Attitude has carried Mason Markle a long way in his swimming career at Smoky Hill High School, but he has the ability take it the next step.
The positivity-fueled junior standout is headed to his third straight Class 5A boys state swim meet May 18-19 at the Edora Pool & Ice Center and is part of the Buffaloes’ contingent of 11 state qualifiers seeking to make some noise. Markle just helped Smoky Hill to third place at the Centennial “A” League championships and he goes into state seeded 11th in the 100-yard breaststroke and 23rd in the 200 individual medley, plus will work on two relay teams.
Out of the water, the 16-year-old Markle carries a 4.76 GPA.
What is your favorite high school memory, athletically or otherwise?
Last year at the Smoky Hill High School Invitational, Steven Holiday and myself came in 1st and 2nd place for the 100 Breaststroke during finals, putting Smoky Hill in the lead by 1 point. We won for the first time in years.
What is the biggest sacrifice you have to make to play your sport?
I have to give up a lot free time for practice. But, it’s worth all the time spent when I have a good race.
What’s the best piece of advice ever given to you in sports or in life?
Work hard, but don’t let it take over your life.
Are you a leader? If so, what do you think makes a good leader in yourself or others?
I try to make swimming fun for everyone on my team, because I think that a positive attitude can make anything possible. I’ve seen students who have never swam a yard in their life become A-League finalists within a single year, which would not have been possible without a positive attitude to start. I think that good leaders have confidence in every situation. If someone wants to become a team leader, they must build confidence first.
Do you have any quirks or superstitions when it comes to your sport or in life in general?
Swimming is as much of a mental sport as it is a physical one. I have always been amazed what a positive outlook can do for a swimmer. Attitude can make or break a race. Proper physical and mental preparation are necessary for any swimmer to do well.
If you listen to music before a game, what gets you most ready for competition? If not, how do you get focused?
I usually listen to fast-paced music before a race to get excited. Moving around helps loosen my muscles and stay nervous. I think that a good amount of nervous energy before a race helps me preform better, as long as I don’t psych myself out.
What’s a sport you’ve always wanted to try, but haven’t and why haven’t you?
I’ve always wanted to learn how to surf…but I live in Colorado.
If you could pick a person living or dead to spend a day with, who would it be and why?
Will Ferrell, he’s a funny guy.
Other than sports, do you have another true passion in life and if so, what is it and why?
I like spending time outside, especially in the mountains. It’s great to get away from the city sometimes.
What do you see yourself doing in 10 years?
I don’t know yet, hopefully something exciting.
Reach Sports Editor Courtney Oakes at [email protected] or 303-750-7555