On January 21st, Mansfield’s boys and girls swim won first place overall at the district meet. One of the swimmers, freshman Maddie Mechling, is quickly becoming one of Mansfield’s best. At the meet, she got 1st place in the 100 backstroke, 2nd place in 200 freestyle, and was on the winning 200 medley relay and the 400 freestyle relay.
Mechling then went on to get third in the 100 backstroke ate the regional meet on February 4th, qualifying for state. The 200 medley relay and 400 freestyle relay qualified for state as well. The state meet is the weekend of February 17-18th in Austin.
Mechling competes for both the school and Mansfield Aquatic Club swim teams and she began swimming nearly 8 years ago; she continues to try to improve her skills every day.
“I have two practices a day, six times a week, so 12 practices a week, and each practice is about two hours,” Mechling said. “It’s very hard balancing swim with school; I’m in all Pre-AP classes.”
Although she is hard at work nearly every day, Mechling continues to try spend time with family and friends, and pursue other hobbies.
“I really like baking. My sister is in college, and she’s trying to start a bakery. We always used to bake together when we were little,” she said. “I also watch TV a lot and hang out with friends.”
Mechling moved to Mansfield from Colorado, and according to her, swimming is quite a bit different now.
“I feel like high school swimming here is a lot more important than it is in Colorado,” Mechling said. “It’s just a bigger sport here in Texas. It was hard adjusting, but people here are so nice and friendly that it was a lot easier than I expected it to be.”
Swimming is a sport that Mechling hopes to continue in college. When asked about Olympic dreams, she said they are very limited.
“My sister is really close to getting in the Olympic trial cuts, so she’s a lot closer than I am, but maybe one day,” she said.
With so much on her mind, Mechling values her team and the people who support her.
“I think having good teammates, good sportsmanship, and good coaches are important to keep from getting burned out. Getting along with your teammates is a big part; you always just want to have fun when you’re there.”