Athletes of the Week: University Swimmers Ross Koch and Heston Smith
Ross Koch and Heston Smith started swimming together ten years ago. Ever since, the two have been inseparable.
"People say swimming isn't a team sport, but I beg to differ," Koch said.
"It's like, he was telling me once, it's like telepathy," Smith said. "We know what the other person's going to do, and we don't even have to talk about it. We know that every person's going to try their hardest and do what they can and do the best for the team."
That telepathy helped guide the two and the University High School swim team to a seventh place finish this weekend at the state meet in Morgantown. They say the success was how they wanted to wrap up their senior season.
"When you've been doing the same thing for ten years, and in a moment's notice, it's over," said Koch, who finished seventh in the 100 yard freestyle and ninth in the 50 yard. "And looking back, it's rewarding experience, and I can't think of a better way to have ended things than with Heston by my side."
The two are on both the team's 200 and 400 yard freestyle teams, which took fifth and sixth place respectively this weekend. Both also advanced past the pre-lims in two individual events. Smith said he has no regrets with how the two went out.
"Bittersweet was the definition of it. It was very bitter sweet," said Smith, who finished sixth in the 200 yard individual medley and eighth in the 100 yard butterfly. "But at the same time, I had a good time. I had no regrets on it, so it was good to get out there and be done with it and start something new."
The two aren't sure yet where they'll continue their education, but Koch said no matter what, their friendship will live on.
"It's going to be a little different not having my wingman there next year, but Heston and I will keep in touch, of course. A bond like that can't be broken."
Although their swimming careers are over, the future is bright. They have both carried a GPA greater than four throughout their high school education. And they were able to go out on top as a team.