What it means to have ‘unrivaled dedication’


Photo by: Olivia Hogan

Hudson Marmon, Editor-In-Chief

It’s 7:59 a.m., the calm before the storm. While most students are at home sleeping away their Thanksgiving break, these students are preparing to throw themselves into the cold. The clock strikes eight — SPLASH! Just like that, Tuesday morning practice begins. 

As the practice goes on, one athlete stands out. Time after time he finishes before the rest of the group, daring each of his teammates to push themselves further. He personifies the quote of the day: “Don’t let anyone out train you.” 

Logan Smith is a record breaking athlete who has swam competitively for the past nine years. As the only senior on the team, it is his duty to set a strong example. Coach Arvel McElroy, who returned to Olathe South Smith’s junior year, believes Smith is doing exactly that. 

“Logan is one of the, if not the, hardest workers I’ve had in the 41 years I’ve coached high school,” McElroy said. 

McElroy explained that the large loss of seniors last year has put the team into the process of rebuilding, with only 6 returning athletes in addition to Smith. This only puts more importance on Smith’s role as a leader. 

“Honestly, he’s just really good at motivating people,” junior Will Whitcomb said. “I’ll see him going a lot quicker and I’ll feel like ‘oh hey, I should still push myself a bit harder,’ because I want to be on that leaderboard too.”

Sophomore Will Helm felt that Smith’s ability to push his teammates stems from his determination. 

“He has unrivaled dedication to the sport. He pushes every last one of us on the team,” said Helm. “He is the glue that holds us together.” 

Smith holds the school record for the 100 yard Butterfly stroke at 51.54 seconds, as well as the record for the 100 yard Backstroke at 53.04 seconds. The previous record for the 100 yard Butterfly stroke had been held since 1991. 

“The 100 fly record, I got last year when I was a junior. I broke it at Sunflower League and got a 52 high, [the previous record] was a 53 low,” Smith said. “I dropped it down by the time I got to state finals to a 51.5 which is what it is now.” Last year at state, Smith went on to place third in the 100 yard Butterfly stroke and fifth in the 100 yard Backstroke.

Smith broke the 100 yard Backstroke record his freshman year, and has improved the record every year since. Before it was him, however, Smith’s brother, Fletcher Smith, set the record in 2019. 

“My brother and I are close, and I’m just happy to have him as my brother,” Smith said. “We were on the same club team for years, and he started swimming before I did, but shortly after I got in the pool and started swimming [as well].”

In addition to his brother, Smith praised his parents for their unconditional support.

“My mom and dad support me in whatever I want to do. Like If I said I wanted to do gymnastics or something, they’d be like ‘okay go for it,’” Smith said. 

On top of club and school swimming, Smith is a member of the Olathe South Falcon Regiment and Wind Ensemble, as well as an honor roll student. So when he gets a minute to spare, he uses it wisely.

“I practice guitar, piano and drums, and I’ve gotten into reading lately.” Smith said. “And I’ve been playing video games all my life.”

When he graduates, Smith intends to go to college at KU.

“I am planning on going to KU, and then maybe doing club swim there,” Smith said. “But I’m definitely going to do marching band.”