Car manufacturers like to boast about how quickly their vehicles can get from zero to 60.
Karen Wendelschaefer can make a similar claim on how quickly she can build a swimming program.
Roughly 15 years after starting the Grove City High School swimming program, Wendelschaefer has built a district championship caliber program at a school that is known for its basketball and baseball programs.
Strike that.
District championship caliber program would?ve been the perfect way to describe the Eagles a few years ago.
Heck maybe even last year, but not any longer.
The Eagles want a new moniker - state-championship caliber team.
February 28, 2015 was a monumental day in GCHS history when the boys' team captured the program's first District 10 championship when the Eagles easily outdistanced reigning titlist Fairview 353-288 at The Spire Institute.
"It was like a dream come true," Wendelschaefer said. "The caliber of swimming in Pennsylvania is some of the best in the country, so any time you can crown a district champion or as a team win it, that's pretty impressive. Fairview has dominated for so many years. It was nice to see us step in and win it over them.  The nice part was everyone was so happy for us, because it's been a long time coming."
It's just crazy to think how far this program has come in so little time.
I remember back when I first started at the Allied in the summer of 2002 and sat down with Wendelschaefer for the swimming teams' preview a few months later.
Back then, the Eagles hadn't been granted true varsity status by the school district and were considered an exhibition team with Wendelschaefer serving as its volunteer coach.
It wouldn?t be for another year or so before the Grove City Area School District allowed them to become a varsity team and few years after that when Cameron Peterson became the school's first individual state qualifier.
That was a time when they were ecstatic to get a relay let alone an individual to Bucknell University for the state meet in mid-March.
Now, it's an annual rite of passage to get relays - plural -  there.
I?d even go so far as to say it'd be a major disappointment if the Eagles didn't send at least one relay to states now.
With a District 10 title in their back pockets, the boys? team has their eyes on a new prize - a PIAA championship.
The Eagles have come so far that they have a swimmer with a top-10 seed and the 200 medley relay of Austin Wilson, Thomas Somora, Rockwell Pokrant and Devin Reynolds is the favorite for statewide gold.
"This year, I think we could be one of the top teams at states," said Wilson, who captured a trio of D-10 championship medals in the 200 medley relay, the 50-yard freestyle and 100-yard freestyle. "We have so many good swimmers and a lot of good seeds. It kind of boggles my mind that we could have come that far and achieve that."
I don't know if I could've said it better myself.
Mind boggling is a pretty accurate way to describe the boys program going from its infancy to state power in just 15 short years.
 
Agree, Disagree or just want to comment contact Corey at gcsportsguy@yahoo.com.

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