Last week's Section VI boys swimming championships couldn't have turned out any better for Hamburg High School. The Bulldogs turned in a great team performance in earning several victories.
Hamburg had many swimmers do well, but Michael Maurer was the biggest star of the bunch. Maurer was involved in four races, including relays, and won all four. That's impressive in any meet, let alone the sectionals.
The junior has had a great career already, and he's not done yet. Mauer is the Prep Talk Male Athlete of the Week.
Coach Andy Godios on Michael: "He started swimming varsity for Hamburg his freshmen year. He was easily the best freshman I have ever coached. Individually Michael has won the 200 IM and backstroke at the large-school ECIC meet in his freshman, sophomore and junior year. Last year he was the co-MVP of the Class A meet after winning the IM, backstroke, medley relay and 200 free relay. At the sectional level Michael has won the IM as a freshman, sophomore, and junior. He won the backstroke for the first time at sectionals this year. Michael has also been a huge contributor to our relay success over the past three years. Michael owns the school records in the 200 IM, backstroke, medley relay, 200 free relay, and 400 free relay. Michael is the definition of a gamer. He swims his best at championship meets where the competition is at its best. Michael has a fear of losing, and this drives him to swim his best when all the chips are on the line."
Tell us about your week: "It’s been a great week for all of us on the Bulldogs swim team. Getting personal best after personal best during sectionals really helped the team morale. These personal bests started at prelims and continued throughout finals. To win all four of my events personally was amazing."
How has your season gone? "For me so far this season has truly been an adventure. I struggled all season to get a personal best until sectionals. But to me it’s not all about that. It’s mainly about having fun and racing against the competition. It’s been a blast so far this season."
What is the highlight of your athletic career? "The highlight of my athletic career was last season at states when our varsity 200 medley relay which was myself, Luke Kennedy, Cody Wittmeyer and Kyle Griffin got an unexpected second-place finish among public schools."
What is your favorite thing about your sport? "I love everything about swimming. The hard work, the friends, and the competition. I’ve been swimming since 6 with STAR Swimming and the club has taught me to work hard but most important have fun."
Who is your favorite teammate? "I like all my teammates but if I have to pick one I’m going to choose Liam O’Connell because we like to race each other during practice and give each other a hard time."
Who is the WNY athlete you looked up to? "I look up to Michael Clough from Williamsville East. He always has a great mentality all the time. He is my teammate at STAR Swimming and he works hard in the pool. He drives me to get personal bests."
Who is a pro/college athlete you admire? "I look up to Michael Andrews. He is the youngest U.S. Pro Swimmer. He is my age and has broke the most National Age Group Records in the U.S. and holds several national records."
When I am not practicing my sport, I am ...: "Usually hanging out with friends, playing video games with them, or watching Netflix."
What's ahead (athletics and/or academics)? In March I will be competing in four events at states, then for club I have Niagara Championships, then I’m heading to Orlando Florida for the NCSA Junior National meet. This spring I will be looking at colleges and hopefully meeting with coaches because I want to continue swimming in college.
This is the final selection of a Prep Talk Athlete of the Week for the winter season. We will resume picking outstanding performers in the spring.