“I made the mistake of quitting my swimming career in high school,” explains Chamberlain. “Instead of finishing my senior year strong, I involved myself in the social aspect of drinking and partying. As fulfilling as it sounded, it wasn’t.”
Flash forward to Oct. 29, 2016, and Chamberlin, a 24-year old rookie, is on the blocks in the 50-free, preparing to swim against PSAC rival West Chester.
“I had no idea what to expect,” says Chamberlain, who will be a redshirt sophomore in the fall. “I was nervous, but excited to start the journey I never finished in high school.”
He posted a time of 24.41 seconds that day to finish ninth overall and later took 11th in the 100-fly in the Huskies’ victory over the Golden Rams – the program’s first win over West Chester since 1989. But, time and place did not matter to someone trying to come back from mistakes made years earlier.
Chamberlain graduated from Bloomsburg High School in 2010 and worked for several years before deciding to attend BU in the spring of 2015.
“I began to get my life back on track and took school very seriously,” says Chamberlain. “After a couple of semesters of working hard in class and making Dean’s List, I decided I wanted more from my college experience. I felt the urge to swim again.”
Chamberlain reached out to head coach Stu Marvin in an attempt to walk-on to the team. “Coach was very helpful,” said Chamberlain. “He, along with the captains, were very welcoming and they provided me with team workouts.”
He continued to work hard and posted his best times of the season during the Zippy Invitational on Dec. 2. Although he narrowly missed qualifying for the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Championships, his comeback inspired the rest of the team.
“Seth’s story is very inspirational and he has had a tremendously positive impact on the rest of the team,” says Marvin. “We are all pulling for him to achieve his personal goals.”
At the team’s postseason banquet, Chamberlain was honored with the Captain’s Award, given by the team captains to a team member who displays unselfish commitment, dedication, hard work, enthusiasm, and unwavering loyalty towards BU swimming. Then, weeks later, he received the Paul and Jennefer Clifford Scholarship, awarded annually to a walk-on student-athlete.
“I was completely shocked and speechless when I received the Captain’s Award and grateful for the Clifford Scholarship Award,” says Chamberlain. “I took the necessary steps to get my life in order and was rewarded for it.”
“If there is one thing I’ve learned, it’s how you choose to respond to your mistakes that defines who you truly are. Last season will be a hard season to top, but the potential for this year is exciting. I will be ready to compete. My goal is for redemption.”•