Haley Waring has very little down time.
And that’s exactly how she likes it.
Waring, a junior at Little Flower High School, came into ninth grade as a two-sport athlete.
In the fall, she played soccer and her top sport was softball, which is played in the spring. At first, she thought she would take the winter off to rest and prepare for the other sports.
Then she had a talk with mom and that all changed.
“My mom said she encouraged me to play a winter sport, and I decided to swim,” said Waring, who lives in Bustleton. “I decided to try it, see if I liked it, and I loved it. I really didn’t expect to love it as much as I do, but I love competing, I love the coach, he’s so supportive and I love how close the team is. I’m really glad I’m doing it.”
Fellow Sentinels are happy she’s out there, but competitors probably wish she spent the past few months working on her softball skills because Waring enjoyed a strong swimming season, capped off by a day to remember.
At the Catholic League championships/District 12 championships (they’re held at the same event), Waring posted personal best times in all of her races.
Her times dropped in the 50-yard freestyle, the 100-yard breaststroke, the 200-yard relay and the 400-yard relay, as she established her best-ever times during these races.
For her efforts, she also made All-Catholic in three of the events.
“All in all, Haley could not have had a better meet,” said Little Flower coach Sean Clothier. “Her hard work and competitiveness are what set her apart from the rest of the swimmers in the league. I would describe her with the following: fierce. never quits. fight to the death and leader.
“Haley puts everything she has into her workouts and had her best season ever, with continual time drops and personal bests over the course of the season. She pushed herself very hard every single night at practice and it paid off greatly for her. I couldn’t be happier for her accomplishments. She is very deserving of the accolades she earned. Nothing was handed to her. She earned every bit of the All-Catholic, All-District 12 Team, and the personal bests. She embodies the heart and dedication that I look for in every Little Flower swimmer.”
For Waring, it was just doing what she loves to do. But establishing personal bests in the biggest meet of the year was a great way to end the season.
“Everyone on the team pushes each other to work harder,” Waring said. “I think swimming is the hardest sport, and there are days when it’s really tough to get through a practice. You just push harder and it paid off.
“It was great competition, so I was pretty proud of the way I swam. I thought we all did pretty well. It was a good day.”
Waring didn’t spend a lot of time enjoying her special day.
The week after Waring’s swimming season ended, she had a week off before it was time for softball practice.
A good week to rest up, right?
“I went to softball preseason workouts,” said Waring, the Sentinels’ starting catcher. “We could have a really good season. This year, they’re working with me at calling the pitches. Last year, I didn’t do it, so I have to learn a lot to do it, but I’m excited about it.”
Waring has been an impact softball player since she arrived as a freshman. In her first year, she was used as a utility player before finding a home behind the plate as a sophomore.
She’s also been a starter on the soccer team since her sophomore year. There, she’s a defender.
While swimming was her third sport when she arrived at Little Flower, it now ranks among her favorites.
And it also helps her with her other sports.
“Swimming really gets you in better shape, it’s definitely the hardest of the sports in terms of how hard you have to work,” said Waring, who plays club soccer for Vereinigung Erzgebirge, based out of Warminster, during the summer. “I think it’s helped me a lot in the other sports because after swimming season, you’re in great shape. It makes it easier to get ready for softball, and then soccer.”
It also helps her with her summer gig, where she’s a lifeguard at the Bustleton Swim Club.
She also stays busy in activities.
She’s a member of the Celtic Club, she’s in the school’s community service corps, and she’s a Little Flower ambassador.
“We just go out and tell people about the school, give tours and encourage people to go to Little Flower,” Waring said. “I really like the school, so I like doing that.”
Now Waring has a decision to make about college.
She still has plenty of time, and while she’s not sure about where she’ll end up, she has narrowed down the sports she might want to play.
“I think I’ll either swim or play softball,” Waring said. “Those are the two I like the best right now.”
After her weekend at the All-Catholic events, who can blame her? ••