SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- It hasn't taken Bridget Davis very long to make a big splash since joining the Union Catholic swim team.
In a span of less than a month since the season began, the freshman star has already qualified for the NJSIAA Meet of Champions in four events, and has helped the Vikings smash a long-standing school record in a relay.
In her high school debut in Union Catholic's season opening victory over Colonia on Dec. 3 at the Jewish Community Center in Scotch Plains, Davis qualified for the Meet of Champions by finishing first in the 200 freestyle in 2:00.29. She also combined with freshman Alexandra Moore, freshman Molly Brennan, and senior Anna Gordon to finish second in the 200 freestyle relay in 1:48.81, which smashed the school record of 1:50.77 set in 2004.
Then less than a week later at the MR CIY Holiday Invitational at the Nassau County Aquatic Center in East Meadow, N.Y., Davis turned several eye-popping performances while competing in the 13-14 age group division with her Fanwood/Scotch Plains YMCA team.
At the MR CIY Holiday Invitational, Davis qualified for the M of C in three more events by winning the 500 freestyle in 5:06.72, placing third in the 100 free in 54.05, and taking fourth in the 50 free in 24.95.
Davis, who has helped the Vikings get off to a 3-0 start, is very excited with how her high school swimming career has started at Union Catholic.
"Being part of the UC swim team is such an exciting opportunity,'' said Davis, who has also qualified for the 1650 free and the 500 free events for YMCA Nationals, which will be held in April in Greensboro, North Carolina. "It is something I have been looking forward to for a few years. I am very happy about how things have started for me but more importantly, I am so happy the team is off to a great start and I am a part of it. I can't wait to see what 2020 brings. All the upperclassman on the UC team have been very welcoming to me and the other freshmen. I was nervous at the tryouts, but Anna Gordon, and the Coyne sisters, Jackie & Danielle, went out of their way to make the transition very easy. It was also very fun when we found out we broke the school record for the 200 freestyle relay. For me it was the best of both worlds because the relay team included two of my FSPY teammates (freshmen Molly Brennan & Alex Moore) along with Anna.
Davis began swimming at a very young age.
"Like a lot of my friends, I started off doing summer swim at the Highland Club after first grade,'' said After a couple of years of lessons, my mom (Sally) encouraged me to try out for the YMCA team. The more I swam for the Y, the more I enjoyed it and it took off from there.''
Davis dedicates a lot of her time to improving her technique and stamina in the pool.
"I swim six days a week and about two hours each day almost all year-round,'' said Davis. I also do an hour of dry-land training on 3 of those days. Sometimes I practice for both the Y and UC teams on the same day, but thankfully Coach O'Halloran (Emily) allows us to balance our practice times so we do not get burnt out. I am so fortunate because Coach O'Halloran was also a Y swimmer while she was a student at UC.''
What does Davis consider her greatest strength as a swimmer?
"I know that I have a lot of work to do on my technique, so right now I guess my strength is my drive and determination,'' said Davis. "Above all, I want to be a good teammate at UC and on my club team. I figure what I might lack in technique, I can try to make up for with a strong work ethic.''
Davis said her goals for the rest of the are focused on the UC team, but she has one personal goal that she's chasing.
"My biggest goal for the rest of this season is to do everything I can to help the UC team remain undefeated in dual meets,'' said Davis. "Personally, if I were to break the girls' 500 freestyle school record (5:14.30 by Kim Hayes in 1982) along the way, I would be ecstatic!''