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Thursday, July 18, 2024

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She Started Swimming at Age 5. Now This LWHS Senior Will Be Swimming Her Way to FSU!

by James Coulter

Mary Leigh Hardman, 18, graduates from Lake Wales High School next year. She will be attending Florida State University. She remains undecided about what she will be studying in college. She does know she will be on the athletic swim team.

Mary recently signed her letter of intent for Florida State University last Tuesday during a signing ceremony hosted at the school library. She was joined by family, friends, and classmates.

Mary had been swimming since age 5. In fact, the person who gave her swimming lessons was none other than LWHS Athletic Director Arianne Seidl (affectionately called “Coach A” by the students).

Coach A remembers giving young Mary her first swimming lessons. Now that she has grown up, Mary certainly has the tall stature and lean frame that makes for an excellent professional swimmer, Coach A commented.

Moreover, Mary’s determination has been the real driving force in her athletic and school career, as she has proven to be both an excellent athlete and top-grade student, Coach A explained.

“So her hard work and dedication in the classroom and the pool has been amazing and set her up for success, and [now] her dreams are coming true,” she said. “I look forward to her success. She will have great success on the college level. It will all depend on her determination, but what she has thus far has shown she is willing to work hard and has high goals and the ability to reach those.”

Ever since she learned how to swim at age 5, Mary has been participating in competitive swimming. During her high school athletic career, she won the state championship in her freshman and sophomore years, and she attended state her senior year as well. Being able to do so allowed her to travel with her team and participate in the relay.

“I just love being on the team,” she said. “It is a lot of fun, especially when we get to travel to a lot of different meets and do fun things together…Honestly, I feel it is the team that has been keeping me interested in swimming because of the relationships I have on the team. It makes it all the more fun to train and compete.”

author avatar
Staff Reporter

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