Athlete of the Month: Colin Mackey


Photo Courtesy of Deb Lindsey

Senior Colin Mackey swims 50 m freestyle during Metros Feb. 7.

By Emily Raab, Production Editor

After moving from Canada at age 9, senior Colin Mackey began swimming at a local pool as a way to keep cool during the blistering Maryland summer.

Eight years later, he’s still swimming for that same pool, Country Glen, and is an exceptional member of the CHS swim and dive team.

“My favorite part of swimming would definitely be the the camaraderie of the teams that you become a part of,” Mackey said.

A former hockey player, Mackey seriously committed to swimming his freshman year. County Glen coach Geoffrey Schaefer initially encouraged Mackey to take up swimming competitively.

“I saw great potential with Colin at an early age and wanted him to develop his talent and take it to the next level,” Schaefer said.

The top sprint freestyler for CHS, Mackey also swims middle distance freestyle, butterfly and backstroke.

“Colin’s best event is 50 freestyle because he has tremendous top-end speed,” swim and dive coach Christopher Tappis said. “His size helps in that event too.”
According to Tappis, the most memorable moment of Mackey’s senior season was when he anchored the 400m freestyle relay against Richard Montgomery Jan. 10, going into his leg approximately 2 seconds behind the opposing anchor, and beating him to win the event.

At the 2015 Washington Metropolitan Interscholastic Swimming and Diving Championships, Mackey placed ninth in the 50m freestyle, going 22.10 to shave .9 of a second off his best time, and eleventh in the 100m freestyle, qualifying for USA Sectionals in both events. He also participated in the 200m and 400m freestyle relays and was CHS’ top point scorer.

In addition to CHS and Country Glen, Mackey has trained with Rockville Montgomery Swim Club (RMSC) and under coach Sue Chen with Machine Aquatics on the National Training Team at the UMD site.

“I believe that it’s Colin’s physical and mental strength that make him the exceptional student athlete that he is,” said Colin’s mother, Maureen Mackey. “He has the focus and dedication to be able to rigorously train for hours every day regardless of what else is going on.”

Junior Lily Payton has swam with Mackey since elementary school and admires him for his hard work and perseverance.

“He is a phenomenal swimmer because of his attitude,” Payton said. “He is not one to complain and is always ready to race and do his best.”

Mackey is also known for his friendliness and sense of humor.

“He is likeable and funny,” Schaefer said. “His swimming prowess only adds to the fun that we have.”

Next year, Mackey will attend Cornell University where he intends to major in biomedical engineering.

“I’ve never been the fastest kid out there, but the biggest part of becoming successful in swimming, or any endeavor, is understanding how to take that next step to reach your goals,” Mackey said. “I can say that I’m completely content with what I have accomplished because I know that I always tried my hardest.”