Margolis “family ties” lead to success

Sarah Margolis and her mother.

Sarah Margolis and her mother.

Jaymie Atkins, Veritas Asst. Managing Editor

The South Sectional is an MIAA championship bracket in which the top swimmers of the South Shore compete against each other.

Rockland High School senior Sarah Margolis has qualified. To be eligible to make sectionals, a swimmer has to get under a certain  time for their event.

After sectionals is another faster, cut-off time for the MIAA D3 State Championship.

A lot of top swimmers from Eastern Massachusetts make sectionals. Our section of the state actually has the most qualifiers each year. The cuts are based on the top 20 swimmers from the previous year in an effort to keep the meets as short as possible, so making sectionals is a big deal to any swimmer.

Margolis has been swimming competitively since she was four. In addition to the RHS swim team, Margolis swims for the USA Sailfish Swim Team.

This is not Margolis’ first time making sectionals. As a freshman she earned a spot due to her time in the 200 individual medley (IM).  This year, as a senior, Margolis qualified due to her time in the 200 IM and for her time in the 100 breaststroke.

Margolis gave credit to her coach, who is also her mother.   “I owe my swimming career to [my mom],” she said. “With my mom as my coach, she helps push me and critique me. She knows I can’t skip a practice. So, with her pushing me to always go, I have been able to get faster.”

Julie Margolis has been coaching her daughter on and off for fourteen years. When Sarah was four, Julie was teaching swimming lessons and lifeguarding at the YMCA. Julie would take Sarah with her, and her boss allowed Sarah to stay in the aquatics office where she would play games and color with the staff on break.

But Julie would get Sarah in the pool as much as she could. When the head coach Bill Edwards saw how good her strokes were, he encouraged Julie to put Sarah on the team and offered Julie a job as the coach of the developmental team.   Julie said, “Sarah was a natural swimmer and took to racing like a fish.”

Seven years ago, Julie began helping what was then the Hanover/Rockland team. The team then split because the Hanover team had grown so big that they didn’t need Rockland swimmers to fill the gaps any longer. Julie says that having her daughters on the team has impacted her coaching because she wanted to have an RHS swim team for them.

Julie is proud to be both a lead assistant coach for the Sailfish Swim Team based out of Scituate, as well as the Rockland High coach.  Julie said, “Coaching my daughters has also given me insight in how to train and to teach children to swim competitively while being a coach that the swimmers can count on like a mother.”

Julie’s favorite part about watching her daughters grow and succeed is her “daughters themselves.” She explained,   “Although I miss how super cute they were when they were little, I truly enjoy the wonderful young women they’ve become and I feel like they are two of my best friends.” Julie also said,  “It’s great to watch college acceptance letters come in for Sarah, as she has worked so hard to succeed at school, but it’s even more exciting to see her striving to continue to swim in college as competitive swimming has become an important part of her life too.”

Last weekend Sarah drove to the University of New England in Maine with her friends to meet with the UNE coach. Julie thinks it’s neat to see that colleges want her for her excellent academic potential as well as her swimming talent.

Julie’s other daughter, Lilly, is away at the University of Rhode Island.  “I am so excited to see where Sarah decides to go for college and to watch her grow and build her own life, but I’m so scared too because I will no longer have either of my precious girls at home to keep me company, although they are forever in my heart and always on my mind.”

MIAA Central/South Sectionals for Girls were held at MIT on Saturday, Feb. 13 with an 8:45 a.m.  start.

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