By Steven Kochersperger
Family traditions vary from family to family and come in many different forms. For Mary Klueh’s family swimming has been the family tradition that has gone from person to person over the years. And after watching her older sister swim at Butler University and her brother at Texas, Klueh now gets her chance at a collegiate swim career as she competes as a freshman at IUPUI.
“Swimming has always been a family tradition,” Klueh said. “Swimming is something we do. It has created an unbreakable bond between my siblings and I that I would not give up for anything.”
As a new member of the IUPUI swim team Klueh has made a big splash. She just finished the swim season in great style as she finished in the top 16 in the 100 and 200 breaststroke at the Summit League Conference Championships. Not only did she perform well at the conference championships but she also did well all season long, temporarily holding school records in her breaststroke races. But Klueh is not satisfied with where she is at saying she is using her freshman season as a building point.
“I feel that I am about at the same level as I was my senior year so I look at this past year as a building year.” Klueh said.
Klueh’s credits her success as a collegiate athlete to the time she spent at Mount Vernon High School. “The training has been much harder in college, but I feel as if Coach Zoller had prepared me well in and out of the pool. His training, along with coaching from Steve Loehr, Brenda Zoller, and Blake Mobley helped me get to the point that made me a Division 1 athlete.” Klueh said.
Among Klueh’s favorite memories as a Wildcat was winning the sectional as a
junior. “Castle had beat us earlier in the year in the dual meet, and they were expected to beat us for the first time in a long time at sectionals,” Kleuh said.” There was only nine of us swimming, but we had heart and our hard training. Our motto had become ‘Even the best fall down sometimes, but it takes the best to get right back up’. Every single race, the wildcats came in swam faster than ever before. Every single member of the team stepped up to the blocks and gave it their all. I can still remember the excitement and cheering that went on during the meet. I had never been apart of something before where so much heart was poured into one thing. We ended up winning our 18th sectional title for Mount Vernon High School that year. I could have never been more proud of the wildcats after that.”
And now that her freshman swim season has ended Klueh is focusing on her studies as a double major in Biology and Neuroscience with minors in Chemistry and Psychology. Last semester her 3.5 GPA landed her on the Dean’s list for the School of Science and she credits her teammates and sorority for helping her to keep focused on what matters. “The team has really helped with time management through team study tables and encouragement from my teammates,” Klueh said. “The team building and hard work from being on the IUPUI swim team has not only carried over to my school work, but also into my sorority, Phi Mu. I am currently on the Academic Excellence Committee to help encourage my sisters to perform well academically, just like my teammates encourage me.”
Klueh continues to follow her alma mater, Mount Vernon, and recently even visited the team when they traveled to IUPUI to swim in the State Championships. And while the transition from High School to college is not always an easy task for young adults, Mary Klueh has done a wonderful job in mastering that transition. She makes Posey County proud for sure.