Record Setter Molly Hamlin Bound for Harvard

Rocket Swimmer An All-time Great


RMHS senior Molly Hamlin.

Lydia Molettieri ('21), Orbit Contributor

“Take your mark.”

Three words every swimmer is very familiar with. The sound of the starter is always to follow. At once, the crowd breaks the silence, the swimmers dive into the cool water, as everyone sits on the edge of their seats waiting to see who will win the race. This exciting, and often loud, environment is one RMHS senior Molly Hamlin has been around since she was 8 years old, and is excited to continue to be around at Harvard University in the fall. 

In May 2020, Hamlin announced her verbal commitment to continue her swimming and academic career at Harvard University in the fall of 2021, where she plans to study government. 

Staggering Accomplishments in the Pool

Hamlin’s swimming career started when she was 8 years old on the summer team at Meadow Brook Golf Club, which she competed on until she was 14 years old. That same year, she joined the Burbank YMCA Bluefins (BYB) team so she could continue swimming year round. When Hamlin was 12, she switched teams and began to swim on Crimson Aquatics, a club team located in Andover. Hamlin continues to swim on Crimson Aquatics as well as the RMHS Girls Swim Team, where she was co-captain for the 2021 season with senior Tess Rhodes. On the RMHS team, Hamlin holds 3 individual records in the 100 yard freestyle (50.49), 500 yard freestyle (5:04.65), 100 yard backstroke (54.97) and was a part of 2 relay teams that hold records, the 200 yard medley relay and 400 yard freestyle relay. Hamlin also helped lead the RMHS team to two State Championship titles, four Middlesex League Championship titles, and four undefeated dual meet seasons during her time on the team. 

Hamlin is not only a standout star in Reading, but also at the state level. She is ranked 4th for women swimmers in Massachusetts in the class of 2021 and 268th in the class of 2021, out of nearly 9,000 women swimmers across the country. In 2018, Hamlin was named Boston Globe Athlete of the year, and has been on the Boston Globe and Boston Herald All Scholastic Team in 2017, 2018, and 2019. Hamlin holds 9 individual State Championship titles in her 3 years competing at the MIAA Division II State Championships, which were cancelled this year due to COVID-19. She also holds the Division II State Championship meet record in the 100 yard freestyle and 200 medley relay. 

An Ambitious Schedule

Every morning, in a COVID free year, Molly woke to the sound of her alarm to get ready for her long, busy day. From 8:30 to 3:02pm, Hamlin went to school where she took all honors and advanced placement classes. Some of her favorites from her four years include AP US History and AP Government and Politics. Immediately following school, she jumped into the Burbank YMCA pool with the RMHS Girls Swim Team from 3:30 until 5pm between the months of September and November. She had a quick turnaround time between high school and club practice, as she had to be in Andover for Crimson Aquatics practice at 7pm. Finally, at 9:15, Molly drove home for dinner and to finish any homework that she had not completed already.

During the rest of the year, when the RMHS Girls Swim Team is not in season, Molly’s schedule stays the same, besides the hour and a half of high school practice. She continues to swim every night with Crimson Aquatics and adds an hour of dryland before practice 3 days a week. 

Crimson Aquatics is a competitive club swim team out of Andover. The mission statement located on the teams website states, “Our training sessions emphasize stroke technique and intensity training, while still providing sufficient yardage training appropriate for the varying age groups represented by our swimmers.”

Harvard Calls

Hamlin has been pushed and has been working hard since her first swim practice at Meadow Brook Golf Club. College level athletics is always a huge adjustment from high school athletics, especially at the Division I level. According to, only 2.7% of high school women swimmers go on to swim Division I, but Hamlin was ready to take on this challenge. “In college, I wanted swimming to continue to be a major part of my life, so I knew college swimming was the right choice for me,” she shares.

The recruiting process started in June of her sophomore year. “For the athletes, it’s a lot of calling different coaches, asking questions, and figuring out what you’re looking for in a college program,” Hamlin shares. 

“The hardest part was balancing all of the different coaches I was talking to and really figuring out what I wanted from college.  The easiest part was saying yes when the Harvard coaches offered me a spot,” Hamlin states. 

When looking at schools, Hamlin knew that athletics and academics were both important and that she wanted to stay close to home. “Harvard was one of the few schools that checked all of those boxes for me,” Hamlin shares. “As I learned more about the Harvard Swim and Dive Women’s program, I became more excited about the opportunity.  I love the culture on the team and the culture around women’s athletics in general.”

Molly, the Teammate

As Hamlin just wrapped up her RMHS swimming career, she shares the highlight of her swimming career this far. “One of my favorite races was the 400 freestyle relay at North Sectionals my sophomore year [2018]. I was anchoring this relay and Reading was behind Andover for most of the race. I remember getting up on the blocks and the entire pool deck was going crazy.  Once I dove in, there was this crazy sort of calm that came over me, and I knew I was going to beat the girl on the Andover team.  I ended up pulling ahead in the last 30 or so yards and Reading won the relay.”

Longtime teammate of Molly, Shannon Letendre (‘21), also highlights this same 400 freestyle relay. “My favorite memory of swimming with Molly has to be our sophomore year swim season. Especially at our North Sectionals meet. As the best meets do, it came down to the very last event, the 400 freestyle relay. Molly was the anchor in that relay. The three swimmers before her were steady at the lead but it was when Molly dove in that it felt like the MIT pool exploded with sound. She was neck and neck with the girl next to her and we were screaming from the end of their lane. Molly pulled through and finished first. It was so exciting to end a great meet with such a great and exciting race.”

Hamlin is a kind, hilarious, and supportive teammate. She is always the first to say good job after a hard race, or to crack a joke during a hard set at practice. When not swimming, she is always seen cheering on her teammates on the side of the pool. 

“Whenever you look at Molly’s lane, she is always socializing with her teammates and making them laugh. When she is swimming, she always puts her all into her races, really showing her dedication not just to the sport but to the team,” shares RMHS swimmer Ally Kneeland (‘22). 

A Coach’s Dream, A Rocket Legend

Hamlin is not only admired by her teammates, but also her coaches. Head coach and founder of Crimson Aquatics, Mike Spring, shares in an email interview, “Molly is the type of person and athlete that all coaches hope to have on their teams.”

“She has great work ethic, attitude and most importantly the ability to focus on changes that need to be made for improvement. It has been a lot of fun as her coach helping and watching her become the great swimmer she is,” Coach Spring adds. 

RMHS head coach, Lianne Bradley, also looks back on her time as Hamlin’s coach. 

“Molly is extremely humble, but also extremely competitive. In our senior meet Molly requested a race with her teammate, Anna Boemer, to bring some friendly competition to the meet…Molly was able to out touch Anna in the last 5 yards of the race. Even if Molly had not won, I think the smile on her face after the race would have been just as big. She is truly someone that thrives on competition, and she doesn’t like to lose.”  

Hamlin is the second swimmer to come through RMHS and shatter state and team records. From 2007-2011, Erica Belcher swam for the RMHS Girls Swim Team and furthered her academic and athletic career at the University of Louisville. In Belcher’s time on the team, she held 11 State Championship titles and 4 individual team records, 2 of which Hamlin beat. “When counting Molly’s state titles – she had 9 in only 3 years, so it is safe to assume she would have at least matched, if not surpassed, Erica’s 11 titles,” states Coach Bradley. 

Hamlin is excited to dive into her next chapter at Harvard University in the fall. She will be missed in both the RMHS swim and Crimson Aquatics communities. 

In the words of Coach Spring, “I have no doubt she will continue her upward climb and be a great success at Harvard.”