NOBLESVILLE, Ind. (WISH) – In a sport that demands great individual focus, Maggie, Evan and Jessica have provided the Noblesville High School swim team with a whole new meaning to the word “team.”
“They’re role models,” said Noblesville head swim coach, Richard Wolfred. “When they’re having a bad day, they see these guys coming in doing the same kind of workout.”
Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, the three members of the Millers swim team show up to practice and get laps in, working on perfecting their skills in the water.
“I love to do butterfly, back stroke, freestyle, and breast stroke,” said senior, Maggie Derksen.
“Back stroke,” said sophomore Evan Stivers.
Maggie, Evan, and Jessica have down syndrome. A disability that presents them with unique challenges everyday. But upon jumping into that end lane of the pool – they fit right in with the rest of their teammates.
“Honestly, they’re just like any other high school swimmer. They try their best and they’re always very positive,” said sophomore, Abby Swift.
Maggie just entered the final stretch of her senior swim season. And she takes pre-meet pep talks very seriously!
“I say, ‘Go Millers! Then guys and girls, too. And divers,’” said Derksen.
“Oh she’ll give it to them. She lets them know where they should be,” said Wolfred.
While the result of meets and practices play a major role in the success of the swim program, the environment created by Maggie, Evan and Jessica in the pool gives their teammates and coaches an even greater appreciation for the sport.
“It makes it enjoyable coming to practice every day to see their smiling faces,” said Wolfred.
“Seeing individual people grow and just better themselves makes you also want to do your best,” said Swift.
Striving to do their best, one stroke and smile at a time.