Boys’ Swimming Feature: Landon Morris
By Savannah Riggs
Landon Morris is a Cloverleaf High School swimmer and a senior at the Medina County Career Center.
Morris is on his last semester of school, and completing his fourth year of being a part of the Cloverleaf Swim team.
“This school year is going very good, and only one semester left until graduation,” Morris said.
Aside from school and swimming, Morris enjoys his free time a lot as any teenager would.
“I work, sleep, play video games, and spend time with friends,” Morris said.
With school, swimming, homework, studying, and many other things, it can be difficult to have some free time.
Morris knows that being in this sport takes a lot of work and he’s willing to do that.
“Practice is two hours on Monday through Friday, so around 10 hours a week,” Morris said.
Team sports are always fun. You create a bond with some of your teammates that is irreplaceable.
“The team is all very close and it is a fun group to be with,” Morris said.
The sport also takes a lot of endurance and strength as well as work.
“It is one of the hardest sports you can compete in,” Morris said.
Boys’ Swimming Feature: Cooper Flora
The Cloverleaf Swim Team has always been very representative of the school itself. The team has been looked up to by many for its spirited, dedicated and encouraging teammates like Cooper Flora.
Swimming has been considered a sport for over a century and deserves great attention. This sport and its members hold several unique qualities that make it very special at Cloverleaf High School.
“Swimming is awesome because everyone and anyone can be a part of it! It also uses every muscle in the human body unlike most sports,” Flora said.
Flora dedicates the majority of his time to swimming. Flora and the swim team are prime examples of how hard work pays off.
“We practice five times a week for two hours,” Flora said. “On top of that, we have a meet about once every week. The only breaks we have are some weekends and holidays.”
Student athletes have always been rewarded at Cloverleaf for their time management skills, the ability to balance both sports and school, and for their dedication to CHS. This is a huge challenge for teenagers and their busy schedules.
“It does get difficult balancing school and swimming. There is a lot of work that goes into both and it can be hard to find that balance,” Flora says.
Swimming is a team sport, much like football, soccer and baseball. Spending so much time with teammates creates lifelong friendships.
“Our team is a family. Everyone is supportive, encouraging and they make every season very fun,” Flora says.
Being an athlete, Flora certainly enjoys his free-time and does not take it for granted. Outside of school and swimming, Flora takes every opportunity he can to partake in “normal” teenage activities.
“Outside of school and swimming, I love just hanging out, watching netflix and being with my friends,” says Flora. “I also snowboard and play the piano every chance I get.”
Flora has high hopes for this season and is excited to see what the team can achieve. The Cloverleaf boys’ swim team has been strong and CHS is looking forward to watching all their hard work being showcased as the season moves to the OHSAA state tournament.
Girls’ Swimming Feature: Lauren Slife
Lauren Slife is a junior at Cloverleaf High School and is a part of the girls’ swim team. She puts in a lot of time and effort for her team to succeed here at Cloverleaf.
“I swim year round for the CHS team and Copley Water Warriors,” Slife said.
Lauren has been swimming competitively for nine years. While the sport is fun, her favorite part is spending time with her teammates.
“Being with my friends and setting goals for myself is what makes this sport great,” Slife said.
With goals in mind, Lauren opened up about some of her favorite professional swimmers.
“Katie Ledecky is the best female swimmer, in my opinion,” she said. “I also really look up to Dana Vollmer because she swims 100-fly and so do I.”
Out of the pool, Lauren also excels in academics. She has received two academic letter awards and puts forth a lot of effort in the classroom.
Slife has a sister, Ashley, who is 14 and also plans on swimming for Cloverleaf next year. Lauren lives with her parents, dog, and pet fish.
“Laughing with McGee and my friends,” Slife said has been her favorite part of the season so far.
Girls’ Swimming Feature: Louanna Blevins
Louanna Blevins is a senior at Cloverleaf High School who has been swimming since she was 8 years old. Ever since she started, the sport has been a passion of hers.
There are many different events to swim in a high school meet. Cloverleaf Head Coach Michael McGee switches up the events she swims, but she can do long and short distance.
The most usual for her to swim is the 100-breaststroke. She also does the medley relay, and either the 200- or 400-free relay.
“I swim a couple different events but the 100-breaststroke is my favorite for sure,” Blevins said. “Everyone says ‘my stroke’ is the 100.”
Her parents are very supportive of her athletic career. Her mom, dad and brother attend as many meets as possible.
Being a student athlete can be challenging but Blevins does not seem to have a problem managing. She is eager to graduate and is doing so by maintaining a high grade point average.
There are many reasons to love the sport you play, but Louanna has some that stand out.
“Being a part of this team makes everything worth it; win or lose, we do it together,” Blevins said. “Another great part is that hard work pays off and you can win by a tenth of a second.”
Blevins has a busy schedule. She goes to school all day and then attends practice Monday through Friday from 3:30-5:30 p.m. There are also meets on the weekends sometimes.
Hardworking is a good way to describe this student athlete. She also keeps up with a job and makes time for her friends and family.
Participating in a Varsity sport can be challenging, but Louanna Blevins makes it look easy!