By MIKE MOGUIN
GTR Sports Writer
Seniors Danny Sibley and Courtney Posey are key leaders in Union’s swim program, helping it surge as a power in the pool in recent years.
Both student-athletes are now reaping the rewards with scholarships to swim in college.
Sibley is committed to Washington University in St. Louis while Posey has decided on attending New York University. Both signed their respective letters of intent on national signing day in February.
“I’m excited to go there,” Sibley said about Washington. “I really enjoyed my visit.”
Sibley was the state champion last year in the Class 6A boys 500-meter freestyle event with a time of 4:40.27, which was a school record. What drew him to the St. Louis institution was the engineering school (in which he plans to major) and the team usually being in the nation’s top 10 in Division-III competition. He chose Washington over Georgia Tech and Wabash College.
He is ready for the cultural adjustment as well.
“I have several good friends that go there already, so I think I’ll be okay,” Sibley said.
Once there, Sibley plans to go up the Gateway Arch, the famous landmark of the city. He also said he may see the Cardinals (MLB team) or Blues (NHL team) play every once in a while.
What he likes about the sport of swimming is he feels like he is at home in the water.
“It’s just very soothing to me and being able to drown out all the other sounds, with the sound of water running around my head, it’s very nice and it cools me off a lot while I swim,” Sibley said. “I really like swimming also because it’s a full body workout. I never have to go focus on a specific part to make it stronger, because swimming keeps everything pretty balanced.”
Like Sibley, Posey is excited about going to her college, New York University. An online chat was all it took to convince her to go.
“I had been looking at a lot of other colleges and actually, I never looked at NYU as a top option,” she said. “The coaches reached out to me and invited me to some Zooms (Zoom online conversations) and I just fell in love with their atmosphere and their positivity. I also love the city of New York, so I guess it was meant to be.”
NYU is in the heart of Manhattan, which will allow Posey the opportunity to visit the Big Apple often.
“I think the city of New York forces you to learn some things earlier than other cities,” she added.
Posey, who won a gold medal a year ago in the girls’ 200-meter freestyle with a time of 1:54.48, selected NYU over Dartmouth, Colorado State and Louisville.
What Posey likes about swimming is the individuality of the sport.
“I think it’s a good mix between a team and individual sport,” she said. “I love that it can be a difficult challenge. Practice makes perfect.”
Both swimmers are hoping for a repeat. As a team, they would like to give a strong challenge to Jenks, who swept both the boys and girls team titles in Class 6A last season and is expected to do it again at the 2021 state meet.
“I think one of the main challenges is definitely our numbers on the team,” Sibley said.” We don’t have as many members as the Jenks Trojans or Bartlesville Bruins do, so we’ll have to make up for that in the quality of swimmers.”
“Unfortunately, this year, there are a lot of challenges,” Posey said. “We’ve been quarantined many times (due to the COVID-19 pandemic) and we have some girls that when they return, it’s hard to get back into the speed of things and so, I think getting over that is really difficult, but I think we can push through and we’re all doing pretty well now.
“I think we are definitely a good competitor for (Jenks),” Posey said. “We have little numbers, but we have very strong swimmers and we’ve gained some more since last year. We didn’t lose any from last year either, so I think that we have a good chance of getting very close to winning.”