Freshman Nisa Kurt dives into her first swim season


Addison Parker

Plunging into a new team. Freshman Nisa Kurt is a new member of the competitive swim team. She started swimming as a hobby before joining competitively at the start of this year.

Addison Parker, Photographer

Nisa Kurt extends her arms as she swims in the 100 yard freestyle. Taking short breathes every few pulls Kurt strides towards the end of her final length. She touches the wall hearing a click as the timer marks her time.

Freshman Nisa Kurt has navigated her first year of high school while taking on a new sport, swimming. She passionately went into the 2022-2023 season with the goal to gain skills and compete to the best of her ability.

Kurt began her first competitive swim season this year for the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School swim team. Although nervous, she was excited to start the sport and quickly adjusted to the environment as she progressed quickly. Kurt’s decision to start swimming is the same as many high school students when it comes to sports: wanting something to do. She found that her friends competed in swimming and that it was a great way to begin her first year.

Kurt is an enthusiastic swimmer and student. Although she started this year, it is clear that competitive swimming is Nisa’s newfound passion. During the season, Kurt’s best swim times were a 35:19 50-yard freestyle, along with a 1:22:59 100-yard freestyle.

While she started swimming as a hobby, Kurt now sees herself with a future in competitive swimming. She plans to continue swimming throughout her high school and college years. Kurt was not introduced to competitive swimming as a child, nor did she know much about it until this season.

“Personally, I didn’t know anything when I first started. So I just kind of hopped in a pool and was told to swim, but over time I was able to learn,” Kurt said.

But, having looked up to family members and friends who competed, Kurt found herself in the perfect position to begin her swimming career. Kurt expresses her thankfulness to her teammates and coach, who have encouraged her and helped her progress in her abilities.

“I like working as a team, it makes me feel good. Everyone cheers each other on; it’s nice,” Kurt said.

Never having paid too much attention to swimming, Kurt had no role models or inspirations in the sport. She focuses on self-improvement without comparison to those above her, she believes that hard work will allow her to achieve everything she wants with time.

Like many other student athletes, Kurt does her best to balance school with sports. Kurt expressed that balancing school and sports have yet to be a problem for her. Being as productive as she can throughout the school day has helped her reduce time-induced stress.

“Eventually, throughout the years, taking more classes, [managing time for swimming] will be difficult. We have practice five days a week from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., and on Tuesdays and Thursdays, there’s practice at 5:45 p.m. and 6 p.m.,” Kurt said.

Even with countless practices, there are still nerves when it comes to competition. Kurt takes time before warming up and before the meet to stretch and clear her mind. She communicates with her team members and coaches and then blocks out any distractions in an effort to get rid of any anxiety.

“When you are standing on the block about to dive is the worst part, but once I’m in the water, it’s all fine,” Kurt said.

Kurt truly enjoyed her first season and plans to continue next year. She is going to continue progressing outside of the school swim team for a superior season in her sophomore year. After graduation, Kurt dreams of attending New York University. She also considers local colleges such as the University of Florida, Florida State, and the University of Miami.