For Seniors RJ Kondalski and Sam Curran, swimming wasn’t their sport of choice growing up. Like most Sylvania youngsters, they played tee ball and soccer. RJ admitted that his mom made him try swimming and that he “was really bad at it initially”; while Sam’s neighbor can be credited with encouraging him to give it a shot, plus he “wanted to stay fit in the winter”. Fast forward to 2017 and these Southview student-athletes are recognized by USA Swimming as two-time Scholastic All-Americans. In order to be considered for the Scholastic All-America Team, swimmers must maintain a 3.5 GPA for the current academic year and swim a time equal to the Junior Championship qualifying time. To put that into perspective, only 1100 out of 309,000 high school swimmers were honored this year. By the way, each has a cumulative GPA over 4.3.
Both of these young men have earned their share of awards in the pool as well. They have made 1st Team All-NLL 16 times between them and RJ finished in 2nd place in the 100 backstroke at last season’s OHSAA Swimming Championship in Canton. Sam narrowly missed being named 1st team All-Ohio by 0.04 seconds last year which serves as motivation going into this season.
Looking ahead, both RJ and Sam plan on continuing their academic and athletic pursuits at the next level. RJ will be attending The Ohio State University, while Sam is deciding between OSU and Miami University in Oxford. Best wishes this season and beyond!