Megan Moroney Named Florida High School Dairy Association Female Swimmer of the Year
By Sharon Robb
February 7, 2015—Megan Moroney, one of the most decorated high school swimmers in state history, added another honor recently when she was named the Florida High School Dairy Asssociation Female Swimmer of the Year.
Moroney, 17, a senior at St. Andrew’s School in Boca Raton, with a combination of natural talent and incredible work ethic, was caught by surprise when her coach gave her the plaque.
“I wasn’t expecting it, he gave me the plaque and I asked ‘what is this,’ it was so great and pretty heavy, too,” Moroney said.
“This is such a great honor being Swimmer of the Year for the whole state of Florida,” Moroney said. “It’s really awesome. It is crazy to think I am the Swimmer of the Year for the whole state. My class alone in the state of Florida was such a strong class of swimming. It’s definitely a great note to end my high school swimming on.”
Moroney is one of the most decorated athletes in Palm Beach County high school sports history.
A 13-time state high school champion over four seasons, Moroney won seven individual titles including four straight in the 100-yard butterfly and three titles in the 200-yard freestyle and three relays.
Moroney won her fourth title in the 100-yard butterfly in 53.96, the fastest in any class at the state meet. She also won the 200- yard freestyle in 1:45.89, also the fastest time in the state in all four classifications.
The top-ranked recruit in Florida and 16th overall nationally is University of Virginia-bound. The USA Swimming Scholastic All-American is about to start another journey at the next level of swimming.
“I am really excited about Virginia,” she said. “I know I will have a great time up there and will keep improving with the coaching staff and team.”
She has asked older friends who have already started their college careers about adjusting.
“It is a little scary, everything is going to change,” Moroney said. I know it will be really different and be hard.
“I have talked to several friends who already started the college experience and taken in all the different little tidbits. No one can tell me exactly what it’s going to be like because it’s a different school and everything will be different.”
Before she leaves in late August for Virginia, she is focused on club swimming for St. Andrew’s Swimming, her longtime Florida Gold Coast team.
She is in the midst of heavy training preparing for the March 17-21 National Club Swimming Association meet in Orlando and nationals in San Antonio in August.
“Those are my two big focuses,” Moroney said. “I am still doing heavy training right now. We’ll bring down the yardage toward the end of this month. I am trying to get as fit as possible.”
With so many accomplishments over the last four years, there is no one defining moment during her high school career, she said.
“I think it would be a combination of everything,” Moroney said. “There’s been so many moments. There’s not one particular swim or moment. There’s so much I accomplished. It’s been crazy but really fun.
“When I was a freshman I wasn’t thinking that I was going to win all these meets or honors, absolutely not at all,” she said.
“Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would end up like this. I didn’t think it would turn out this way. It tried to get better every year and worked harder every year. It worked, the hard work paid off.”
Longtime St. Andrew’s coach Sid Cassidy has played a key role in her development as a swimmer both physically and mentally.
“I think it’s been a combination of natural talent and working harder and harder and harder every year,” Moroney said. “We tried different types of training to see what was best. We added weights in when I was a freshman or sophomore and it helped.
“I got to know how my body works and how to train to be at my best whatever meet I was fine tuning for. All that stuff and getting better in training has really been the main thing that has led to my success.”
Moroney is also an Olympic hopeful. She has already qualified for the 2016 Olympic trials in the 100, 200 and 400 freestyles. She was one of the youngest swimmers in the backstroke at the 2012 Olympic trials.
But first things first, her freshman year at Virginia, where she is expected to make an immediate impact in the sprint freestyles. Because she is so versatile, the only question that remains is what group she will be training with at Virginia.
Sharon Robb can be reached at email@example.com