HOWLAND, Ohio (WKBN) – For the first time in school history, a Howland swimmer can call themselves a state champion. Tigers senior Jared Mindek captured the school’s first state swim championship last week in the Division II 100 meter breaststroke.
“I hit my turns good,” Mindek said. “Just make every single stroke count and as powerful as I can. During the race I could see in my peripheral vision, I could see just one person. I had to turn around to look at the board, the only thing I looked at was the number and I saw that I won and I couldn’t be more ecstatic.”
Mindek will go down as the school’s most decorated swimmer. Four-time state qualifier, an All-American and he holds school records in the 100 breaststroke, 200 IM, 200 freestyle and 500 freestyle.
“I mean it is awesome, the past four years has been one great ride,” Mindek said. “I am just happy I was able to finish it on top of the podium. All the hard work paid off.”
Mindek is also working hard in the classroom. He holds a 4.22 GPA and is a member of the Spanish and HEART club. Mindek says it is all about keeping a balance.
“I just utilize my time very well,” Mindek said. “Try to get my homework done and out of the way before swim practice. Then when it comes to practice, I put my goggles on and get to work. You have to focus on what you need to focus on, work on the small stuff and it is all going to pay off in the end.”
With the success in the pool and in the classroom. Mindek hopes he is setting a good example to help the program continue its success.
“Howland didn’t have a swim team for like 10 years before we started it back up,” Mindek said. “I just hope this is a starting step for the program and kids in the community want to join and grow the swim team.”