When Huron senior swimmer Adam Moskus competes in this weekend’s Division I State Swimming and Diving Finals at Eastern Michigan University, he will have one last chance to do his thing at the high school level.
And, if history is any indicator, Moskus will save his best for last.
The River Rats’ sprint specialist swam what are still the best times of his life at last year’s state finals. He raced to a 21.27 in the 50-meter freestyle and powered to a 47.03 in the 100 free.
“There’s extra adrenaline at the state meet, no doubt about it,” said the Huron co-captain. “And, it’s even more special this year because it’s my last time competing in high school. There’s some pressure and some nerves, but that’s the way it’s supposed to be.
“I’m looking forward to the challenge. I’m definitely going to take advantage of the opportunity. Around this time of year is when I usually swim my fastest times, so I’m not going to sell myself short.”
In other words, Moskus knows how to finish.
It appears he’s on the way to another strong finish this season after qualifying for the state meet in his sophomore, junior and senior years. He finished first in this season’s SEC league meet Feb. 24 in the 50 free, with a season-best time of 21.60. He also notched a second at the league meet in the 100 free with another season-best time of 47.24.
Moskus qualified for the state meet in the 50, 100 and 200 freestyle, but he will compete in the mandated maximum of two individual events. Moskus will line up for the 50 and 100 individually, and he also will compete in two medley relays for the River Rats – the 200 and the 400. In all, Huron will send five individuals to compete in 11 events, counting relays.
There is no safety net this time around. Moskus and the rest of the seniors at the state meet don’t have a next year to look forward to. It’s do or die at the state meet, and then their high school careers are behind them.
“There are two ways to look at it; I can be sad because it’s my last meet, or I can be excited because it gives me one last chance to prove myself,” Moskus said. “I will tell you that I’m more focused right now than I have ever been simply because it’s my last chance. I’m not going to be caught be surprise, I know what to expect and I’m ready.”
The state meet itself offers plenty of motivation, and Moskus might be even more driven than most. He missed a month of the season with a pulled hamstring, and it made him realize how much swimming means to him.
“I was around the team at all the meets when I was injured but it was hard to watch and not be able to compete,” he said. “I think I could have made a difference in some of the outcomes, and it was difficult not to be able to help my teammates.”
As a senior co-captain, Moskus has ample opportunity to help the younger swimmers on the Huron roster. It is a responsibility that he takes seriously.
“I remember when I was a freshman and a sophomore, I looked up to the captains, almost idolized them,” he said. “And when they would give me advice or tried to help me, I really listened. That’s what I try to remember as captain, that the I might be able to make a difference and really help someone.”
There were will be plenty of helpings before the River Rats take the short trip to Ypsilanti to compete this weekend. A dinner is on the agenda for Thursday night (March 8) at the Moskus home – hosted by Adam and his father and mother, Tony and Penelope. Little brothers Alex and Brian might also get a helping or two on the pasta-and-salad menu.
After the dinner, the Huron swimmers are off to a motel for a good night’s sleep before the Friday-and-Saturday season finale. As the time approaches, Moskus finds himself caught between eager and anxious.
And, he has definite goals.
“I want to finish in the top-3, and I want to set a school record,” Moskus said. “It will be tough; I need to cut almost a second off of my time to get the 50-free record and that’s the one that is more reachable. I look at that record every day at the pool. It keeps me motivated.”
Moskus, complete with a 3.8 grade-point average, will carry that motivation into the college ranks, following the footsteps of four River Rats’ swimmers from last year’s state runner-up team that went on to swim in college. He’s not sure where he will go to school, but he knows he will swim.
“It might be Division I, it might be Division III because I haven’t decided where I’m going yet,” he said. “There’s still a lot to figure out.”
There are some things in Moskus’ future that are still to be worked out, but one aspect of his life is certain.
“I’ll be swimming somewhere,” he said. “I love it too much to quit now.”