Seniors Wheeler, Williams enjoy swimming together

February 03, 2004|JILL ERWIN

Seniors Mary Wheeler and Deming Williams have seen a lot in their time on the Danville swim team, but as they prepare for their final regional meet this weekend they agree they've been glad to go through it together.

Wheeler moved to Danville from Lexington before her freshman year and met Williams that season. Wheeler said the friendship they've formed through school and swimming has made everything easier.

"We take a lot of the same classes at school, but swimming definitely makes us closer," Wheeler said. "We know each other on a different capacity than just a regular student-student friendship."

The two shared captain duties for this year, and are the only two seniors on either the boys or girls swim teams. Now they are going through their final week of practice with the entire team as the regional meet will be held this weekend at Versailles.


"It's been a lot of fun," Williams said. "I kind of wanted to have a fun atmosphere with everyone making cards for the first meet. We let them know we're here to do a good job, but it's also fun, as it should be."

Danville coach Becky Bandura said having them as captains has helped the younger swimmers, and she said she expect the duo to continue setting the bar high this weekend.

"They're both phenomenal, unbelievable swimmers," Bandura said. "Deming, I expect to win the 500 freestyle and place in the top six in the 200 IM (individual medley), and I expect Mary to win the 100 breaststroke and come in the top three in the 200 freestyle and both of them to be on two winning relays apiece."

Those expectations don't put any added pressure on Wheeler or Williams. Both have been to the state meet before on relays, and Williams has also made it in the 500-meter freestyle. Wheeler said she hopes to make it in an individual event for the first time..

Wheeler owns the school record in the 100 breaststroke, but said she doesn't feel as confident in that in competition as she does the 200 freestyle.

"I'm just more competitive in it compared to other swimmers in the region," Wheeler said. "There's one girl from Woodford County that's really fast, and then my next competition is (teammate) Elizabeth (Reynolds)."

The two are at the point where they've started looking back and forward. Looking back, Wheeler jokes that she'll remember the long bus rides most of all, while Williams is a bit more open.

"It's hard to pin it to just any one memory, because I'm more of a thematic person," Williams said. "It's been a truly wonderful experience with the people I've met and spent time with."

Looking ahead, neither has a college chosen, and only Williams will continue on with her swimming. But Wheeler said the future looks bright for the Ads.

"Elizabeth is only in eighth grade, and she's important to the team because she'll be really good forever," Wheeler said. "There are younger girls that are only going to get better when they get older, like Madison (Arnett) and Maddie (Meckes)."

Bandura said she will miss her two seniors, however.

"If I could have a whole team of Demings and Marys, I would coach forever," Bandura said.

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