By Cate Gillingham
Going into high school is stressful for any teenager—finding classes, fitting in and even navigating the dating world can feel like a whole new world after middle school. This is not the case for Rachel Butler.
At just 15 years of age and a freshman at Brighton High School, she is on her way to being one of the best swimmers in Utah. Butler anchored Brighton’s first-day lead at the 5A state championships at BYU Feb. 11 by winning the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 2:08.43.
Confident in Butler’s abilities, team captain Erika Melville said before the championships that “The girls are looking really good for state.”
It proved true. The girls finished a close second behind Sky View and had several standout performances, especially from Butler. She also took first in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 5:04.06, beating the second-place finisher by 17 seconds.
At first glance, Butler is tall (nearly 6 feet) and thin, but she looks strong. She is quiet, but answers questions with confidence. That belief in herself comes from hard work.
“I just tell myself that I’ll do good because I know I’m prepared,” Butler said.
Butler has been training for many years, and her experience showed last year when at just 14 she swam the 50-yard freestyle in 26 seconds.
With three years to go in her high school career, Butler is off to a great star. She succeeds individually but also as part of the team, as she helped Brighton place third in the 200-yard medley relay and second in the 400-yard freestyle relay.
For most people, the freshman year of high school is hard. But with someone who works as diligently as Rachel Butler, it’s easy.
Brighton High freshman Cate Gillingham wrote this story as part of the Preps Utah student journalism program, powered by Bank of American Fork, which will award two of our published student journalists college scholarships at the end of the school year.