By Bob Nuse, Sports Editor
Grace McBride and her younger brother, Jake, have been swimming together as long as they can remember.
The siblings started young, took a break from the sport at the same time, and are now back making a huge contribution as members of the Hun School co-ed swim team.
“I started when I was 1,” Grace recalls. “I think they just threw me in the pool and I started swimming, Jake and I started getting competitive when we were 9 or 10 years old. We’ve always been on par. I have been better at some events and he’s been better at some others. Recently he’s been getting really, really good.”
When their family moved from Cape May County to Princeton a few years ago, both Grace and Jake decided to take some time off from the sport as they grew accustomed to their new surroundings. Once settled in, they got back into swimming and have been better than ever.
“We both took two years off,” Grace said. “We started looking at different schools when we moved here and we fell in love with the Hun Middle School. We were doing a lot of studying and when I got to eighth grade I stopped so I could get acclimated to Hun. It was nice to take a break but I really missed the sport.”
Added Jake: “We both started together. We did swim lessons and then it went on to smaller swim teams and then club swimming. We started down in Cape May county which is where we lived before we moved to Princeton. We originally did sailing a lot and my mom really wanted us to have good swimming skills so she got us into swimming lessons and doing a lot of aquatic stuff and then it grew from there.”
The McBrides have helped this year’s Hun team a successful season. The Raiders posted a 122-45 win over Gill-St. Bernard’s last week as they prepare for the state pre meet, which will be held Tuesday and Wednesday at Lawrenceville.
“I think the best thing about high school swimming is we can swim with each other,” Grace said. “Sometimes we’ll swim the same event or on the same relay. When we go to club swim meets it is broken up by age or gender so we don’t get to swim together.”
Jake won the 500 free and Grace was third in the win over GSB.
“I don’t beat him much anymore,” Grace said. “He’s grown a lot. I have been the same height for basically the last five years and he’s had this spurt. I like having him on the team with me it’s a lot of fun and we can do it for two more years. There is a lot of camaraderie and sense of community and friendliness between everyone which makes it a lot of fun.”
The siblings swim for the Stingrays club team in addition to swimming for Hun. Since coming back from his hiatus from the sport during middle school, Jake has developed into a better and better swimmer.
“What really has happened for me is taking a break from swimming,” Jake said. “I took almost two years off and I think that helped me a lot. After that I joined the team up here, the Stingrays and that has really helped me a lot.
“It felt like I was trying to catch up with everyone that was ahead of me. At the beginning it was a little harsh and I got a lot of guidance from my club coaches which really helped me a lot.”
A freshman, Jake has enjoyed swimming on the Hun team with his sister, who is one year older.
“It’s great,” he said. “High school swimming really forms a community which is a core value of Hun. So it really goes along with what Hun is all about. At times it can be a little awkward being on the same team. But most of the time it is great because I get to have Grace on the same team and we often times get to swim in the same relays which is a lot of fun.”
PRINCETON: Hun swimming a family affair for McBrides
By Bob Nuse, Sports Editor