Not quite Michael Phelps

Posted on 05. Jun, 2017 by in Christian school, high school swimming, LCA News, Santa Monica


I wasn’t good at swimming in middle school, but I started to like it over the summer when I moved into an apartment complex with a pool.

By Hosea Ashcraft, LCA freshman —

I was the slowest swimmer, but I still liked it.

There was a real spirit of camaraderie at our Christian school, and my teammates always encouraged me, even though I came in last place in every meet.

I think my slow speed was due to my shortness. I’m one of the shortest kids in the school. (In fact, in varsity football, opponents would jeer, “Are you even in high school?) I don’t have a long stroke or long legs that are so helpful in swimming.

I did have the best kick though. That’s because I’m a soccer player, and those leg muscles got thick.


We were a small swim squad. We had fun.

In middle school, I didn’t like swimming. But then I swam a lot over the summer, so I started taking to it.

My buddies from the football team all took track to get faster. But, to be frank, I don’t like running.

Our swim team was composed of junior Trina Gratton, junior Aden Craig, freshman Josie Bowen, sophomore Justin Berry and me. We would josh around in the car on the way to swim practice.

Since the Lighthouse Christian Academy is so small, of course we don’t have a pool, so we have to rented lanes at Santa Monica College a mile away. That was a cool pool. We practiced three days a week for an hour.  The most I swam one day was 1,700 meters. (Watch out, Michael Phelps!)


So you can see how tall Justin is. How am I supposed to compete with that?

We held two meets, all in the Pacific Palisades. Needless to say, I didn’t get any medals.

Mr. Jack Mefford is our coach. He’s a soccer player and a swimmer. He runs marathons and is in incredible shape. He’s always cheery and constantly coached us to our limits.  He showed us the video of Michael Phelps winning his 17th gold medal in the butterfly. He was one stroke behind the other guy, but somehow he touched the wall before the other guy by a millisecond.

Mr. Mefford swam throughout high school. He even did a triathalon. What a stud!

Justin Berry was our fastest swimmer, breaking the Lighthouse record for one day of freestyle. I suppose that comes easy for him because he’s over 6 feet tall. How’s a guy who’s 5’2″ supposed to compete against Goliath in the water?


Aden, the new girl, is quite a swimmer.

Aden is the new girl in our school. She’s slightly taller than me and had slightly better times.

Josie always pushed himself to compete against Justin. He’s from Africa, the son of an American missionary. He used to snorkel with his dad on the East Coast of Africa under the warm sun of Senegal. What a life!

I’m planning to swim again next year. It was nice to get in the water when it was hot. Ha! I can just imagine those track guys sweating it up under the hot sun, all envious of us.


My buddy, Josie, is a missionary’s kid, just like me.


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