Hempfield’s Mayo earns All-American status in 50-yard freestyle

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Friday, August 3, 2018 | 7:12 PM


A commitment to swimming two years ago paid off recently for Hempfield boys team member Gavin Mayo.

Mayo, who will be a senior, was named 2017-18 All-America in the 50-yard freestyle by the National Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association of America.

His time of 20.73 seconds ranked him 81st of the top 100 performances in that event.

Mayo, the WPIAL Class AAA runner-up, achieved the mark at the WPIAL championship meet in March. He went on to place fourth at the PIAA championship.

Hempfield coach Kevin Clougherty said the Spartans have had a number of All-Americans, but Mayo is the first one to make it in the sprints.

“Gavin decided after the state meet his sophomore season that he wanted to make this his sport and see how far he could go,” Clougherty said. “He had a singular focus during his junior year of being as fast as possible.”

Mayo, 17, said he is honored to achieve a goal every high school swimmer strives for.

“Last year, I earned all-American status on the 200-yard medley relay, which was great,” he said. “I am extremely proud to be the first boy in our school’s history to earn All-American status in an individual (sprinting) event.

“I want to continue to develop my technique in the freestyle and backstroke races in the fall.”

Mayo, who is 6-foot-3, worked hard this summer.

“I swam at USA Swimming long-course meets and club meets,” he said. “I swam every morning with (Clougherty).

“I am working on my flexibility and core strength, because that is something I have been lacking.”

Clougherty said it is going to be a lot of fun to see how fast Mayo can go next season.

Karen Kadilak is a freelance writer.

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