(3-24-17) High school swimming and divers who compete in Mercer County have to work extra hard to master their sports. No school in Mercer County has their own swimming facilities, if it wasn’t for the Mercer-Auglaize County YMCA their might not even be high school teams. While many schools around the country have their own pool facilities, local schools have to fight for practice times and scheduling meets.
That’s why this year it is very special to see two Mercer County divers be able to continue their careers at NCAA D1 schools. Celina’s Sawyer Weitzel will dive for D1 Duquesne University in the fall and Coldwater’s Caleb Keck will dive in college with the Big 12’s West Virginia and his coach will be will a Celina grad Michael Grapner.Both divers have been impressive during their careers and both qualified for OHSAA state finals all of their four years in high school.
For a sport that doesn’t receive the media attention of some of the other sports (football, basketball and volleyball), the crowds are smaller and includes lots of travel and hard work…Mercer County has added two D1 athletes.
Congrats to Sawyer Weitzel for continuing her academic and diving career at Duquesne University!!🏊🏻 pic.twitter.com/0wGEoNEBVc
— The Green Scene© (@ctowngreenscene) March 22, 2017
Duquesne University Head Coach Dave Sheets:
We are very excited that Sawyer has decided to help us reinstate our diving program. From my first conversation with her she had the personality and desire that will fit in well with our program. She understands this will be a work in progress but is embracing the challenge of being the “first” as well as the opportunity to help us truly compete for a championship.
West Virginia University Diving Coach Michael Grapner:
When another diver comes out of Mercer County it definitely sparks my interest! I have been learning about Caleb and watching his progress for several years now. Caleb trains in Dayton, OH and has taken all the right steps to take his diving to the next level. I knew that recruiting him would be a good decision.
Growing up in Celina I know first hand about the commitments it takes to excel in a sport like diving. It takes passion, hard work, and a determination to succeed. For a diver from Mercer County to take their diving to the next level, they need to join USA Diving club with access to a 3m board and tower. In my case I trained in Fort Wayne, and for Caleb he chose to go to Dayton and dive with a very good coach and good friend Patti Hickey who is the head coach of the WTRC dive club in Centerville, Ohio.
Mercer County is a hot bed for athletes across the spectrum of sports. Mercer County as a whole is notorious for producing quality athletes in football, volleyball, baseball and track and swimming and diving to name a few. And in this case Caleb Keck the rare diver comes along to take his talents to college.
For me, I think growing up in mercer county taught me the value of a hard work ethic toward achieving desired results. All athletes who have the passion to compete strive for results. But I think athletes who come from mercer are born with a work ethic unlike many athletes across the country. They are humble and willing to do what is asked of them by their coach.
It is my hope that Caleb will train with the same work ethic and standard to succeed. I am looking forward to having Caleb as part of the Mountaineer diving squad, I think he will make a positive impact on the team.