Freshman dives in to boys’ swim team

Freshman+dives+in+to+boys+swim+team

By Akshita Joshi, Staff Reporter

When current freshman Aspen Malstrom dove into the deep end of the swimming pool for the first time, he never thought that he would qualify for the Central League Championship and move forward to Districts as a freshman on the boys’ swim and dive team, just four years later. Malstrom ended up placing 21st and 23rd overall out of over 50 competitors. 

“The times were against seniors and older classmates, so I would say it’s fairly good for me personally,” Malstrom said.

Though Malstrom is a freshman this year, he skipped eighth grade during the summer between seventh and eighth. In order to fulfill the requirements to skip, Malstrom took online courses over the summer, which came with the added workload of extra courses and meetings with the school counselor. Despite this, Malstrom worked hard and successfully skipped eighth grade, as he wanted to challenge himself further academically.

“I wanted to do this by myself. My parents didn’t force me to make any decisions, I just felt like classes were getting too easy and I needed to push myself,” Malstrom said.

Malstrom started swimming as a way to spend time with friends over the summer, but his motivations changed as he began competing and realized his chance at excelling in the sport. Malstrom now swims for the Upper Main Line YMCA as well as the boys’ swim team at Conestoga. 

On top of his responsibilities and busy schedule, Malstrom also faced an injury leading up to this season in October. He broke his collarbone, which required weeks of strength training and physical therapy. This injury was a major setback for Malstrom since his main strokes are freestyle and butterfly, which requires thrusting both arms out and above the water, a movement which became difficult after his injury.

“My times for my races were definitely not as good this time, and I didn’t do as well as I think I could have because of my collarbone, which set me back this season,” Malstrom said.

Still, Malstrom took this challenge as a motivator and noted that his family was very helpful in getting adjusted to his first year at the high school and he was able to make friends who were very encouraging throughout the process. 

“My parents are really supportive of me and have been really helpful, and I have five siblings, so they always keep the house fun and are always there for me at meets,” Malstrom said.

Boys’ varsity swim coach Mark Tirone also tries to guide Malstrom and help him overcome the obstacles he faces. Tirone appreciates Malstrom’s commitment to the team.“Aspen trains hard and he is very dedicated to swimming both for the Conestoga Swim Team and his club team. Conestoga has a very strong swim team and Aspen will help Conestoga remain dominating in the Central League,” Tirone said.


Akshita Joshi can be reached at [email protected].