A cheering throng wished swimmers Nathan Moore, Jake Kiska, Max Mlincek, Sam Parker, and Kevin Heyd good luck Feb. 22 as they departed Amherst Steele High School for the state meet in Canton.
This is Moore’s third time qualifying for state competition, putting an exclamation point on a career that’s included multiple Division I district titles.
“It’s obviously a great honor to get to go down but we really want to go out with a bang this year,” said the senior. “It would be something good for us, the school, the coaches, the team, and the community. We want to perform for all of them. I think being an athlete at Steele really shows you how to humble yourself and manage your time. That’s very important in life.”
Competition takes place in Canton through Saturday at the C.T. Branin Natatorium.
It will be the second time making the trip for Mlincek, Kiska, and Parker while Heyd, a sophomore, makes his debut in state competition.
Coach Mary Bartek spearheaded the creation of the Steele swimming program in 1997 and went on to lead the squad for a number of years before stepping away. She began her second stint at the helm five years ago and couldn’t hold back a smile as she gathered her team for pictures.
“The kids train hard all year and we coaches just kind of stand here looking pretty,” she said. “These kids want to perform. We have a lot of good, young swimmers coming up through the program too.“
Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-775-1611 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.