A Maryland high school is cheering on not one but two alumnae who have gone from schoolmates to Olympic teammates.
Katie Ledecky and Phoebe Bacon both attended Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart in Bethesda, Maryland, a private, all-girls Catholic school.
While there may not be fans in the stands at the Olympics, the Stone Ridge community turned out recently to cheer so loud they might have been heard in Tokyo.
Current students gathered wearing Team USA hats and t-shirts emblazoned with Bacon and Ledecky’s names. Some carried cardboard cutouts with images of the Olympians.
“Once you get to such an elite level, it’s like, you have to sacrifice so much,” one student said. “It’s really cool to see all the athletes, see all their hard work pay off.”
Stone Ridge isn’t done turning out top-tier competitive swimmers.
Erin Gemmell, 16, competed in the Olympic Trials.
“It was such an exciting experience. It feels really nerve-wracking at first, but then knowing that Phoebe and Katie were there, it helps so much because I look up to them so much,” Gemmell said.
Gemmell hopes to carry the torch for Stone Ridge.
“I love our swimming legacy,” she said.
Stone Ridge wasn’t the first time the powerhouse swimmers attended the same school. Bacon was paired with Ledecky in the “buddy” program at Little Flower School in Bethesda, Washington City Paper reported.