SPRINGFIELD, Vt. – On Feb. 9 at the Regional swim meet at Upper Valley Aquatic Center, Berkley Hutchins of Springfield swam the 100-yard breaststroke in 1 minute, 12.43 seconds, a personal best time, which qualified her to compete in the upcoming New England Age Group Championship Swim Meet.
This marks the fourth time in her young career that Berkley has qualified for the prestigious competition. When asked about qualifying in the breaststroke event, she responded that she “felt pretty confident” that she would reach the goal; and when dealing with pressure, she said, “I tried not to think about that and just told myself ‘I can do this.'”
That confidence also boosted her to a first place finish in the 100-yard freestyle with a winning time of 59.67 seconds. She speaks gratefully about the encouragement and support of her parents and her teammates. “There are lots of people here to support you. The whole team is always here for each other.”
At age 9, Berkley qualified for age group competition for the first time and this, she says, was her proudest moment ever. It was a first place performance in which she beat her closest rival by 1/100 of a second, resulting in an exciting medal award and standing on the winner’s podium.
Berkley also competes in soccer and track and field – discus and shot put – at Green Mountain Union High School. In her typical fashion of aiming high, she hopes to compete in pole vaulting. And college swimming is definitely in her plans. In her academics, she enjoys the sciences and hopes to create a career in the medical field.