November 19, 2017
Sports
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  • Reid Hussey and Sarah DeMaio, both rising seniors at Severna Park High School, recently returned from Greensboro, North Carolina, where they competed at the YMCA Long Course Nationals as members of SPY Swmming's national team. The YMCA Nationals draw hundreds of top competitors from around the nation as one of the top youth meets in the country.
    Courtesy photo
    Reid Hussey and Sarah DeMaio, both rising seniors at Severna Park High School, recently returned from Greensboro, North Carolina, where they competed at the YMCA Long Course Nationals as members of SPY Swmming's national team. The YMCA Nationals draw hundreds of top competitors from around the nation as one of the top youth meets in the country.

Athlete Spotlight: Reid Hussey and Sarah DeMaio

Colin Murphy
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View Bio
August 8, 2017

Just two years ago, rising Severna Park senior swimmer Reid Hussey missed out on a spot in the state championship meet.

Fast forward to today, and Hussey is not only an accomplished swimmer at the county and state level but a nationally competitive athlete in the pool.

Hussey and fellow Severna Park senior Sarah DeMaio recently returned from Greensboro, North Carolina, where they competed in the YMCA Long Course National Championships, which draws hundreds of athletes from up and down the east coast, Midwest and the entire country as one of the nation’s top meets for youth swimmers.

“It goes to show how far dedication and hard work can bring you,” said Hussey.

Athletes at the YMCA Long Course Nationals swim in a 50-meter (Olympic-size) swimming pool and must qualify for the event by achieving race times at official events throughout the season. Hussey was making his third appearance in a YMCA National meet (second time at Long Course Nationals to go with a Short Course Nationals qualification), while DeMaio was competing at nationals for the first time. Together the swimmers comprised SPY Swimming’s contingent at the meet and were accompanied by SPY coaches Crystee Ballard and Richard Heim.

Said DeMaio, “Making the SPY National team has been a goal of mine since I joined the team, so it was very exciting and a big rush when I made the cut.”

Swimmers at the Long Course Nationals had to first swim in preliminary heats in the morning, and the top 24 times from prelims returned for the finals at night. Hussey qualified in five events: the 100 butterfly, 400 free, 400 individual medley (IM), 200 IM and 200 fly, and he made it through to the finals in the 100 fly, 400 IM, 200 fly and 200 IM. He set new SPY club record times in placing 10th in the 200 fly (2:09.09) and 19th in the 400 IM (4:42.63), and he placed 12th in the 100 fly and 23rd in the 200 IM.

“Reid swam an incredible meet,” said Ballard. “He decided about two years ago that he really wanted to take his swimming to the next level. He always pushes himself out of his comfort zone in practice sets and works hard in dry land. He has been fun to watch at these last three National meets. He is very competitive, and racing in top-level competition really brings out the best in him.”

Hussey, who said he routinely wakes at 4:15am for practices, expressed thanks to his family, coaches and teammates in supporting his swimming pursuits and said the nationals meet was another exciting step on his ongoing swimming journey.

“It’s very exciting to go to such a big meet and swim against some of the best swimmers in the country,” he said. “Waking up at 4:15 for summer morning practice isn’t fun, but I work hard because I still have goals that I haven’t met yet. Moving forward I hope to make Junior Nationals, swim at a D1 college, and the ultimate goal is to qualify for Olympic Trials.”

DeMaio, who has been swimming competitively since 2007 and with SPY since 2012, qualified for nationals in the 100 free, 100 fly, 50 fly and 200 fly.

She said the chance to measure up nationally was a hard-earned opportunity.

“It was my first time qualifying for nationals, and qualifying was great because all the hard work that I had put in, in and out of the pool, had finally paid off. Making nationals became real to me over the last few years as I got closer to the cut. Competing at nationals was great, and I had a lot of fun. It was all very exciting and just an incredible environment. My goals for the future are to continue to work hard in order to qualify for Short Course YMCA Nationals as well as qualify for more events.”

Ballard said DeMaio’s qualification for nationals was the result of her dedicated resolve and work ethic over the past few years.

“Sarah has always been a steady hard worker,” said Ballard. “She has had the goal of making YMCA Nationals for a few years and has had a few disappointments along the way, but Sarah is a determined athlete. I believe that her consistency and stick-to-itiveness in the pool and in dry land is what led her to her first YMCA National qualifying time.”


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