Porter-Gaud’s Willem Goedecke described what he loves about swimming.
“It’s just the water itself,” he said. “You are in the water without gravity weighing you down, and you feel like you can fly.”
That flying feeling is familiar to Goedecke and Berkeley High School’s Sarah Mundy, two of the fastest swimmers in the state and the All-Lowcountry high school swimmers of the year.
Goedecke, a junior at Porter-Gaud, won two individual gold medals and a third relay gold in leading Porter-Gaud to its fourth straight state championship in the S.C. Independent Schools Association.
Mundy, also a junior, won two individual golds at the Class AAAA state championships in the S.C. High School League.
Goedecke’s times of 52.13 seconds in the 100-yard backstroke (a state record) and 1:46.62 in the 200 freestyle were the fastest in those events in the Lowcountry, as were Mundy’s times of 24.11 seconds in the 50 free and 52.06 seconds in the 100 free.
Other All-Lowcountry girls swimmers who doubled up on recording the fastest times in the Lowcountry at state meets include Elysse Pardus (100 fly, 500 free) and Kalia Pardus (200 IM, 100 breast) of Porter-Gaud, which won a third straight girls state title in SCISA. Kalia set two SCISA state records, and Elysse set a record in the 100 fly.
They are joined on the All-Lowcountry team by Wando’s Meredith Jones (200 free) and James Island’s Allison Knight (100 back).
Jones helped a deep Wando team win its third state championship in girls swimming, its first since 2012-13.
In Class AAA of the High School League, Bishop England won the girls state title behind honorable mention swimmers Claudia White (second in the 100 butterfly), Emma Pizzo (third in the 50 freestyle) and Bella Kissell (third in the 500 freestyle). The Lady Bishops also won the 200-yard freestyle relay.
On the boys’ side, Bishop England’s Addie Laurencelle also recorded the Lowcountry’s fastest times in two events, the 50 free and 100 free. He and Goedecke are joined on the All-Lowcountry team by Porter-Gaud’s Daniel Kassis (200 IM), Wando’s Johnny Gush (100 fly) and Cameron Mehta (100 breast), and Stratford’s Matthew Agostinelli (500 free).
Gush and Mehta helped Wando’s boys win their sixth state championship, the first since 2012-13.
Berkeley’s Mundy swims for a school that is not a traditional swimming power, traveling 45 minutes to an hour from her home in Pinopolis to her training pool in North Charleston. She came back from knee surgery last January and loves the feeling of self-improvement that swimming gives her.
“Every single time you get in the pool, you improve yourself,” she said. “I love that idea.”
Both Mundy and Goedecke harbor ambitions of swimming in college.
“I want to be accepted at an elite-level college that has engineering and an excellent swim program,” said Goedecke. “But most important is exceptional academics.”
Both swimmers belong to the year-round swim program S.C. Swim Club, and both say high school swimming is important to them.
“It’s exciting,” Goedecke said. “It’s similar to college swimming in that it has a different emotion from club or even summer swimming. You are there with your teammates, and the idea of team is so much more important.
“You are in the water with people you see every day at school, and that makes the idea of representing your school so much more important.”
View the full article at Post & Courier.