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Central Catholic Crusaders Swim Team Awards

Central Catholic Crusaders Swim Team Awards

Women’s Team Awards
Rookie of the Year: Casilda Allendesalazar
Cas came to the team without a wealth of experience in competitive swimming but quickly grew to understand the work that would be required to improve. She rose to the challenge and tried to absorb as much critique as she could and at the end of the year, she was the first-year swimmer on the women’s team who scored the most points. Congratulations Cas!

Most Improved: Nichole Dudley
We base this award purely on the percentage improvement achieved from the first time an athlete competes in an event and their performance at sectionals. Between the 100 Backstroke and 100 Butterfly, Nichole dropped over 20 seconds in her times and even though the butterfly was a difficult transition for her, we are proud of where she ended up at sectionals and were ecstatic with her performance. Congratulations, Nichole!

Hard Worker Award: Morgan Phillips
Morgan was dealt a difficult hand this swim season. Swimming is hard enough on your shoulders and coming in with a pre-existing shoulder issue can seriously complicate matters. It takes honesty, grit, and patience to work through that type of injury and it can be difficult for a tough athlete to know when to pull back on the reins and take it step by step. Morgan worked through the season, doing the best she could when she could, and learned that sometimes a step back is required before you can begin to move forward again. Congratulations, Morgan!

Coaches’ Award: Maddie Grillo
Of all of the women on the team this year, it would be difficult for the coaches to not say that Maddie grew the most this season, as an athlete, as a leader, and as a teammate. Maddie spent the previous three years perfectly content putting in her work with her head down, ignoring many of the distractions that exist on a swim team. She was always one of the hardest workers we could hope for, and her example was consistent and always under the radar. This year we needed her to find her voice and the team needed her example to be front and center. By mid-season, Maddie realized this and slowly started becoming more and more vocal during practices and meets. At just the right time, we had a resolute leader who had no problem pulling her teammates through a difficult practice or meet, all while putting in maximum effort herself. She will be sorely missed next year and we wish her luck! Congratulations, Maddie!

Most Valuable Player: Kristen Belden
Kristen came into her first season with us with only one thing on her mind: racing. She wanted to go as fast as possible whenever she put her goggles on and being a freshman, it can be difficult for swimmers like that to be thoughtful in their approach. Not every day can be GO GO GO… sometimes a more deliberate and long-term approach is needed. She learned a lot this year about how to train, how to react to setbacks, and how to swim fastest at the right moment. Kristen broke two fairly long-standing Central records in the 50 and 100 Freestyle events and those are the direct result of her thoughtful approach to the entire season. She even qualified for the State Championship Meet, finishing 24th in the state in the 100 freestyle, an event that she may have laughed off at the beginning of the season. It will be exciting to see what she is able to do as she grows and matures as an athlete and leader over the next few years and we look forward to her future successes. Congratulations, Kristen!

Men’s Team
Rookie of the Year: Brenden Minarcheck
Brenden came into this season quite wide-eyed, not knowing what to expect or how to approach a full season of training. He learned and grew throughout the season, riding out some low patches while experiencing the excitement that comes with a close race or personal accomplishment. He showed consistent improvement and at the end of the season, Brenden scored more points for Central than any other first-year swimmer. We are excited to see what he is able to accomplish next year and beyond. Congratulations, Brenden!

Most Improved: Max Grillo
Anyone with any experience with our team knows that Mrs. Stoia forms a very special bond with her lane 6 swimmers. From the first practice, she knows that her swimmers have the greatest opportunity for improvement and growth as swimmers. She was particularly excited this year for her swimmers/professional wrestlers and Max was no exception. She mentioned at the beginning of the year that Max would be a swimmer to watch this season and, as always, she was 100% correct. Between the 50 Freestyle and 100 Backstroke, Max dropped over 30 seconds, which is unheard of. He worked throughout every practice and poured his heart into each race. The smile on his face after each race at sectionals said it all. Congratulations, Max!

Hard Worker Award: Barrett Scheatzle
It is doubtful that a student-athlete like Barrett could ever be replicated. His work-ethic, combined with his relentless pursuit to learn as much as possible, make him an example that all of his teammates should attempt to emulate. Barrett never complained and there was never any doubt that he would give 100% of his effort into any race or practice. We didn’t know what to expect when he walked onto the pool deck for his first practice, but we were impressed every day after that. The only thing negative that we can say about him is that there is only one. Underclassmen, pay attention to Barrett’s attitude and follow his lead. Congratulations, Barrett!

Coaches’ Award: Andy Kurtz
Similar to Maddie, Andy has spent the last few years quietly coming to every practice and being content out of the spotlight. This year, we would need him to be a loud and vocal leader. He didn’t disappoint us. He quickly learned to be comfortable being uncomfortable during practice and that grit would need to be his game throughout the season. Andy grew a great deal this year and we were proud that he not only put in a great deal of work himself, but made sure he was more aware of what his teammates were doing and that they put in the same amount of work. Mentoring his teammates, they benefited. Improving on his own level of effort, he improved and benefited greatly as well. We are proud of Andy and we were fortunate to have his leadership this season. Congratulations, Andy!

Most Valuable Player: Jack Belden
Missing Joey Mullen this year could have been seen as a death blow. I know from personal experience that it is comforting to have a state champion on your relay or on your team at a meet. If you have a bad race, they will be there to save you. Once that is gone, someone else needs to step into that role. Jack realized quickly this year that if it was him, he would need to change his entire approach to practice and to races. He stepped into those empty shoes brilliantly and saw immediate results. Until this year, I don’t know if Jack viewed himself as a “swimmer”, but hopefully he has realized his potential after this season. Throughout the season, he took his own performances more seriously and thoughtfully and by the end of the year, he had big goals. He learned that swimming fast isn’t something that just happens… it is something that you work towards and learn through. We are excited to see what next season brings for him! Congratulations, Jack!


Congratulations to all of our award winners! A special thank you to all of the seniors and their effort for the past 1-4 years. You will all be missed. Another thank you to all of the parents and families who volunteered their time and energy into timing, planning team parties, traveling and transporting to meets, etc. If we succeed as a team, it is only due to the support we have from the wonderful families of all of our swimmers.

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