Every weekday morning at 4:30 am, Admiral Farragut Academy sophomore Harrison McGriff wakes up to get a workout in. “I either swim, weight train, or box, because boxing is really good for swimmers,” said Harrison.
Harrison started swimming at age five, joined a swim team at age seven, and started Sea Cadets at age ten. “I started watching Navy Seal movies, and that’s when I knew I wanted to be a Navy Seal and swimming would support that dream.”
Harrison said he understands that practice makes perfect and he is working hard now so that he can reach his big goals.
“I want to swim for a division one university and participate in ROTC, possibly major in veterinary studies, make it past the trial cuts and compete in the 2020 Olympics for the 100 meter breaststroke, and after college, my plan is to be commissioned into the Navy and become a Navy Seal.”
To further prepare him for his goals, Harrison attended the two-week Aviation Rescue Swimmer Class at Camp Pendleton in California this past summer.
“I believe the training was led by some of the most dedicated and disciplined trainers,” Harrison said. “My team learned to push ourselves beyond our own expectations, both physically and mentally.”
Out of 18 cadets from across the United States, only six cadets completed the training. During the first day, nine cadets were unable to pass the physical test and were asked to fly back home.
“On Hell Day we woke up at 3am to do beach PT which included push ups in the sand with the waves crashing over us and we had to swim in the ocean with big waves and strong currents,” said Harrison. “We were all really nervous, but since I’m a swimmer and comfortable in the water, that really helped prepare me.”
Harrison persevered and although he was the youngest cadet, he earned Honor Cadet which was awarded to the most-well rounded and best cadet out of the group.
“It was a great experience,” said Harrison.
Over the summer, Harrison was also one of the ten SCUBAnauts to be selected to Capitol Hill Ocean Week (CHOW). The mission of SCUBAnauts International is to educate teens in the marine sciences, enabling them to make a positive impact on the environment and empowering them to become tomorrow’s leaders. Harrison spent the week-long trip meeting with senators and other members of Congress, attending educational panel sessions on marine science, and representing SCUBAnauts at the National Marine Sanctuary Gala.
Harrison is in his second year at Farragut. He swims on the Varsity Swimming Team, participates in Scuba, participates in Aviation, and hopes to earn his Private Pilot certificate his senior year.
We look forward to seeing what Harrison accomplishes next. If you have a story about an outstanding Farragut student, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.