself and really meet that goal. But, swimming is not a sport of instant gratification at all. Sometimes you wait a full year before you drop less than half a second, it’s ridiculous how much time goes into it, and then how small the improvement can seem. But, to a swimmer it would be a huge deal. It’s a team sport, but it really is very individual too. So, it’s really great to look back and see how when you’re racing, you’re the only person in the water. And whatever got you from point A to point B, your hard work did that.

 

The Voice: What events have made swim worth it all these years?

Audrey Berner: I just swam Alcatraz the other summer and it was really fun! You get to take your little safety bubble of the community pool and go do really cool stuff with it. So, it’s fun to get to apply your skills in other areas. The Race to Alcatraz was definitely the coolest thing I’ve done.

 

The Voice: Which stroke is your favorite and why?

Audrey Berner: Butterfly or freestyle, just never breaststroke. No one else likes to do butterfly so it’s always fun just saying that you can do it. It looks really cool too. Freestyle is awesome because you can just do it forever if you need to.

 

The Voice: What is your greatest achievement to date?

Audrey Berner: At Pres at our first State Cup, we came together as a team and we didn’t know if it was actually going to happen. We cut it really close because you only get one shot to do this meet, so it was really exciting! I was a sophomore, so I was the only underclassman in the relay so it was really fun getting to qualify for States.

 

The Voice: Are you planning to swim at the collegiate level? If so, what are you most looking forward to?

Audrey Berner: Yes, I am planning to swim at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts. It’s Division III and I’m just really excited to get to take the sport to the next level and swim with the big fish. My favorite swim season at Pres was when I was the guppie and I was a freshman getting to look up at the older swimmers with so much more experience. So, I think I’ll have a lot of fun transitioning from a senior, back to a baby freshman and get to learn so much more from a bunch of new people. I am excited though because I have to swim in an indoor pool for the first time in my life because it’s in Massachusetts and it’s freezing. I know I love to swim and I know I’ll meet great people so it’ll be an adventure no matter what.

 

The Voice: What is the best advice you can give to other swimmers wishing to swim at the collegiate level?

Audrey Berner: Find your center and figure out why you like swimming. If you really love it and you’re not doing it for a resume or anything, you’ll stick with it. As long as you’re having fun, you love what you do, are working hard, and are going to stick to it, that’s the best advice I can give you. If you don’t really love it, try and find something that you do love. But, don’t stress about swim. Just JUMP IN!

 

The Voice: Looking back at your entire high school swim career, what is one of your fondest memories?

Audrey Berner: The whole Pres community started off as a great experience for me. I came from a different swim team then transitioned into Coach Marisa’s club team at Bay and then she convinced me to join Pres high school swimming. I was coming from a team where I didn’t like the dynamic with the coach, so getting to enter this positive community of Presentation was really great. And coming from that first team, I was ready to stop. I thought that maybe this isn’t for me and needed to go find something different. But, then I was introduced to the Presentation community and I loved it! We had our first high school meet and at that meet, I wasn’t really focused on beating a certain time or being top seat, I was just having fun and doing what I love to do! I finally rekindled that passion for swimming and made my first CCS cut that meet in the 100m freestyle, which meant I got to jump into Varsity as a freshman. I just remember feeling pure joy that I had been able to reconnect with the sport that I loved so much, so I think that Pres saved me in that regard. Swim has definitely changed my life and it’s something that I’ll remember for the rest of my life.

 

The Voice: Do you teach lessons or lifeguard?

Audrey Berner: I’ve done both! I lifeguarded as a freshman and it was really gratifying to see that I’ve been spending so many years learning how to swim and now I can actually do something with it. As a coach, I’ve done summer camps and became a private swim instructor for Swim South Bay. It’s really funny in hindsight looking at all the lessons my coaches have been telling me for years, and now I’m saying it to my swimmers! I’m always kicking myself because I can’t tell little Jeremy to tighten his streamline, if I don’t tighten mine! It’s great to take something that I love and share my knowledge to people who are learning.

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Player Profile: Audrey Berner