Player of the Week: Madeline Smith
J.H. Rose sophomore swim standout and three-time state champion Madeline Smith is our newest WITN Pepsi Player of the Week!
Madeline Smith sure can swim.
"She's probably the greatest swimmer I've seen in person," J.H. Rose head swim coach Andrew Pierce said.
In two seasons, the sophomore has already won three state championship gold medals.
"It's a really cool feeling, especially because I won [the 100 free] last year," said Smith. "So it's really cool to be able to do it two times in a row, and hopefully be able to do it four times."
She dominated the 100 free as a freshman. Then she repeated in that event this year, while also adding a state title in the 200 free.
"Watching her in the water is like watching a different kind of swimmer," added Pierce. "She just glides through the water. She's worked hard for a long time to get that way. And of all the swimmers that we have, she's definitely a standout."
Despite her success, Smith was shocked when North Carolina named her as the state's "Most Outstanding 3A Swimmer."
"I never thought that I was ever that good to win it," said a humble Smith." It's just a crazy thing. I'm surprised still."
"Madeline getting three state titles as a sophomore, breaking several school records this year, has obviously drawn some comparisons to one of our most famous alumna at Rose High School."
Olympic gold medalist Lauren Perude got her start at J.H. Rose, and despite being good family friends, Smith is already shattering Perdue's Rampant records.
Smith eclipsed Perdue's 400 free record, while also being a part of the team that shattered the Rampants' 200 medley and 200 free.
"It shows that you're on track to doing something great," said Smith. "It's really cool."
Smith has been swimming since the age of six, and said she hopes to win some more state titles before competing at the college level.
The sophomore also excels in the classroom, boasting a GPA well above 4.0.