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Male Athlete of the Year: Watterson swims his way to success

Jack Hillgrove, Sports Editor

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An ideal situation for a high school athlete is to reach a huge mile stone at the end of senior year, and that was the case for senior swimmer Liam Watterson this year.
Watterson broke the Baldwin High School record in the 200-meter individual medley at this year’s WPIAL competitions. The previous record had been set back in 1995.
“I couldn’t imagine a better feeling,” Watterson said.
A very successful senior year, capped off with that school record, has made Watterson the 2016-17 Purbalite Male Athlete of the year.
Watterson began his swimming career at age 5 when he joined the Baldwin-Whitehall Swim Club. He began his career through a family lineage, both of his siblings swimming competitively and his dad coaching at the club.
It was only a few years later when Watterson knew swimming was his calling.
“Ever since 2nd grade I knew I had a very bright future in swimming,” Watterson said.
Outside of school, Watterson swims for USA Swimming, a club program that practices at the University of Pittsburgh. He has been a part of that club since sixth grade.
Senior teammate Chris Collins praised Watterson’s talent.

“Since I began swimming with Liam I knew that he had what it took to be great and we would make big things happen as a team,” Collins said.
Watterson’s excellent work ethic is highlighted by his early morning practices at Pitt. In the summer, he has practice from 6 to 8 a.m. every morning.
“It’s actually funny because in the summer I wake up earlier than I do for school,” Watterson said.
USA Swimming has taken Watterson to meets nationally such as events at Virginia Tech University and Long Island, New York.
Even though Watterson spends more time with his club program, the memories he made with his high school teammates are ones that will last forever.
Watterson has made a plethora of memories at Baldwin, but the one that sticks out most was when he swam the 100 freestyle in a relay that put him fourth in the region in USA swimming standards.
“That moment sticks out to me because it put me in the loop with all of the advanced swimmers around Pittsburgh,” Watterson said.

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Male Athlete of the Year: Watterson swims his way to success