Swim was never, and probably never will be, something Piedmont senior Holly Organ takes too seriously.
She works during the week, so she doesn’t make every practice. In the summer, when top swimmers from around Oklahoma are busy on the club circuit, Organ is nowhere to be found. Organ doesn’t spend hours of her own time in the pool, either, although she lifeguards in the summers.
But make no mistake, she’s a success story. Roughly four years ago as a freshman, Organ wasn’t sure what to expect when she came out for the team. At the time, she was new to competitive swim. Now a senior — the Lady Wildcats only senior — Organ is a leader.
“I’ve had a bigger role because I’m the oldest and fastest,” she said. “Everyone just looked up to me and I went with it.”
Tuesday, in a meet at Edmond’s Mitch Park YMCA, Organ made, perhaps, the highlight of her career. She finished third overall in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 1.05.18 against a field chalked full of 5 and 6A competition.
“I usually swim the 100, but I’ve never tried that hard in it,” she admitted. “It’s always just kind of come natural.”
The fast time came as an even bigger surprise to Organ, who expected her time to go up after a Christmas break layoff. Instead, she was more than two seconds quicker than ever before.
“I think it’s just because I didn’t swim my first event,” she said of skipping the 50-freestyle.
Organ hopes to qualify for state in one of her two events after swimming there as part of Piedmont’s relay team last season. After high school, she plans to attend The University Northern Colorado and eventually hopes to become a dentist.
Organ will keep swimming as a hobby, she said. And though it’s never become a serious passion of Organ’s, she said the four-year commitment has had a big impact on her.
“I’ve learned a lot about myself as a person,” she said.
Rader enjoying first season with Piedmont swim
Cade Rader, like Organ, is never likely to plan his life around swimming. But he’s also just as likely to speak up about how much he’s enjoyed his first season with Piedmont.
Rader quit club swimming in the summer, but didn’t want to give up swim completely, so he joined Piedmont’s team.
“Swimming with a team of people my age is a lot different,” he said. “It’s really nice to swim them. The teamwork is great.”
He swims primarily the freestyle, but has added the butterfly and backstroke recently. He’s lowered his time in the 50-freestyle from around 30 seconds to 26 and is also a part of the Wildcats fast-improving B relay team.
“Greatly. My time has gotten a lot better,” he said of the difference being on the team has made. “School swim is a lot different and it’s helped me.”
As a team, Piedmont’s boys took sixth at the Putnam City Invitational. The Lady Wildcats were ninth out of 12 teams.