At 4 a.m. on a Monday morning, while the rest of her classmates are still in a deep sleep, Lauren Greenberg is already in the car headed toward a two-hour swim practice. When the final bell rings and everyone else heads home for the day, she gets back in the car for another round of practice.
When she finally gets home for the day around 7 p.m., it gives her just enough time to grab a quick bite for dinner, do her homework and get in bed. The next day, she does it all over again.
That’s the kind of dedication that’s made the Marvin Ridge swimmer one of the best in the county.
Greenberg was the sole individual champion when the Maverick girls swim team won the 3A N.C. High School Athletic Association state championship on Feb. 8, winning the gold in the 200 freestyle with a time of 1 minute, 52.03 seconds.
But she didn’t stop there, as Greenberg went on to swim a leg of the state championship-winning 200 freestyle relay (1:39.42) and the 400 freestyle relay (3:34.02) while taking silver in the 100 butterfly (56.82).
“That was my first individual state title and I was so excited to win it,” Greenberg said. “It’s always been a dream of mine for high school. I never really thought it would be in the 200 free, I thought it would be in the 100 fly. That was a huge surprise but I’ll take it. I was extremely happy with my
Greenberg’s stellar performances in the pool helped make the Marvin Ridge team the county’s most dominant and earned her the 2014 Union County Weekly Swimmer of the Year. With her accolades piling up, she said nothing compares to the feeling of winning the state title alongside her teammates.
“Winning states as a team was unbelievable,” she said. “The entire season, starting in November, that’s all we talked about. It was on our minds at every single meet and every single practice. We knew we wanted that state title and luckily we had the team to
Greenberg, who’s been swimming since she was 6, has devoted her high school career to swimming with the Mavericks and with SwimMAC Carolina. She’ll take her talents to the United States Naval Academy in the fall.
Following in the footsteps of her older brother Marc, Greenberg knew she wanted to swim at a Division-I school as early as her 12th birthday when her brother committed to swim at Virginia Tech. But she could’ve never predicted that her path would lead her to a service academy.
“I always knew I wanted to swim Division-I,” she said. “But I never thought I would go to a service academy. At a swim camp one summer, we heard one of the Navy coaches talk to us about their daily schedule – the 5:30 (a.m.) mornings, the strict rules, the marching and then serving five years after – I thought, ‘Why would anyone want to do that?’”
But eventually everything changed for Greenberg and she realized the Naval Academy was in fact her dream school.
“A few years later, I heard another Navy coach talk and all of a sudden it sounded perfect for me,” she said. “I love being able to push myself inside and outside the classroom and the pool. When I took an official visit last year, I knew that’s where I wanted to be. … It’s amazing to know that I’ll be going to a school where so many war heroes have gone and getting to serve my country after college would be the best job for me.”
With her time as a Maverick drawing to an end, Greenberg is ready for what’s to come. After her four years at the Naval Academy, she’ll be enlisted in a branch of the military and thinks she may want to serve with the Marine Corps ground unit. And she couldn’t be more excited about it.
“I’ve definitely had a great four years here,” she said, “but I’m ready to move on to bigger and better things.”