at U.S. school
By Ned Bekavac
Things are going quite swimmingly for Melody Bush.
The local student-athlete has scored a full-fledged swimming scholarship with the Seton Hall University Pirates.
“It’s amazing, I can’t even explain it in words,” says Bush.
The Guelph Marlins swimmer had a whole host of options and toured several schools, but chose Seton Hall, a school in South Orange, N.J., and will join the school’s swim program, which competes in NCAA Division I, this coming August.
Bush says she got along well with the Seton Hall swim team when she visited, and finds that the coaches there “have a similar feel to my coaches now.”
A huge factor in her selection had nothing to do with swimming at all. Bush will be part of a program at the school that she hopes will lead her into a career in speech pathology.
Bush has siblings who have been helped by speech pathologists, so it’s a career that is near and dear to her.
“I’ve just been through that whole journey with them,” says Bush. “It’s a big influence on what I want to do.”
The 18-year-old is a student at John F. Ross CVI, where she competes for the school’s Royals swim squad.
Last season, she earned relay gold at the provincial (OFSAA) championships and also scored two individual bronze medals. Earlier this week, she and the Royals swept the District 10/4 combined, female and male team titles.
A huge highlight of her career so far was qualifying for the Olympic trials last year.
There, she recorded several personal-best times.
“The actual Olympic trial experience, I’ve never felt anything like it,” she says.
The Grade 12 student, who started getting into swimming when she was 11, these days trains about 20 hours a week, often twice a day. Which can mean – yikes! – pre-school practice at 5:30 a.m.
Bush is asked if the schedule ever gets to be a bit much.
“Of course it does,” she says with a laugh. “You learn to roll with it, and you know it’s going to lead you to something great, so you continue with it.”
Bush gives major props to Marlins’ coach Kendra Burton, who Bush says has helped boost her during some trying times in the pool.
“She has kept me in the sport. I’ve had major drawbacks in swimming, and she’s just kept my confidence up and helped me get through everything,” says Bush.