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Sports

Suburban Life Most Valuable Athlete: Michael Walsh, Lyons Township, senior, swimming

Michael Walsh
Michael Walsh

WHY SHE WAS SELECTED:

Lyons senior Michael Walsh broke four pool records at the York Sectional, winning the 50-yard freestyle (20.98 seconds) and 100 breaststroke (56.16), and was on the 200 medley relay (1:31.28) and 200 freestyle relay (1:23.6).

Walsh, who will play baseball collegiately at Yale, talked to Suburban Life sports editor Joshua Welge about the big meet, playing two sports and more. Here is an edited version of the transcript:

Welge: Did the meet go as well as you could have asked?

Walsh: We had high expectations going in. It was a great way to show that we're still going to be a player in the state meet. A lot of people thought that last year would be our last year of success at the top level with so many seniors graduating. We wanted to go out and prove that we're still here.

Welge: Were you aware that you broke the oldest pool record at York [in the 100 breaststroke]?

Walsh: I kind of knew going in. At sectionals it's all about reaching state and getting to the wall first, but there is always a buzz around the record board at schools. My coach told me it was pretty doable. I thought I had a good shot of taking it down.

Welge: What's your best stroke?

Walsh: I would say the 100 breaststroke. I've always been able to have a decent kick in that race, it's always been a race I've been able to compete highly in. I feel like at a young age I was able to get the tempo and rhythm down.

Welge: Have you always done both swimming and baseball?

Walsh: I really started around the same time as a little kid. I always loved both sports. I loved the idea of racing and competing in one specific area, but also fell in love with the team aspect of baseball. As years wore it seemed an easy transition, I'd finish up swimming and right into baseball. It was a great way for me to not get burned out in one sport.

Welge: When did you commit to Yale?

Walsh: End of July, couple weeks after the summer state tournament. I got a call from my travel coach telling me they wanted to see me throw. I threw for them, we stayed in touch, I took a visit and fell in love with the campus and clicked with the coaching staff.

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