Swimming in victories


After winning two state titles, Notre Dame senior competes in national event in Florida.

Notre Dame senior Rudy Aguilar-Fernandez, who recently won two state championships in swimming (100 freestyle and 200 freestyle), is swimming this week at the National Club Swimming Association’s (NCSA) Juniors, which are held in Orlando, Florida. The meet is known for having many fast 18-and-under swimmers from across the country. 

Freshman Rhinna Hensler, who earned a state championship this year in the 100 butterfly, also is competing at the NCSA Juniors this weekend in Florida.

Besides competing for Notre Dame Prep, Aguilar swims for Ann Arbor-based Club Wolverine, which counts multi-gold-medalist Michael Phelps as one of its members.

Aguilar-Fernandez came to Notre Dame after spending his first two years of high school at Brother Rice in Bloomfield Township. His swimming tenure at Rice included earning four All-American and several All-State (one gold, two silvers, one bronze) and three All County titles (two golds and two silvers).

At Notre Dame he’s won both his recent Oakland County events, breaking the 100-freestyle and 200-freestyle county records in the process. He’s also broken nearly every single school record and many multiple pool records during his two seasons at ND Prep.

But Aguilar-Fernandez takes none of it for granted.

“This all would not have been possible if it weren't for God, my parents, my coaches, my friends and everyone else who God has put along my path up to this point in my life,” he said in a recent interview. 

Regarding the next level of schooling, Aguilar-Fernandez said he's received an athletic and academic scholarship to swim and study at nearby Oakland University, which competes in Division 1 in the NCAA. He’s not quite sure yet what he will focus on academically at Oakland, but he’s leaning toward economics or medicine. 

“I’m currently still choosing which major I will go on to study,” he said. “But I’m very interested in economics or something in the medical field. Perhaps something in forensic medicine, which is an area I may pursue as a career after college.”

Before he gets to college, however, Aguilar-Fernandez wants to finish up a high school career that has given him a big head start in both the pool and the classroom.

“My education at Notre Dame Prep has been quite the journey, especially with taking IB,” he said. “I am thankful for all the teachers who I've had the opportunity to experience here. One class specifically that I feel has especially helped me is my IB English HL class with Mr. Butorac. Because of his class, I've had the chance to learn how to analyze certain topics in a new way and look at it from a different viewpoint compared to most people around the world. Plus, learning how to write essays in his class has prepared me very well for college.” 

Comments or questions? mkelly@ndpma.org.

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About Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy

Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy is a private, Catholic, independent, coeducational day school located in Oakland County. The school's upper division enrolls students in grades nine through twelve and has been named one of the nation's best 50 Catholic high schools (Acton Institute) four times since 2005. Notre Dame's middle and lower divisions enroll students in jr. kindergarten through grade eight. All three divisions are International Baccalaureate "World Schools." The Marist Fathers and Brothers sponsor NDPMA's Catholic identity and manages its educational program. Notre Dame is accredited by the National Association of Independent Schools, the Independent Schools Association of the Central States and the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement. For more on Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy, visit the school's home page at www.ndpma.org.