Olympian John Hencken inspires Mars Hill swim team

Olympian John Hencken inspires Mars Hill swim team

MARS HILL, N.C. – The Mars Hill men's and women's swim teams hosted three-time Olympian John Hencken for a motivational meeting Wednesday morning as they prepare for the second half of their season.

Hencken, the only swimmer to ever qualify for three Olympic teams in both the 100 meter and 200 meter breaststroke, appeared in the 1972 and 1976 games for the United States. He also qualified for the 1980 Olympic team, but did not compete due to the United States' boycott of the games. In his Olympic career, Hencken won five Olympic medals, including three gold medals.

The swim teams have been training non-stop all week preparing for the last month of their season and took a break to hear Hencken's message about what it takes to succeed in life and swimming, and the importance of being a good person and doing things the right way.

The Stanford graduate won five NCAA Championships, 14 AAU Championships and held 21 American records and 13 world records. Hencken was honored by the International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) in 1988 being named as an Honor Swimmer.

Mars Hill returns to the pool Friday, January 12 when they face off against King at 6 p.m.

Head Coach Teddy Guyer stated, "It is always good to allow the swimmers to hear such a good message about living life the right way and the dedication it takes to be a great swimmer. I always appreciate John taking time to spend time with us."