|Stewart and Coach John Mask
Stewart adds 2 more state titles
By Michael Butler
Last year, Tallassee's Macey Stewart won a state championship as an eighth grader. This year she added two more.
Stewart won the 100-yard freestyle in 2019. She repeated the feat on Saturday at the state meet in Huntsville in the 100 but added another blue ribbon in the 200-yard freestyle.
Swimming has been a part of her life since the age of three.
"My brother was swimming and (my parents) didn't want me to just sit at the water and not get in the pool. (Now) I go to six practices a week. Since I've been doing it so long it is basically my life."
Coach John Mask is not surprised by the positive results.
"No matter what sport you're coaching, winning is always great," Mask said. "Macey works super hard. That's what it takes to be elite. She's an awesome student. She trains and prepares, not just in the pool."
Mask added that Stewart's regimen goes beyond swimming laps.
"She eats right, wakes up and does calisthenics. It's not just the practice but all day leading up to it."
Stewart like all swimmers was limited to competing in just two events.
"That's all you can do individually," Mask noted. "If we could pick more she could've probably won more. Next year, I want her to do two relays. I want her to make those around her better."
|Coach Mask with THS swimmers that participated the state meet (front row, left to right): Hope Moyers, Ivy Davis, Stewart, Madeline Weldon. (Top row, left to right): Corbin Grover, Canyon Moyers, Chase Webster, Camden Mask.
The Tallassee girls were seventh overall in the Class 1A-5A standings. On the boys side, Camden Mask was eighth in the 100-yard breaststroke. The boys 200-yard medley relay team was ninth. The boys were 14th overall.
"Our goal is to eventually win a team title," Mask said. "Macey is paving the way."
Stewart's finals time was 53.26 in the 100. It was 1:56:04 in the 200. Racing in multiple events can be a strain.
"It's kind of tiring," she said. "Before your race you're getting in the pool to warm up. After the race, you're getting back in the pool so you're not sore for your next race. It's a continuous process."
Stewart is beating out future college swimmers who already have scholarships. She still has time before deciding on her future aspirations.
"I'm going to go with whoever gives me the best scholarship. Career-wise, I'm wanting to go into the medical field."