Swim Cadets 'live the teenage dream' March 7–9

The 2024 Swim Cadets team (left to right, top to bottom): Gwendolyn Kinsella, Josephine Norton, Emily Barr, Sophie Petersal, Samira Sisson, Maeve Hackman (advisor), Ella Bain, Celia Pentecost, Amelia McCann, Addison Hart, Celia Lyford, Harper Walker, Polly Routh, Clara Walker, Lucia Mitchell, and Tasha Bell. [photo: Nancy Rich]

The Cleveland Heights High School Swim Cadets will present their 85th annual show—Swim Cadets Live the Teenage Dream!—March 7–9.

The 15-member synchronized swim team will perform three shows, Thursday through Saturday, March 7–9, at 7 p.m., at the Heights High Natatorium, 13263 Cedar Road. (The entrance is on the west side of the building, door #8.)  Tickets are $12 and available in advance from Swim Cadet members. A limited number of tickets will be sold at the door. The Friday-night show will also be live-streamed on the district’s YouTube channel.

The show is a product of four months of 12- to 15-hour practice weeks, and the cadets are responsible for all aspects of the show, including choreography, costumes, and fundraising.

Synchronized swimming in high school is rare, and Heights Swim Cadets is the oldest student-run club at the high school. The club's traditions span decades, bonding the girls to the generations before them. It is not uncommon for the members to be second- or even third-generation Swim Cadets (daughters, sisters, and nieces of former cadets). Many current and past members have participated in or coached the synchronized swimming program at Cumberland Pool over the summer, emphasizing the continuity between the community pool and the public school. 

Maeve Hackman, in her second year as the team’s coach, is herself a former cadet (2014–17).

“Having been a part of almost five shows, I continue to be in awe of the incredible dedication and hard work shown by the girls as they come together to bring the show to life,” said Hackman. “Team officers write and choreograph their routines months in advance and team members shoulder the responsibility of memorizing each routine, all while managing their regular school and workloads. This . . . is a significant undertaking for anyone, let alone teenagers.” 

Polly Routh, this year's team co-president and a member since her freshman year, said, “Swim Cadets has prepared me for my future in more ways than I could have ever expected. Because of this team, I have a sense of leadership and responsibility, and have also gotten great experience working with others. I have really loved seeing every member’s hard work come together while preparing the show, and am really excited to perform it for everybody.” 

The 2024 Heights Swim Cadets are: Seniors Polly Routh (co-president), Harper Walker (co-president), and Lucia Mitchell (secretary); juniors Josephine Norton (treasurer), Samira Sisson, and Gwendolyn Kinsella; sophomores Ella Bain, Emily Barr, Addison Hart, Celia Pentecost, Sophie Petersal, Clara Walker, Celia Lyford, Tasha Bell, and Amelia McCann.

Sarah Routh

Sarah Routh is mother to swim cadet Polly Routh. 

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Volume 17, Issue 3, Posted 3:00 PM, 02.28.2024