When Lejeune High School senior Caroline Morgan was a freshman at LHS, she started pushing for the return of the school’s swimming program. After little progress, Morgan nearly gave up hope.

But this year, the team made its comeback thanks to the effort and support of the school’s leadership and Camp Lejeune Community Schools.

“I’ve been fighting for a team since I was a freshman,” Morgan said, who has an automatic regional qualifying time in the 100-yard breaststroke. “I was sad that there wasn’t a team.”

What was once despair for the lack of a team, is now jubilation for its return.

“It made my senior year,” Morgan said.

That positive attitude is reflected in the swimmers’ chemistry.

“We are a very close-knit group,” said senior Dean Fecteau, who has automatic regional qualifying times in seven events. “The meets bring us together as well as just going to practice with a very small team. No one is really left out.”

Senior Lauren McClane, the team’s manager, has embraced their diversity.

“It’s a very eclectic selection of students,” McClane said. “Everyone is so different in their own ways, but I think because of that it makes us closer, because we are so accepting of one another.”

Following the team’s final regular season meet on Jan. 25 at the Sports Center in Morehead City, the student-athletes will likely look back and remember what a special year it has been.

“I feel like we really understand each other because (even though) we come from different places, we all are military kids,” said senior Hannah Velarde.

The 1A East Regional will be held in Cary at the Triangle Aquatic Center, Feb. 1. The top eight finishers from each event will go on to the state championships that will be held at the same facility, Feb. 6.