By Travis Whitton
For The Herald Bulletin
PENDLETON, Ind. — Pendleton Heights’ girls swimming team gave its coach, Jeff Maydak, something a little more special than just a win Wednesday night. The Arabians swam their way to a milestone by giving him his 100th victory.
Maydak took nothing for granted since Oak Hill had beaten his squad three out of the last five years, but there was a sense of urgency on his girls to win one for their leader, and they responded with a 108-78 decision.
“They’ve beaten us three out of the last five years, and last year came down to the last event where they had a chance to beat us in the last event. So I was taking nothing for granted,” said the 11th-year coach.
He said, although his team isn’t perfect, it might still be the best team he has coached with the amount of strong swimmers and depth that has been afforded to him.
A tie last season prevented this celebration from happening just a bit earlier.
“I was hoping to get to 100 in 10 years,” said Maydak. “It took us an extra meet to get there, but it was a good milestone. More than anything, I think it shows longevity and a little bit of tradition, and I’m fortunate enough to coach a lot of talented girls. We’ve had a lot of great girls go through here the last decade, and we have more coming along the way. This is just a springboard to more wins.”
It’s hard to be humble when you’ve been as good as the Arabians coach, but his modesty wouldn’t allow him to gloat during this celebration of his milestone.
“I’m also the boys coach that has a sub-.500 record,” he said, putting his win into perspective. “Coaching only goes so far. You have to have the talent and, like I said, I’ve been fortunate over the years.”
Maydak said there were a lot of girls that jumped out at him in their swims, but freshman Madison Brand was impressive in her first high-school meet.
“Madison Brand, new freshman for us in her first high school meet, was outstanding,” said the Pendleton Heights coach. “She had three first-places and a second, but her times were off the chart. She had three personal bests, and they were not even close. So to do that out the gate was outstanding.”
Maydak also said Madison Kordes' times were great, and it was a testament to the hard work she put in over the summer. He also said junior Micalah Booher and freshman Kristen Amrine swam really well.
He said this meet was nice, but it’s too early to tell how good this team can be going forward.
“Momentum is only as good as the next opponent,” he said. “I feel pretty good about this team. We set some pretty lofty goals. I’m not 100 percent (sure) they’re all achievable, but we’re certainly going to do our darndest to get there.”
Maydak came into this meet with 99 wins and walked away with 100, but you can rest assured it is 100 and counting.