Pennridge swimmer Morgan Scott is a self-proclaimed “water rat.” She wants to be in the water every chance she gets, which reflects on her performance in her biggest meets.
The 17-year-old senior grabbed two titles at the PIAA state championship meet at Bucknell University on March 15. Scott took first in the 100-meter freestyle in 49.22 seconds and also captured the title in the 200 free in 1:46.34.
Scott’s first taste of a state championship came in her sophomore year in the 200 free under coach Jacob Grant, who was in his first year heading the Pennridge program.
“[Sophomore year] I won by a significant amount and I couldn’t believe it, because I thought it would be so much closer,” Scott said. “It was a really nice win for me, because it was my first individual win, and even though it wasn’t the best time, winning that title meant so much to me.”
In four years, the senior finished with five individual state title wins and two relay state titles. Her success and discipline are outgrowths of her seven years of swimming for her school team and her club, Central Bucks Swim Team.
Scott’s experience with her club team is what made her realize she could have a bright future in the sport from a young age. She quickly realized her potential to be a high-level swimmer.
“[When I started CBST] I was qualifying for meets that people have been training for for years, and I just got there and qualified within one meet,” Scott said.
Once she made it to high school, Scott started taking the sport seriously and became extremely competitive. Losing was not an option.
“I didn’t like to lose,” Scott said. “If I lost, I would be thinking about it all the time. I would always go up to the girl and be nice and congratulate her, but in the back of my mind I was like, ‘I’m never going to let this happen again.’ ”
Despite having a desire to succeed, she remains supportive of her teammates, according to Grant, who appointed her team captain. At one meet, she went as far as to leave her lane seconds before her race to congratulate a teammate.
“Her teammate qualified for districts with an incredible time drop that nobody saw coming,” Grant said. “She’s 10 seconds away from her own race, and she runs over to her lane, gives her a big hug, and runs back not even worried about herself, just so happy that she’ll have one of her teammates at the district meet with her. That’s the kind of girl that she is.”
Scott serves as a captain for her club team as well as her high school team, providing support and discipline when needed. Swimming is traditionally more of an individual sport, but she said the team atmosphere at Pennridge is one of mutual respect and fun.
As captain, Scott steps up for her team when it needs her to. Grant said she is the swimmer they turn to when a meet is close and they need to score points, and she also swims the events others shy away from.
Scott’s selflessness and drive have earned her a spot on Indiana University’s swim team. Indiana has a storied program with a history of churning out successful athletes. The Hoosiers sent seven swimmers to the Rio Olympics in 2016.
Her interest in science also led her to Indiana, where she wants to be a biology major and possibly pursue a career in research.
As a swimmer at Indiana, Scott hopes to develop her backstroke and butterfly, make a relay, score points for her team, and make it to the 2020 Olympic trials and see how far she can make it.
“She’s still hungry, she still wants more,” Grant said.