Mainland Regional High School senior Brian McGroarty has been swimming since before he can remember.
After this season, he will be swimming for a few more years at least.
He has committed to Division I Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge to continue his swimming career.
“I always knew I wanted to go to school down South,” McGroarty said in a phone interview.
“I took a trip down to the campus in early October, and it was just a great fit. I loved the campus size, and I feel like I really fit in well with the team. I got along well with the coaches, too.”
The 18-year-old plans to major in civil engineering and will receive an athletic scholarship. LSU competes in the Southeastern Conference under the direction of coach Dave Geyer, who just started his seventh year in charge of the swimming program.
“My whole family are swimmers, so I was pretty much born into it,” McGroarty said. “I’m the youngest of five siblings, and I was being taught to swim before I can even remember. Everyone is older and out of college now, but my sister Molly swam at the University of Connecticut.”
McGroarty, a three-time Press First-Team All-Star, is about to enter his last season with Mainland Regional. So far, he was the first Mainland boys swimmer named the South Jersey Swimmer of the Year by the South Jersey Coaches Association and placed second at last season’s Meet of Champions in the 200 IM in 1 minute, 50.95 seconds. He also won the 200 IM and 500 freestyle in the State Public B Championship, helping the Mustangs to their first state title in 13 years.
“He’s a tremendous swimmer, and his work ethic is unparalleled,” Mainland coach Brian Booth said. “He has worked so hard to get to where he’s been, and it’s been a pleasure watching him grow as a swimmer. He wants to improve on his Meet of Champions placing, and the only way to do that at this point is to win it, and he’s got a pretty good chance going in.”
McGroarty has also set personal goals for his final season with the Mustangs.
“I focus on the 200 and 400 IM when it comes to races, so I’m looking to get under 1:48 in the 200 and under 3:54 in the 400.”