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Mary Chatigny
Mary Chatigny - PSHS Class of 2005

Be it the in the water of the University of Michigan Aquatics Center or as she walks around campus, Mary Chatigny leaves bubbles in her wake - bubbles of enthusiasm. A 2005 graduate of Palm Springs High School, Chatigny earned a water polo scholarship to the Big Blue and is having the time of her life.

"The aquatics program pampers us. We feel blessed," said the five feet - six inch Driver as she took a break from studying for finals. Despite the wear of a long season, Chatigny still feels strong because "the trainers really take care of us." Chatigny is currently third on the seventeenth ranked Wolverines (24-11) in goals scored. She has played in 32 of the teams 35 contests this year, registering three hat tricks, and is currently preparing for the Western Division Championships and a chance to participate in the Water Polo Elite Eight. "Weíre a young team, so I expect us to be back (to the NCAA Championships) every year Iím here."

Learning to play with a different coach and in a different system "has been a challenge, to say the least," said Chatigny. But she loves the common goal to which team members are committed. "Thereís a serious tone - working to win every game - to every practice. In high school, not everyone is there for the same reason."

With five to seven hours of studying each night, four hours of daily practice, and three to five hours of class every day, Chatigny says she is enjoying every minute. "The girls on this team get along so well. Iíve heard stories about some problems at other schools, but we just click." And itís a good thing since a normal social life is almost out of the question. "Iíve tried to branch out with people from class but weíre usually in the pool when theyíre hanging out."

That doesnít mean she hasnít gotten some of the best experiences that the university has to offer. She managed to attend every home football game and called the atmosphere "awesome." "Iíve been to lots of Charger games, but nothing is comparable the feeling you get at this stadium on game day."

Chatigny, who carried a 4.0 GPA her final year of high school, was still surprised by the academic pressures at UM. "I was a naive high-schooler. I didnít expect the intensity." In addition to the hours of studying alone, each Michigan athlete is required to attend a mandatory study table. She entered the school as a kinesiology major but, because she would like to become a sports broadcaster, is planning on switching to communication.

A full year at the University of Michigan has not changed Mary Chatigny. Those who remember her as the life of the Palm Springs High School campus would still find a smile on her face and laughter all around her, today. In short, she still bubbles.