Harrison has a long history with Hubbard Family swim school beginning at six months old when he learned the basics of floating & breathing. Years of lessons followed and his love of the water naturally landed him on their summer recreational team. Fast forward to senior year of high school and he is captain of his team at Phoenix Country Day School. They are 2016 Division III State Champions and 2017 State Runner-Ups. Individually, Harrison has won numerous medals and his relay team has broken school & state records. For the past two summers, he has been passing on his love of swimming to campers at Hubbard Sports Camp. He teaches everything from basic breathing to stroke technique, all the while stressing water safety and fun. When he’s not in the pool Harrison is on stage acting and singing in his school’s musicals, he plays piano and volunteers at Arizona Animal Welfare league. He is also a member of Phoenix Swim Club!
Q. What does it take to be a captain of such a successful team?
A. Through my participation in multiple sports I have had many great coaches and one trait that all of them shared was their energy. Every great captain I have seen has always brought energy to the situation and gotten the team ready to go for the game or meet, so that was something I really tried to do before every meet when we screamed our team cheer. The other thing I believe is vital to a team’s success is a sense of community and cohesion, so I really worked with my co-captains to join the team together whether on the pool deck or at team dinners.
Q. Can you tell us about Phoenix Swim Club?
A. Phoenix Swim Club is a competitive swim team that has programs for all ages and abilities. Its athletes consistently perform exceptionally well at competitions of all levels, from state and sectional meets, to junior nationals, the Olympic Trials, and even the Olympics. It has also been recognized by USA Swimming’s Club Excellence Program for its commitment in performance excellence, earning bronze, silver, and gold medals since joining the program in 2009.
Q. What is the most important lesson you hope to teach the kids at Hubbard?
A. While a large part of my role at Hubbard is to teach a love for and comfort in the water, I really want these kids to learn the importance and enjoyment of an active lifestyle because being active means being healthy. Once school ends for summer break, it is easy for young kids to sit home all day and do nothing, and so it is up to the parents to take action and get their kids involved. By the end of the summer, I want the kids to take the initiative and be active on their own without the push of their parents.
Q. Do you plan on continuing your swimming after high school?
A. At the moment the plan is to join a varsity team in college. I have been communicating with coaches for about a year now regarding recruitment and trying to find the right program for me. I love the team aspect of the sport and the amazing friends I have made, and I would love to continue that experience as I move onto the collegiate level.
Q. What do you do for Arizona Animal Welfare League?
A. I am part of a program called Teen Tracks. We are a small group ages 13-18 who go to the animal shelter every Saturday and volunteer. We learn about various animal-related topics such as behavior training methods and then apply that knowledge around the shelter. We work closely with the exotic animals housed in the education department, such as chinchillas and bearded dragons, caring for them and educating the public on animal issues, we also help the cats and dogs taken in by the shelter to get adopted by providing human interaction and socialization.
Q. Is your school working on any musicals or plays at the moment?
A. The theater department just finished up a fantastic production of the play Robin Hood after two months of long rehearsals and hard work. Unfortunately, I was unable to participate due to other commitments, but I hope to join the cast and crew of the musical Godspell in the spring for my final high-school performance.
Harrison Rooney is a senior at Phoenix Country Day School.