Athlete of Week: Paul finds new home with Socastee

socswim-jennpaulSocastee’s Jenn Paul has endured every high school freshman’s worst nightmare, and she has come through it swimmingly.

When her family decided to relocate from New York to Myrtle Beach, Paul was faced with moving to a new city and a new school to make new friends. Fortunately for Paul, her prowess as a swimmer and as a member of a team has helped her bridge the gap.

“Leaving New York was really tough at first. It was my home,” said Paul, who was voted the Mammy’s Kitchen Athlete of the Week after qualifying for the state meet in numerous events. “I was really nervous about starting a new school and making new friends.

“Being a part of the swim team has helped a lot. Everybody has been so friendly, I feel like I fit right in. I love it here.”

The move has been equally beneficial to the Socastee swim team. Paul, who began swimming competitively at the age of 5 in a state where the sport requires year-round training, has brought a strong work ethic and a supportive teammate to the pool.

It didn’t take her long to make an impact. After winning the 500 freestyle in the season-opening Ripley’s Aquarium Invitational, she has continued to post state-qualifying times in both individual events and as a member of the Lady Braves’ relay teams.

Which roles she will fill in the postseason remains to be seen. Swimmers who make multiple state cuts like Paul can choose to compete in two individual events and one relay, or in one individual event and three relays. Paul is willing to be a team player in making her selection.

“We haven’t decided yet but probably the events where I am ranked the highest, or the ones where I can help the team the most,” said Paul, who also competes on the club level for the Myrtle Beach Riptides, “We have some exceptional swimmers on our team and I think we have a good chance to do well at states.”

What better way for Paul to make an even smoother transition than by winning a state championship in her new home state.

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