RYE, N.Y. – Melissa Fulenwider recalled her first year, as a seventh-grader, on the Rye High School girls varsity swimming team and what a fun experience it was.
Fulenwider wanted to provide the same atmosphere for the younger girls this year — and the senior accomplished this.
Along the way, the team won meets, the girls lowered their times as the season progressed and Fulenwider capped her career with a fine year. Fulenwider’s season has earned her The Rye Daily Voice Student-Athlete of the Month honor.
“When I was in seventh-grade, my older sister, Allison, was on the team,” Fulenwider said. “It was fun being one of the younger kids on the team and swimming with the older girls. Everyone was so supportive of each other.”
Fulenwider, a five-time state qualifier and five-time top-eight finisher in the 100 freestyle and 100 breaststroke, enjoyed her Rye career.
“You have another level of excitement with high school swimming that you don’t have with club swimming,” said Fulenwider, who swims with the Badgers.
“Everyone gets excited about the dual meets.” She welcomed the younger girls to the team and immediately made them feel comfortable, beginning last summer.
“I saw how my sister tried to include everyone so I wanted to do the same thing,” said Fulenwider, who will attend Princeton University and continue swimming. “We did a lot of different activities during the summer so we got to know each other. This led to everyone getting along really well.”
And it led to the largest team, more than 40 members, in Rye history.
Fulenwider capped her career with a five-place finish in the 100-breaststroke and eighth-place finish in the 100-fresstyle.
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