Athlete of the Week: MB’s Langdale has eyes on prize

Myrtle Beach High swimmer Maggie Langdale spent almost the entire summer submerged in water. It all paid off in last week’s season-opening Ripley’s Invitational.

Langdale captured victories in the 100 backstroke and the 200 freestyle, the same events she finished third and fifth, respectively in last year’s state championship meet.

With only one month remaining until the 2013 state meet, the junior has been putting in plenty of time in the pool to reach her ultimate goal – a Class 3A state title.

“My goal is to win state and I’ve been training hard since last season,” said Langdale, who was voted the Mammy’s Kitchen Athlete of the Week. “I work out in the pool twice a day every day and I swim for (Coastal Aquatic Club) in the offseason.”

Langdale has at least one believer – second-year Seahawks swim coach Dave McCarty. Not only did he inherit a star swimmer in Langdale, but also an emerging leader who sets a shining example for her teammates.

“Maggie works very hard at her swimming and takes it seriously,” McCarty said. “She is a year-round swimmer and competes year round as well. Last year and so far this season, she has been undefeated locally and has continued to outclass any local AAA and AAAA female swimmer. She sets her goals very high and has been an inspiration to all who compete in the sport of swimming.”

Langdale, who started swimming for the varsity Seahawks in the seventh grade, has reluctantly accepted her new role as a team leader.

“I’m used to be the youngest one, and now all of a sudden I’m one of the oldest,” she said. “I just try to work hard, lead by example and support my teammates any way I can. We’ve really started to grow since Coach McCarty took over.”

And no one would be more excited or less surprised to see Langdale reach her goals than McCarty.

“I anticipate a top finish for her in two individual events at the state meet October 5th in Columbia,” he said. “It would not surprise anyone to see her take home some gold medals at this event. Being only a junior, she will have one more year of high school competition.”

Given Langdale’s hard work and steady improvement, one gold medal may not be enough.

“I’ve got two more years,” Langdale said, “but I would like to go ahead and win one this year.”

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