ELYRIA - In some rare downtime Friday afternoon, EC senior Evann Heidersbach was putting some cherished high school memories in a scrapbook with her mom, Annie.
It gave her a chance to pause and reflect.
Undoubtedly best known for her talents in the pool, success hasn`t spoiled the two-time All-American and 16-time All-Ohio swimmer. The high achiever hasn`t forgotten her roots, even as she prepares for the next chapter in her life as a student and varsity swimmer at Ohio State.
"It`s funny looking back. I`m almost in tears," said Heidersbach, recipient of Friday`s 34th annual Elyria Catholic Outstanding Female Athlete Award. "It went so fast. I know its so clichÃ©, but time really does fly in high school."
Heidersbach`s athletic resume is difficult to top. In addition to her swim accomplishments for Elyria Catholic the past four years, she`s been a YMCA National swim qualifier the last four years and national finalist this spring.
"Evann has been an outstanding athlete all four years at EC," Panthers swim coach Jack Dibee said. "Her excellence at the state level, earning all-state honors each year, is an amazing feat few athletes ever achieve. I am very excited to see her receive such an outstanding honor."
Heidersbach is an outstanding student-athlete with a 4.14 grade-point average. Although she isn`t 100 percent sure what career path best suits her, she enrolled in OSU`s honors program in biological sciences.
Regardless, her attitude in life has been what`s carried her. Her sports resume is jam-packed. Her service and leadership resume is even more overflowing.
Heidersbach is a member of National Honor Society, Student Senate, peer ministry, SADD, Foreign Language Club and Hippies for Happiness. She`s also been a class secretary, on the executive board and helped initiate and implement Elyria Catholic`s Service Expo.
"After receiving the award I have a newfound appreciation for the opportunity that was presented to me," Heidersbach said. "First and foremost, (I appreciate) my parents, then my coaches and the school itself. It`s a great place. They really helped me grow, not only as an athlete but as a person."
Heidersbach is also an extremely gifted runner. She was fifth in the 800 meters at the 2008 Ravenna Division II track regional, one spot away from Columbus, and was a 2007 Division II regional cross country qualifier and a two-time all-county runner.
"Evann is very deserving of this award," EC girls track and cross country coach Amy O`Brien said. "She possesses the invaluable combination of exceptional talent and relentless work ethic. Not only did Evann consistently work to improve her performances, but by her example, she helped to elevate the performances of her teammates."
It`s difficult imagining where Heidersbach finds the time to budget all her student activities and sports. Yet, she always managed to find the time to give some of that time back.
From the outside looking in, Heidersbach appeared to fit right in at Elyria Catholic.
Looks can be deceiving.
She recalled how nervous she felt when she first visited EC in the fall of 2004 with her eighth grade class from St. Mary`s.
"I was so scared," Heidersbach said with a bit of a laugh. "I saw the seniors in the hallways and I couldn`t help but think, â€˜Oh, my gosh. They`re so big, tall and scary and so cool looking. I`m never going to be like that."
Now she can`t believe it`s over.
"Graduation is a sad time, but I just have to remember it`s a happy time, too," Heidersbach said. "I know I can`t go back. I just have to remember all the good things that have happened, all the good memories I have, and, hopefully, many more to come. I just have to remember that."
Contact Paul Heyse at 329-7135 or email@example.com.
Elyria Catholic Outstanding
Female Athlete Award Winners
1976 - Ann Farrell
1977 - Linda Zemanek
1978 - Mary Ann Kobb
1979 - Patty Diedrick
1980 - Mary Farrell
1981 - Ellen Borowy
1982 - Diane Schmitz
1983 - Lynne Machovina
1984 - Christina Arnold
1985 - Carrie Cummons
1986 - Niki Boyson
1987 - Lisa Horvath
1988 - Rebecca Yarish
1989 - Colleen Wukie
1990 - Lisa Ivkanec
1991 - Julie Deeks
1992 - Sheila Wilford
1993 - Laurie Seward
1994 - Angela Schneider
1995 - Kim Kenney
1996 - Jessica Patton
1997 - Jennifer DeChant
1998 - Rachel Serazin
1999 - Jennifer Ruth
2000 - Catherine Geletka
2001 - Megan Fiore
2002 - Jennifer Thompson
2003 - Stacey Laveen
2004 - Kileen Lehman
2005 - Danielle Bozicevich
2006 - Lauren Berk
2007 - Paige Samek
2008 - Katelyn (Katie) Svat
2009 - Evann Heidersbach